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What are environmental consulting jobs like?

For someone graduating with a baccalaureate degree in Earth Sciences and Environmental Policy.

How much do these jobs pay starting out?
Are they very stressful when compared to government jobs?
What is the scope for increasing one’s salary after starting out?
Please be sure the answer the questions. Don’t just say something that relates to the topic unless it answers the question.

Most of the answers on here just say stupid things like “wtf” or just post ads. This doesn’t help me, does it? So why are you wasting my time by posting things like this?

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2 Responses to “What are environmental consulting jobs like?”

  1. Joe June 12, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

    An environmental consultant works on commercial contracts to address a variety of environmental issues for their clients. They cover a wide range of disciplines such as assessment of air, land and water contamination, environmental impact assessment, environmental audit, waste management, development of environmental policy and development of environmental management systems.

    The sector continues to expand in response to a mix of regulation, corporate risk and reputation management. Consultants operate in a very commercial environment and senior staff may be required to help attract future clients for the business.

    According to the 2008 Environmental Data Services (ENDS) survey of environmental professionals, the majority continue to be employed in the consultancy sector.

    A career as an environmental consultant offers the opportunity to work on a variety of different disciplines, with the potential to specialise.

    As there is such a variety in the type of work that an environmental consultant may undertake on a day-to-day basis there is clearly a wide range of typical activities. A key task is to identify whether land, air or water is contaminated by means of desk-based research and field work, and then undertake an assessment to identify if that contaminant source can have an adverse impact on a receptor (such as humans or groundwater, for example).

    Typical work activities include:

    * Conducting field surveys: collecting data to establish a baseline condition for levels of pollution or contamination for a site or area of consideration.
    * Data interpretation: this can include detailed assessment of data, often using software modelling packages, to identify whether ‘contamination’ exists in accordance with legislative drivers.
    * Development of conceptual models: this involves identification and consideration of the potential contaminant sources, critical pathways and receptors that could potentially have an adverse impact on the immediate and wider environment.
    * Report writing: completion of detailed scientific reporting, written in a manner that can be understood by non-technical people.
    * Dialogue with clients, regulators and sub-contractors e.g. analytical laboratories.
    * Due diligence: carrying out desk-based research to review previous investigations of a site that a client wants to purchase, and possibly undertaking field work, to identify previous activities on the site and any contamination.

  2. Kim M June 12, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

    There are a variety of different jobs you could look at. Try looking into some of the environmental consulting jobs in your area. My sister and brother-in-law have both worked in the field for more than 10 years. They perform environmental site assessments, phase 1 and 2. Starting out, the pay sucks… you’d be lucky to get more than 30k a year (at least here in Texas). On the plus side, though, you get hands on training. After 1-2 years on the job, you can easily move to a different company if the pay raises aren’t up to par. Within 5-10 years, you can double your starting salary, depending on your job performance. The stress is no worse than most jobs. Depends on how well you handle responsibility.

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