Environment and Agriculture

Careers in the environment industry are often sectioned off as two groups: environment and agriculture.

What is the environment industry?

The environmental industry consists of activities which produce goods and services to measure, prevent, limit and minimise or correct environmental damage to water, air and soil, as well as problem related to waste, noise and eco-systems. Dealing with waste management, air pollution, water and waste, along with environmental services and equipment, in a rapidly growing industry

What are the current opportunities and risks in the environment industry?

The environmental sector is very diverse, as such it is impossible to cover all of the potential areas you could work in. Though hardly known to the general public, environmental technologies, products and services have grown to match the aerospace and pharmaceutical industries in size. The unclear definition of the industry may cause confusion in the application of World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements. With the promising advancements in environmental biotechnology, there’s no telling what to expect in the future.

What are the trends in numbers for the environment industry?

In the UK nearly 500,000 people work in the UK environment industry whilst the US employs over 1.6 million people.

What are the top 10 specialist areas in high demand for the environment sector in 2019?

  1. Project Management
  2. Renewable Energy
  3. Sustainability appraisal
  4. Waste analysis/waste acceptance criteria
  5. Expert evidence/witness
  6. Strategic environmental assessment (SEA)
  7. Urban regeneration
  8. Environmental risk assessment
  9. Master planning
  10. Mergers and acquisitions

What are the environmental companies to look out for in 2019?

  1. John Deere
  2. Atkins
  3. JCB
  4. British Sugar
  5. AB Agri

What skills and qualifications do I need to work in the environment industry?

This sector requires practical/technical knowledge and skills where possible, so it is possible to acquire work experience without a degree within this field. However, it is beneficial to have a postgraduate degree in this field for research roles as well as for highly competitive roles such as consultancy jobs. Employers are keen to see personal motivations and an interest in environmental or sustainability issues, physical fitness (outdoor roles), team working skills. Often Business awareness or management skills will also be very useful.

What Functions?


Conservation roles manage and protect the environment, promoting sustainability, educating others and providing information and analysis

Conservation, education/public engagement, sustainability, urban planning and development, waste management, water management

Environmental Consultancy, Policy and Law

Industry specific consulting working on a range of commercial or government contracts, dealing with environmental problems.

environmental consultancy, policy & law, sustainability, urban planning and development, waste management, water management

Sustainable Development & Regeneration

Sustainable Development Regeneration broad area of work which incorporates the need for commercial and industrial prosperity, but also strives to make sure that future generations are not affected by the human activities today.

Scientific research, social research, sustainability, transport infrastructure

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility involves making sure companies practices, processes, products and procedures are ethical, sustainable and environmental friendly.

Strategy, Management, Public Affairs, sustainability, urban planning and development, waste management, water management

Other notable functions

  • - Air: Quality & Pollution Control
  • - Water Resources: Management, Quality & Pollution Control
  • - Data Science and sustainability

What is it like to work in this industry?

What is a a day in the life? What are the progression routes like? What are the average salaries?

A Teaching Biologist with Investigative interests in Molecular Ecology
From Natural & Sport Science to Senior Lecturer in Ecology - All things Freshwater Invasive Species
How to become a senior lecturer in biology (animal science) and run a small business?

What else can I do to get a job in this industry?

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