Environmental Science Careers for Science Graduates


Many science graduates want to pursue environmental science careers. You might have a degree in environmental science, ecology, zoology, biology or chemistry. Perhaps you specialised in environmental science modules within your more general science degree. Or maybe you spent time volunteering for a conservation charity whilst studying and realised its where you want your career to be.

You might be wondering what options you have with an undergraduate degree, and whether you have to pursue further study. There are actually many options for you to get into the industry with just an undergraduate degree. The subject should usually be somewhat related to environmental science. However you don’t necessarily need a postgraduate qualification for these career paths. Here are 4 environmental science careers you can consider as a science graduate:

  1. Education

You can work in various education-based roles within charities or nature reserves. They involve you teaching a specific group about environmental science. This might be specialised to a particular area depending on the organisation you work for. The audience is commonly students at schools but could be other community groups. The way you educate them could be through a variety of channels. Methods could include directly speaking to them or creating educational materials. You therefore need to have strong communication skills and be confident in relaying scientific concepts simply and effectively.

Be ready to also take on a variety of tasks in marketing, event management and budget management. You might be developing and running educational programmes, and liaising with people in an outside your organisation.

  1. Waste management

Working in recycling or waste management can be a good option for you if you feel passionate about improving this in local communities. You will probably work for a local council and could be involved in creating policies to improve recycling. Or. you could be promoting existing schemes. Other parts of your job could involve writing funding proposals and managing budgets to run these schemes. It will be important for you to have developing knowledge of your local laws and environment. If you like the idea of an office-based role, this could suit you well.

  1. Sustainability consulting

If you work as a consultant, you are offering your expertise to businesses to advise them on how they can operate in a more ‘green’ way. Your commercial knowledge is important here as you will need to understand both how the company operates and how this fits into the wider industry. It’s critical that you can communicate professionally and confidently. You could either work for a specialist consulting company or for a business directly where you are only advising them.

  1. Charity work

If you would like to remain in an industry related to environmental science, but are keen to do roles where you use other skills, entering the charity sector can be a good option. Charities have lots of departments which require softer skills and can give you a wider scope of work. Examples include fundraising, policies, research, grants, volunteer management, PR, marketing and administrative roles. There are lots of environmental science related charities out there – you will need to demonstrate your interested by volunteering to get into the sector.

There are a range of options for you out there if environmental science careers interest you. You don’t necessarily need to do further study unless you want to specialise in a specific area. Getting your foot in the door of the industry can be a good way of exploring what roles you might enjoy, even if it’s not your ideal role initially. Volunteering is also another way of getting this insight and networking with people who are in roles you are interested in. Think about what type of environment you would like to work in and what skills you would like to learn and use during your job.  

If you are ready to take your career outside the lab and want to know how to start, book a Beyond the Lab Breakthrough Session here.


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