This page covers a range of roles focusing on environmental protection and conservation. The nature of the work can be diverse, ranging from working in the community to increase awareness of environmental issues, to working in an office involved in policy development, as well as undertaking scientific research in the field or in a laboratory.
Employers can include public bodies, charitable organisations such as the National Trust, research institutes, universities and education and research bodies. There is also scope to work in environmental consultancies.
A degree in relevant subjects is required for entry into many of the roles in this section, and in some cases an honours degree or a relevant postgraduate qualification can be essential. Relevant work or voluntary experience is highly recommended while undertaking study.
Follow the links below for profiles of common occupations in this sector:
British Ecological Society (BES) - deals with diverse ecological issues. The site includes a careers section and a grants, awards and prizes page. It produces a careers guide which can be downloaded from the site.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) - is the leading body in the UK for research, survey, and monitoring in terrestrial and freshwater environments.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH)
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) - promotes and supports research, survey, long-term environmental monitoring and related postgraduate training in terrestrial, marine and freshwater biology and Earth, atmospheric, hydrological, oceanographic and polar sciences and Earth observation. This substantial site includes funding information.
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) - government body whose remit covers all aspects of sustainable development.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Environment Agency - the leading public body for protecting and improving the environment in England and Wales. It advertises job opportunities and graduate and foundation degree programmes.
LANTRA - sector skills council for the environmental and land-based sector. The website contains useful information on a wide range of occupations including what the job involves, entry requirements and case studies.
National Park Authorities - responsible for administration of all the authorities through Britain.
National Park Authorities
Forestry Commission - responsible for the protection and expansion of Britain’s forests and woodlands.
Natural England - is the Government agency that champions the conservation of wildlife and geology throughout England. This comprehensive site includes job vacancies, volunteer information, grant schemes and related links.
Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) - the public body responsible for environmental protection in Scotland. Vacancies within the organisation are advertised on the website, and applications made online.
Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
Scottish National Heritage (SNH) - aims include safeguarding and enhancing Scotland’s natural heritage, particularly its natural, genetic and scenic diversity.
Scottish National Heritage (SNH)
Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland - an independent environmental organisation works to protect Scotland's landscape and the amenity of the countryside.
Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland
Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) - exists to promote the beauty, tranquility and diversity of rural England by encouraging the sustainable use of land and other natural resources in town and country. The site includes volunteering and jobs information.
Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE)
ENDS (Environmental Data Services) - provides environmental information for professionals. The site includes a searchable directory of environmental consultancies plus news, jobs, business information and environmental links.
ENDS (Environmental Data Services)
National Trust - a charitable organisation working to preserve, and protect the buildings, countryside and coastline of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It advertises jobs and offers volunteer opportunities.
National Trust for Scotland (NTS) - protects and promotes Scotland’s natural and cultural heritage. It advertises jobs and offers volunteer opportunities.
National Trust for Scotland (NTS)
Naturenet - is an independent website for countryside and nature conservation in the UK. Included on the site is careers information and vacancies, as well as articles, blogs, videos, links and reviews.
Scottish Environment Link - the forum for Scotland's voluntary environment organisations with the common goal of contributing to a more environmentally sustainable society.
Scottish Environment Link
Marine Conservation Society (MCS) - is a UK charity dedicated to the protection of the marine environment and its wildlife.
Marine Conservation Society (MCS)
Ecological Research and Training (ERT) - ERT are an independent ecological research and training group. Their website includes extensive links to useful resources and ecological organisations.
Ecological Research and Training (ERT)
The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) - The Conservation Volunteers have been reclaiming green places since 1959, helping hundreds of thousands of people each year to reclaim local green places. They operate environmental projects and a network of 2,000 community groups, all across the UK, which you can be part of.
The Conservation Volunteers (TCV)
NB vacancies may also be listed in many of the sites above.
Acre - recruitment company, connecting companies and people in the areas of sustainability, corporate responsibility, environment, energy efficiency and health & safety. See the research section for the latest CR and Sustainability Salary Survey.
Countryside Jobs Service (CJS) - advertises vacancies in the countryside, conservation and environmental fields.
To gain full access to the CJS log into MyEd and under the Careers tab select Careers Service Resources. The username and password for sign in will then be shown.
Earthworks - is a portal of career opportunities in this industry and related industries.
Environment Jobs - leading website for careers in sustainability, conservation & ecology, climate & carbon, energy & renewables, includes vacancies, volunteering opportunities, courses and events in the environmental sector.
Environment Job - offers a searchable database of jobs and volunteering opportunities in the environmental sector. Under 'Job Seeker' you can find a range of helpful job profiles and case studies.
GeographyJobs - focuses on jobs in the environment, GIS, geography education, urban planning.
Green Jobs - vacancy website with details of environmental jobs and renewable energy jobs.
Green Jobs Online - online jobsite for renewable energy, environmental and sustainability jobs.
Green Jobs Online
Change Agents UK - the only charity in Europe that solely focuses on young people and graduates working and learning to boost their employability, as well as the sustainability of communities and employers. Includes a section for funded work experience opportunities, as well as graduate vacancies in the public, private and voluntary sector.
Change Agents UK
From 1941 until the early 1970s, the RBF worked to preserve and protect the environment through grantmaking in population and conservation. Conservation was a special interest of founding trustee Laurance S. Rockefeller, and it constituted much of his personal philanthropy and public service. In its early decades, the Fund expressed its commitment to the environment primarily through grants to Laurance’s projects, including the Grand Teton, U.S. Virgin Islands, and California Redwoods National Parks, the Palisades Interstate Park, the American Conservation Association, the Conservation Foundation, the Nature Conservancy, and the National Audubon Society.
Laurance acted as an advisor on environmental matters to five U.S. presidents. He served on the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission, a fact-finding group established by Congress, beginning in 1958. He chaired the 1965 White House Conference on Natural Beauty, a pivotal event in raising Americans’ environmental awareness. He chaired President Johnson’s Citizens’ Advisory Committee on Recreation and Natural Beauty and President Nixon’s Committee on Environmental Quality.
For most of his career, Laurance sought to combine environmental conservation and recreational use. In the early 1960s, along with his brother, New York Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, he was instrumental in gaining public support for the state’s acquisition of more than 300,000 acres of land for urban parks, wilderness, and forest recreation areas.
As chairman of the New York State Council of Parks, Laurance declared, "land alone cannot fulfill the recreation needs of people. Development of marinas, bathing beaches, picnic and camping areas, golf courses, multiple use areas and many other facilities are needed… Development costs money, indeed, often more than the land itself." Yet this kind of development-oriented thinking soon came under fire from the environmental movement emerging after the 1962 publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.