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Environmental consultant

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Summary of occupation

​Environmental consultants provide advice on matters relating to environmental management. They aim to ensure that the actions of property developers, private companies, landowners and government departments comply with appropriate standards and regulations, and minimise damage to the natural environment.

Environmental consultants deliver services such as scientific data collection, biodiversity planning, land management, impact evaluations, environmental auditing and contamination assessments. They may perform fieldwork, conduct site inspections, analyse pollution and study the ecology of a site. They then report their findings, and develop strategies and solutions to protect the environment.

ANZSCO description: Analyses and advises on policies guiding the design, implementation and modification of government or commercial environmental operations and programs.
Alternative names: Environmental adviser, Environmental auditor, Environmental officer
Specialisations:
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

An environmental consultant needs:

  • an interest in conservation and the environment
  • analytical thinking and problem solving abilities
  • excellent written and oral communication skills
  • a high attention to detail and accuracy
  • strong organisational and project management skills
  • to be able to work independently and as part of a team.
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Working conditions

​Environmental consultants will spend some of their time based in an office, researching and preparing reports. They will also spend some of their time performing consultations, investigating environmental matters and surveying out in the field. They may be involved in collecting data, taking samples, and monitoring pollution, waste or local wildlife populations.

Environmental consultants may be required to undertake project-related travel.

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Salary details

​On average, environmental consultants, classified under environmental scientists, can expect to earn between $1 500 and $1 999 per week ($78 000 and $103 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As an environmental consultant develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

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Tools and technologies

​Environmental consultants primarily use computers to complete their tasks. They use specialised software programmes such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology. Out in the field they may also use sampling and testing equipment, and surveying and measuring equipment. They will work with maps, GPS and a range of scientific data collection tools.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

​To become an environmental consultant you usually need to complete a degree with a major in environmental science, natural resource management, conservation biology, marine science or a related field.

All universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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Analyses and advises on policies guiding the design, implementation and modification of government or commercial environmental operations and programs

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