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Environment and conservation work

Each year large numbers of students are keen to enter this sector, but sometimes it can be difficult to find permanent jobs in some areas.  As there is no single environmental profession, you need to be clear about what you mean by “environmental work” as it encompasses a wide range of jobs in industry, local and national government and voluntary organisations. 

Work experience, often voluntary, can be very important both in developing contacts and in gaining experience. The University of Exeter paid internship schemes may have environmental job placements which could be valuable to career planning and progression. Also, the Green Consultants training programme can provide training and a placement for students interested in the environment and sustainability.

It is worthwhile taking a very broad view of this sector and areas such as recycling, waste management and alternative energy tend to be better financed than purely ecological areas and will therefore offer more job opportunities. A relevant postgraduate course may enhance your chances of entering this competitive field. The Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA), the leading body for anyone working in the environmental or sustainability profession, has produced a Skills Map for those interested in developing their skills and career development.


Information Resources

Places to find job vacancies and volunteering opportunities

Volunteering Opportunities Overseas

Other paper based resources:

Professional Bodies

 Places to look for lists of employers or companies in this sector

Post Graduate Study and Professional Development

As the environmental field is so broad, you may need to consider undertaking full or part-time postgraduate study in order to specialise e.g. Masters in Transport Planning, or a Masters in Food Security & Sustainable Agriculture.  Although there are wide ranges of conversion courses open to all graduates, some require you to have a relevant degree.  You can use the following links to search for courses: and

On Mycareerzone you will also find other resources in the resources section including The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding.