An environmental science degree equips you with essential skills and practical experience that could lead to a career in the environment sector or a range of other occupations
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Environmental consultant
- Environmental education officer
- Environmental manager
- Nature conservation officer
- Recycling officer
- Waste management officer
- Water quality scientist
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
It is relatively easy to find relevant work experience as many environmental organisations need help from people willing to carry out unpaid work.
Working in a voluntary capacity in an environment-related role may often be the first step into more specialist, paid employment. It is a good idea to get involved in clubs and societies while you are still at university or 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 will also develop a broader set of transferable skills, including:
- research 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 field-work experience;
- 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?
More than 60% of environmental science graduates are in full-time employment in the UK six months after graduating. The top occupation is an environment professional, with conservation and environmental associate professionals also in the top five.
|Working and studying||4.5|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Technicians and other professionals||30.1|
|Retail, catering and bar work||19.1|
|Business, HR and financial||8.5|
|Secretarial and numerical clerks||6|
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.