An environmental science degree equips you with the scientific background and key skills necessary for roles in a range of career areas, including conservation and sustainability
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Environmental consultant
- Environmental education officer
- Environmental engineer
- Environmental manager
- Marine biologist
- Nature conservation officer
- Recycling officer
- Sustainability consultant
- Waste management officer
- Water quality scientist
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Environmental health practitioner
- Estates manager
- Geotechnical engineer
- Landscape architect
- Town planner
- Transport planner
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
Many environmental organisations need help from people willing to carry out voluntary work, so it's relatively easy to find relevant work experience opportunities.
After gaining some initial experience, you should be able to progress into more specialist paid employment. It's a good idea to get involved in clubs and societies while you're still at university, take up volunteering roles with conservation organisations, such as The Wildlife Trusts, or become active in campaigning groups in your local area.
Volunteering gives you experience that is difficult to gain elsewhere and shows commitment. Some students attend conferences and debates on environmental concerns, subscribe to relevant magazines and journals or go travelling. All these experiences will make you more attractive to an employer.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
Employers of environmental science graduates include:
- local authorities
- Environment Agency (EA)
- Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
- environmental monitoring organisations
- environmental consultancies
- charitable trusts, such as Natural England.
There are many vacancy sites for environmental volunteering jobs but the following also have paid graduate jobs across a range of related areas:
Skills for your CV
An environmental science degree provides you with very specific skills depending on your particular course or specialist area. You'll also develop a broader set of transferable skills, including:
- research, analytical and problem-solving skills
- competence in developing arguments from scientific, ethical and philosophical perspectives
- planning and project-management skills
- the ability to gather, analyse and communicate complex technical data to others
- flexibility to work in all kinds of environments, developed through working in the field
- numerical and IT skills, developed through the application of statistics and measurement techniques
- a broad understanding of local, national and global environmental issues.
Some environmental science graduates go on to further study to train for a particular career path, e.g. teaching or management, while others are supported by their employer to gain directly relevant professional qualifications. Studying at postgraduate level enhances your employability by increasing your research skills, specialist knowledge and communication skills.
Postgraduate courses may be aimed at developing knowledge of a specialist area or entering a particular sector, such as environmental health, where a postgraduate qualification is an essential requirement.
What do environmental science graduates do?
Over half of environmental science graduates are in full-time employment in the UK six months after graduation. Environment professional is the top job held by graduates in employment in the UK.
|Working and studying||5.6|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Technicians and other professionals||29.3|
|Retail, catering and bar work||18.2|
|Business, HR and financial||9.4|
|Secretarial and numerical clerks||7.8|
For a detailed breakdown of what environmental, physical geographical and terrestrial sciences graduates are doing six months after graduation, see What Do Graduates Do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.