From education to employment

The most promising careers for young people in the environmental sector

#GreenSkills – A recent global survey found that nearly 60% of young people are worried or extremely worried about the state of the environment. The great news is that the UK government plans to quadruple the number of ‘Green’ jobs by 2030, but in this expanding sector, how can young people choose a promising career that best suits their skill set?  

To help those considering a job in this field, Bower Collective have conducted a study analysing the topmost advertised environmental job roles across 11 sectors. They have also created a tool that enables young people contemplating to see a complete ranking of prospective environmental job roles based on their preferred combination of relevant factors. The tool then allows users to see the top-rated University with the best-rated course, to point them towards the next step in achieving their dream career. 

The top roles in the study

Considering the complete combination of factors, including market growth rate, number of vacancies, average salary and entry requirements, the job role of ‘Sustainability Consultant’ has been revealed as the overall ‘most promising’ in the environmental field. 

In second place is the role of Renewable Energy Engineer and in third position is a career option you may have never even have heard of: Arboriculturist. Arboriculturists or arborists assess the environment, location and soil pH to cultivate and protect trees.

The roles with the biggest market growth rate

Young people at the very beginning of choosing their career path might want to consider which jobs are — and which jobs aren’t — projected to see a large rise in demand in the future. Overall, the study has found that listings for environmental jobs in the UK this year have increased by 91% when compared to just five years ago (2016). But which roles have seen the biggest rise in demand in the study? 

The job role seeing the highest increase in demand was ‘Fisheries Technician’, with job postings in 2021 increasing by 675% compared to 2016. Environmental Policy Advisors score highly in this aspect too, with a 550% rise. Demand for Countryside and Park Rangers has also increased by 529%

The roles with the best average salary 

In terms of salary, those entering the environmental field can expect to be earning at least 12% above the national average annual wage, with the average annual salary for environment-related jobs coming in at £35,267. 

The best job role in terms of salary prospects is the role of ‘Environmental Designer’, with those in this position earning, on average, over £57,000 a year. The next best-paid jobs were in Environmental Policy (£52,146) and Environmental Law (£51,834). 

The best places to study to enter the environmental sector 

More universities are offering bespoke courses for the environmental sector than ever before. For example, if you would like a marketing role at an environmentally concerned charity, consider the University of Chichester, which offers a degree in marketing for non-profit organisations. To explore the different options, you can use the career finder tool to find the top universities offering the most relevant courses. But which universities appeared most on the list? 

With four top-rated specialist courses for careers on our list, the University of St Andrews is the top destination for students wanting to break into the environmental sector. With three different courses each, LSE (London School of Economics and Political Science), the University of Oxford and also the University of Chichester are also blazing the way for specialist, environmental degrees. 

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