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Environmental Consultant

Position Overview

An environmental consultant will advise businesses on the best way to deal with environmental concerns. This may be to avoid causing damaging effects, or to reduce/manage the effects that have already been caused by a company. Environmental consultants are often engineers who have a passion for the environment and an eye for successful business practices. It is their job to ensure the organisation is following environmental regulations. They help manage a number of different environmental issues including possible flood risk, waste treatment, pollution of land, water or air, the opportunity for renewable energy, and developing systems for environment management.

They are primarily hired by consultancy firms and then work with companies who directly impact the environment. They spend a significant amount of time researching and planning to control environmental hazards. They are knowledgeable regarding recent and developing technology available that could help manage pollution and energy conservation. Environmental consultants can expect to divide their time between the office and site visits to meet with clients. The environment is becoming more and more of a concern in today's society. As a result, this type of position is growing in popularity and importance.

Environmental Consultant Duties

  • Provide advice to companies regarding environment concerns
  • Educate customers on waste management techniques and how to control pollution
  • Analyze the appropriateness for new developments for an organization, such as wind farms, power station, solar panels, etc.
  • Gather data on contamination levels for areas of concern
  • Educate firms on legislative issues and environmental regulations
  • Liaise with different parties including customers, labs, and regulators
  • Look into previous site investigations to understand scope of project
  • Assist with safety, quality assurance, and sampling during inspection
  • Train others on environmental compliance
  • Develop reports to display possible environmental damage that has occurred in the past, or will occur in the future based on statistical evidence and current trends

Typical Employers

  • Consultancy firms
  • Central government
  • Commercial companies
  • Manufacturers
  • Self-employment (with experience)

Required Education and Training

To become an environmental consultant, it is advised to acquire a degree in the sciences, such as agriculture, chemical, horticulture, or earth. Environmental engineers often become environmental consultants. Those interested in this role should also take business and economic courses to gain a basic understanding of commerce. Land studies and courses on ecology management can be of benefit. Environmental consultants should have a genuine interest in protecting the environment. To give candidates a competitive advantage, they should either gain relevant work experience, or go through for an additional degree in a related field.

Key Skills and Qualities

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Keen awareness for business practices
  • Ability to manage time and multitask
  • Good organisation skills
  • Ability to problem solve effectively
  • A valid drivers licence

Average Salary

  • Entry level environmental consultants can expect to earn approximately £22,000 to £25,000
  • Environmental consultants with 5 years of experience will earn around £30,000
  • Senior consultants will make an average of £40,000
  • Senior consultants with more than ten years of experience can make as much as £60,000