Environmental consultants provide thorough technical investigations and environmental advice to their clients.
Delivering expert consulting and assessment services to your clients to mitigate or eliminate environmental impact will be part of your job.
Working for a consulting firm on various commercial or government contracts addressing various environmental challenges is common. You can be in charge of ensuring that your client follows environmental regulations.
Throughout your apprenticeship, you may help:
- explore sites for new developments like power stations or wind farms
- work out environmental risks from industrial or commercial projects
- collect and analyse survey data from sites
- write scientific reports and present findings
- report organisations that do not meet environmental laws and regulations
- respond to environmental accidents and manage clean-up operations
- provide policy advice to businesses, landowners and the government.
- Apprentice starting salaries typically range from £22,000 to £25,000.
- Salaries for consultant grade positions, for those with an average of two to five years’ experience, typically range from £22,000 to £35,000.
- As a senior consultant with five to ten years’ experience, you could expect to earn up to £45,000, potentially rising up to around £60,000 in a principal consultant position and more as a director.
Your hours may include regular extra hours, but not shifts. Some consultancies may operate a flexitime or overtime system but on average working 37 to 39 hours a week.
You could work in an office or at a client’s business.
Your working environment may be you’ll travel often and outdoors some of the time.
Qualifications you can achieve as an apprentice environmental consultant include:
- Level 6 Environmental Practitioner – Entry requirements for this level include 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship. This qualification will take 60 months to complete.
On an environmental consultant apprenticeship, you’ll learn:
- knowledge of geography
- maths knowledge
- analytical thinking skills
- thinking and reasoning skills
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- excellent written communication skills
- the ability to use your judgement and make decisions
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently.
Most environmental consultants work for consulting firms that are hired by the public and private sectors.
You will work with companies in the industrial and manufacturing sectors where environmental management is a top focus.
In the United Kingdom, various firms offer environmental consulting services. Smaller businesses specialise in specific industries, but bigger companies may specialise in areas such as environmental impact assessment or auditing.
The first two years of consulting are often spent gaining on-site experience in areas such as invasive ground investigation, ecological surveys, and ground and surface water monitoring.
Most of your training will take place on the job, where you will learn from more experienced colleagues.
Short courses offered by training organisations and colleges may assist you in gaining more specialised information or abilities. Some are assessed by tests and/or a work-based project.
After gaining sufficient skill and experience in the field, you may be eligible for Chartered status through Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) registration.
Membership in chartered organisations and professional societies may provide career guidance, networking opportunities, training, conferences and events, webinars, and relevant publications.
It’s vital to be up to speed with the newest industry trends and to employ the resources given by professional bodies for your continuing CPD and long-term career development.
As you acquire experience, you may be asked to undertake smaller tasks to take on more responsibility.
Typically, after five years of experience, you may progress to the senior consultant position. You will be responsible for advertising the firm to new consumers, creating contacts with existing clients, and identifying and submitting bids for new work.
After many years in a senior role, you may be promoted to the position of principal consultant, where you will focus on team management and commercial development.
Advancement to the post of director may be possible under exceptional circumstances. You might also work in related industries such as research, consulting, policy, and campaigns.