Environmental Science/Management

Although there has been a significant increase in environment related opportunities in recent years, jobs in this sector are much sought after. The key to success in this particular sector involves:

  • effective networking
  • gaining as much work experience as possible
  • joining appropriate professional bodies

Doing these things from your first year illustrates a high level of commitment and passion for the industry. It can also help you understand the opportunities available and the skills and qualities employers want.


Typical skills gained through studying Environmental Science and Environmental Management are available in the Higher Education Academy (HEA) Skills Profiles.  These skills are highly transferable into a variety of roles and different working environments. 

Other sources of information on skills:

  • material provided by course tutors such as course handbooks and PPD materials which give an overview of the skills you develop in your particular course

  • Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) are independent, employer led organisations that aim to reduce skills gaps and shortages and to increase opportunities to boost the skills of each sector's workforce. Directly relevant SSCs include Lantra, the sector skills council for the environment and land based industries sector and the Energy and Utility Skills Group for the gas, power, waste management and water industries.

  • the Prospects graduate careers website gives a brief but effective summary of the strengths, attributes and skills that can be cultivated through environmental programmes of study. It also encourages you to consider the skills developed through your other activities, such as paid work, volunteering, family responsibilities, sport, membership of societies,  and leadership roles.

Destinations of recent Sheffield Hallam graduates

Examples include:

  • Water Treatment Engineer - Coffey Construction Ltd
  • Junior Services Engineer - THD Consulting
  • Environmental Scientist - Constructive Environmental Group
  • Graduate Environmental Consultant - Sharps Redmore
  • Graduate Landscape Surveyor - Environment Partnership
  • Environmental Monitoring Technician at FCC Environment
  • Environmental Scientist - QDS Remediation





Career Options

Environmental Related

Typical areas of work include:

  • conservation
  • assessment, monitoring and auditing
  • consultancy (various specialisms)
  • ecology
  • education/community engagement
  • energy/resource management
  • environmental science (various specialisms)
  • environmental management
  • research
  • sustainability
  • waste management

Many roles will require specialist knowledge. The best way to become familiar with the requirements for different roles is to explore the other resources recommended below and speak to people working in the field. 

You can find an overview of the sector, job roles and typical employers on the Prospects website Job sectors and Options with your subject sections.  A wealth of job profiles, case studies and videos can also be found on various specilaist websites such as the Institute of Environmental Sciences, Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, Landscape Institute, British Ecological Society, Lantra, Institute of Chartered Foresters and Think Power. Professional bodies and relevant societies often also offer relevant talks careers events and so follow those of interest closely.

Private Sector

Environmental graduates can use their skills in private consultancies, business and industry. Many graduates gain employment with SMEs (small and medium enterprises - defined as having less than 250 staff), and around 90% of businesses in the UK are classified as SMEs. You can search over 1000 top environmental consultancies and suppliers on the ENDS Directory

Public/Voluntary Sector 

Despite recent cuts in the public and voluntary sectors, you should still include them in your job search. Typical employers for environmental graduates include local authorities, the Environment Agency (EA)  and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) , environmental monitoring organisations, environmental consultancies, and charitable trusts such as Natural England and The Wildlife Trusts amongst others. 

Related Options

Pursuing a career directly related to your degree is not your only option. Environmental graduates are found in a range of employment sectors. There are roles in other sectors that make use of the skills and knowledge you gain on your course. For example, how about a graduate role in an ethical retail company such as the Co-op? Or working in eco-tourism? The Green Guide is a thorough directory for planet friendly living. It includes services, organisations and products that may give you food for thought and help you develop a proactive approach to job search.

Last modified: 
Friday, January 13, 2017 - 16:28