Career outlook for environmental manager

Average UK salary

£36,920

Currently employed in Scotland

4,500

"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

Being an environmental manager means acting like a protective shield between organisations and the world around us. It’s an incredibly important job that keeps the planet green and ecosystems thriving. 

As an environmental or sustainability manager, you’ll be in charge of making sure that the activities of companies do not cause damage to the world around us. You’ll make sure that private, public, and voluntary organisations are sticking to the environmental standards and legislation. 

You’ll assess how improvements can be made to environmental policies and create new strategies that promote sustainable development.

What you might do 

  • Develop and implement strategies and action plans that ensure sustainable development.  
  • Coordinate pollution control, waste management, recycling, conservation and renewable energy. 
  • Ensure that materials or ingredients are ethically sourced. 
  • Ensure compliance and keep up to date with UK, EU, and international regulations concerning the environment.  
  • Liaise with local and national government.  
  • Coordinate consultations on environmental matters. 
  • Write environmental reports, then use these reports to set company targets.  
  • Participate in environmental education and research, in order to raise awareness. 
  • Provide training to members of staff. 

Working conditions

Hours

Within the public sector, you can expect to work office hours of 9 to 5pm, Monday to Friday. In the private sector, this can vary a little and may include some weekend work. You could also choose to work freelance in this role by consulting on environmental issues for various different companies.

Environment

You can expect to often work in an office, though on-site audits could involve a variety of locations depending on the sector or client.

UK employment status

Full-time

74%

Part-time

15%

Self employed

11%

Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Working with technology
  • Written communication
  • Evaluating
  • Researching
  • Social conscience
  • Attention to detail
  • Concentrating
  • Taking initiative
  • Making decisions
  • Taking responsibility

Skills Explorer

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at What are my skills?

Our Skills Explorer tool will help you understand what skills you have and match them to jobs that might suit you.

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

Not all employers list specific qualification requirements but they do ask for relevant experience, usually work based. 

There are different ways to gain qualifications or experience for this job. You could study at qualified for this job through college, university or complete an apprenticeship. Edinburgh Napier University and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) are accredited from the Charter Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEM). Both have HNC, BSc and MSc routes you could take. 

Most environmental managers will have a degree in: 

  • environmental science 
  • biology  
  • geography  
  • zoology  
  • marine biology 
  • bioscience 
  • ecology 

Employers might consider applicants without formal qualifications if they can demonstrate knowledge and experience of the industry. 

Useful subjects

Most colleges and universities expect you to have studied certain subjects beforehand. They might also highlight additional subjects that they would value. Look at individual institution websites for specific entry information.   

Useful subjects would be: 

  • environmental science 
  • engineering science 
  • biology 
  • chemistry 
  • physics 
  • geography 
  • maths 

Helpful to have

Not all employers list specific qualification requirements but they might ask for relevant experience, usually work based, that show a range of transferable skills.  

It’s helpful to become a member of a relevant professional body and many employers find this desirable. 

Some professional bodies include the:  

Explore more information about this job