Environmental careers you may have overlooked

Written by Ella Hendrix 

There is no doubt that environmental issues are becoming increasingly important to the world. As we try to find ways that we can try to reverse the effects of climate change, reduce the impact that our lives are having on the planet and look to improve the outlook for our children and grandchildren, we are seeing more and more people looking to pursue careers related to the environment.

If you have a science degree, many environmental careers are open to you. Some of which you will be able to walk straight into, and others which might require some extra training or study.

Not all environmental careers are obvious, so here are some that you might have overlooked when you have been thinking about what you want to do with the rest of your life:

Water Treatment Worker

Tab with running water

What is a water treatment worker? As a water treatment worker, you would be responsible for ensuring that water is safe to drink, or dirty water is safely disposed of. You could be working with septic tanks which, according to Tanks for Everything, “is an underground chamber usually manufactured from plastic or GRP through which domestic wastewater flows for very basic treatment. The septic tank allows the solid waste to settle and then the wastewater flows through the tank, out of the outlet, and is then dispersed into a drainage field.”

How you will use your science degree Ensuring the safety of the general public when it comes to water is important and you will use your scientific skills and knowledge to ensure that water is accurately tested and treated with the chemicals necessary to make it safe.

Why it’s important Whether you are looking at drinking water, waste disposal, or contaminated water, without properly treated water, we would see sickness spreading, unpleasant environments, and contaminated or polluted areas. Having safe water is central to the well-being of the entire population.


heavy raindrops falling on pavement

What is a hydrologist? A hydrologist works primarily in ensuring that water is kept under control, getting to where it needs to be and prevented from getting where it’s not wanted. This involves predicting and managing flood risk, investigating the possibility of new water sources, and a general look at water supply and waste systems.

How you will use your science degree You will use your science degree whilst studying the links between different soils and rocks and their effects on water, analysing data from water resource systems, looking at modelling, assessing the impact of environmental issues, predicting rainfall and other environmental aspects, forecasting floods and droughts and finding solutions to these issues.

Why it’s important It is vital for public safety that we are able to predict and deal with issues related to water. Floods can ruin lives and livelihoods, and droughts can also be devasting for the environment and society. Ensuring that water is where we need it when we need it is essential for the world that we live in.

Sustainability Manager

Row of wind turbines against sunset

What is a sustainability manager? A sustainability manager helps organisations to create a more sustainable environment through everything that they do. You would look at developing strategies to improve sustainability, then implementing and monitoring these strategies.

How you will use your science degree As a sustainability manager, you will use your degree by looking at different environmental strategies to help your clients, developing and implementing monitoring systems, analysing the data received and looking to improve on it, checking that all aspects of sustainability strategies are environmentally sound and reporting your findings.

Why it’s important Improving the nation’s sustainability and reducing our impact on the environment is key to helping the world to become a better place. Although there is a lot that we can do as individuals, changes that organisations make will have the biggest impact. This requires a joint effort and the role of a sustainability manager is vital to help organisations to do this – now and in the future.

Other Careers

These are only three careers that science degree will help you with, that can help the whole world and begin to save the environment. There are, of course, many others. These include:

  • Energy consultant
  • Conservation office
  • Ranger
  • Recycling officer
  • Ecologist
  • Environmental protection office
  • Environmental engineering – for example, renewable energy engineering
  • Working for an environmental charity in any capacity
  • Environmental law
  • Organic Agriculture

Having studied for a science degree, you have many options when it comes to careers – especially in the environmental field. Finding the right career for you should be about finding something that combines what interests you and uses the skills and knowledge that you have been studying for.

Protecting the world and saving our environment is fundamental to our future and any career that helps with this is one that is worth having.