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Environmental Compliance Officer

Position Overview

Environmental compliance officers ensure laws related to the environment are being followed. This may involve laws for energy, gas, air, water, or oil. As the environment becomes more of a concern today, environmental compliance officers play an important role in ensuring the laws that protect valuable natural resources are being implemented effectively. They will often perform compliance audits, and if regulations are not being followed they will implement corrective actions. Depending on the employer, they may investigate public complaints, or work as a consultant to develop an environmentally friendly management system for clients. As such, they should be familiar with all environmental laws to ensure they are providing appropriate consultations or suitable investigative work. Typically, environmental compliance officers spend their time divided between office work and field work.

Environmental Compliance Officer Duties

  • Develop and implement environmental management systems and processes
  • Complete audits on various industrial operations to ensure environmental compliance
  • Create plans and procedures for topics such as spill prevention, dealing with hazardous waste, and improving air quality
  • Develop budgets for various projects and see that project deliverables are met
  • Follow up on complaints made by citizens
  • Investigate activities that are suspicious of violating environmental laws
  • Collect samples from operations under investigation
  • Prepare reports on the information collected from investigations
  • Prepare notices of violation and warning notices
  • When necessary, assist legal professionals in the preparation of court actions

Typical Employers

  • Government agencies
  • Environmental agencies
  • Research firms
  • Consultancy agencies

Required Education and Training

Environmental compliance officers should have a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering, environmental science, environmental policy, sustainability science, or a degree in a related field. Some employers may require candidates to have a master's degree.

Key Skills and Qualities

  • Genuine interest in environmental laws and protection
  • Excellent communication skills, written and verbal
  • Ability to record data with precision
  • Quick decision making skills
  • Ability to provide sound environmental recommendations
  • Stay current on all environment laws and regulations
  • Good investigation skills
  • Organised
  • Excellent multitasker

Average Salary

The average salary for an environmental compliance officer in the United Kingdom is £27,000. Their salaries can range from £18,000 to £50,000, which will depend on the worker's seniority level and the agency that they work for.