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Graduate Environment Jobs

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        Helping you find a career in the environment industry

        If you've got a scientific brain and have an interest in preserving the natural environment, the environmental sector might be an area for you to consider pursuing after leaving university.

        The environmental sector covers a huge range of options, with areas such as conservation, air and water quality, environmental assessment, agricultural supplies, animal nutrition, soil science, animal care and technology, wildlife or fisheries management, energy-efficient practices, animal therapy, and forestry all coming under its umbrella.

        For roles across the sector, it's likely that you'll be required to spend part of your time outdoors and part in an office environment. You might see opportunities for self-employment, too - around half of the industry works in this way.

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        • FAQs
        • Jobs by industry
        Skills & interests required for a career in Environment

        The technical and practical nature of a lot of jobs in the industry means that work experience and practical skills are valued highly - so you'll want to undertake some work experience to give you the skills needed. Voluntary work is common for those looking for experience in the sector, and you may also get the chance to undertake a placement year during your degree.

        Those working in the environmental sector need a number of key skills to succeed, and these are split between subject specific and more general. They include:

        Graduate schemes & other typical career progression routes in Environment

        If you are on a structured graduate scheme, you will have a clear path laid out from the beginning - and will be able to see where your career within the company is likely to head in the future.

        Likewise, if you find an entry level role in an organisation such as the Environment Agency, you are likely to find a strong network that supports you at the beginning of your career.

        There are a number of certified training courses for those that want to move into or progress in this sector. Some of the industry bodies that offer courses include The Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA), the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES), the Society for the Environment (SocEnv), and the Institute of Agricultural Management (IAgrM).

        SocEnv offers a route to becoming a Chartered Environmentalist, a masters-level qualification that's a highly respected title for those working within the industry.

        Tips for getting into the field

        The environmental industry is a competitive and popular one, so it's vital to know what employers are looking for when you apply for roles.

        Obviously, a strong head for science and a dedication to the environment are both essential if you want to pursue this field.

        For smaller companies, you should send out speculative emails that detail your skills and introduce yourself and the kind of roles you're looking for - jobs are not always widely advertised in the environmental sector. Because it's a popular industry, be prepared for the reality that you might need to take on unrelated work whilst you apply for competitive jobs.

        There are also a large number of general, non-industry-related things that you can do to put yourself in a good position to start applying for jobs. These include:

        • Tailoring your CV for each specific role, making sure you focus on previous experience and relevant skills
        • Applying for internships and/or work experience - this is a no-brainer: as well as ensuring that you've experienced the field before you start applying for jobs within it, it'll show that you're committed and allow you to start acquiring the practical skills you'll need in your future job
        • Take on similar roles - for example as an assistant in an environmental organisation's office, during holidays or whilst you apply for higher-level roles right after graduation
        • See what the top companies in the field require - start by looking for case studies from the big firms, and note what backgrounds and skills their current employees have
        • Get the relevant accreditation - look for training courses that can offer practical skill and/or develop your knowledge in a specific area
        • Use your contacts - university professors, those you met on work experience, people you can approach through social media or LinkedIn - they're all potentially the stepping stone to your next role, and they might very well be happy to help you
        How much can graduates earn in Environment?

        Here are average salaries for some jobs within the environmental industry, according to Payscale:

        • Agronomist - £30,339
        • Environmental advisor - £28,200
        • Environmental engineer - £29,866
        • Environmental manager - £34,088
        • Environmental scientist - £25,889
        • Environmental consultant - £25,128
        • Compliance officer - £27,100 On a graduate scheme, you are likely to earn between £20,000 and £25,000 to begin with.
        What qualifications do I need for a career in Environment?

        A relevant degree is required for most jobs within the environmental sector, so if you have one of the following you're in a great position to start planning your career:

        • Environmental science
        • Civil engineering
        • Geography
        • Geology
        • Business

        It might be helpful to look into specific postgraduate qualifications if you're definitely sure that you want to move into a specific area.

        For jobs that aren't environment or agriculture specific, for example in management, marketing, IT or sales, you can apply without a directly-related degree.

        Read more about the Environment industry

        Environment Agency

        Water UK

        Environment industry bodies

        Soil Association

        Countryside Management Association

        Countryside Alliance

        Environmental Services Association

        Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environment Management

        Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA)

        Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES)

        Society for the Environment (SocEnv)