Environmental consultancies are one of the many places you can work in the private sector of the environment industry. Consulting companies account for a large portion of environmental employers.
Environmental Consultancies - Australia
Consultancies can vary widely in size and scope. Many provide a wide range of services and specialty areas. Some consultancies offer environmental services as just one part of their full service range. Others offer only environment related services. Small boutique consultancies often offer specialised expertise in only a few key areas, such as ecology or planning.
The full range of services and expertise in consulting is, like the entire industry, very broad and constantly growing. The fields are also often multidisciplinary, potentially incorporating chemistry, biology, ecology, geology and social sciences, among other disciplines. Services can include environmental assessment and management, water management, waste management, energy management, contaminated land management, risk assessment, climate change services, and many others.
Environmental companies, likewise, work for clients from a wide variety of sectors, including construction, water, waste, mining, energy, government and agriculture. Some consultancies will specialise in working within a specific sector, while others will work with clients from across the spectrum.
As a result of its multidisciplinary nature, the daily activities of a consultant can vary quite widely. Activities can include going out into the field to collect data, analysing data, conducting background research and writing reports or recommendations for clients. These activities tend to increase in responsibility and variety as people's environmental careers progress.
To work at an environmental consultancy, it is often required that you have a relevant tertiary degree (for example to have completed studies in environmental science course, environmental engineering course, ecology or geology courses). As the sector is very multidisciplinary, there are a wide variety of environmental courses that can help prepare you for a career in consulting. For further information on environmental studies available in Australia, please see our Environmental Education page.
As always, volunteering, work experience and graduate programs are also beneficial for getting your foot in the door at a consultancy. Work experience at an environmental consultancy can give you a better idea about the type of work and day-to-day activities involved. It can also get you a foot in the door for a future position, as you are able to show off your strengths and potential.