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Waste management officer

Waste management officers oversee the collection and disposal of waste from households and businesses.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £22,000 t0 £45,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You could either:

  • take a degree or postgraduate course in waste management, or a related subject like environmental science, chemistry or Earth sciences
  • gain experience and industry-recognised qualifications as a technician or supervisor in a waste management company
  • work your way up through the waste management industry, gaining skills and college qualifications along the way

The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) lists  industry-recognised degrees and postgraduate courses.

If you take a degree, you’ll also find it useful to gain practical experience in voluntary recycling or environmental projects.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • spoken and written communication skills
  • management and leadership skills
  • the ability to organise, prioritise and meet deadlines
  • an understanding of budgets and statistics
  • IT skills, for presenting data

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • running and inspecting waste disposal sites and recycling facilities
  • managing teams of refuse and recycling collectors
  • monitoring local waste and recycling collection services
  • managing contracts with private waste collection companies
  • analysing statistics on local levels of waste and recycling
  • making sure that waste disposal is handled according to the law
    aiming to meet waste reduction, landfill diversion and recycling targets
  • introducing new disposal or recycling schemes
  • advising local businesses and communities on waste reduction and environmental issues
  • managing budgets

4. Salary

Starter: £22,000 to £25,000

Experienced: £28,000 to £45,000

Highly Experienced: Over £25,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work standard office hours Monday to Friday. You may work weekends if sites are open 7 days a week.

You’ll be mainly office-based, and visit sites and contractors in your local area. 

You’ll usually need a driving licence.

6. Career path and progression


With experience, you could progress into area or senior management. You could also move into recycling or environmental project management. 

You could go freelance as an environmental consultant.

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Last updated: 08 December 2016