Ecology & Environmental Science

Careers in the public sector

What do ecologists and environmental scientists do in the public sector?

Ecologists and environmental scientists in the public sector shape and protect the natural environment at various scales. They bring their technical and scientific knowledge, analytical skills, and project management experience in-house.

Working as an ecologist or environmental scientist in the public sector could include undertaking surveys and collecting data, carrying out environmental impact assessments, advising on new plans and policies, drafting briefs and tender documents for specialist contractors, and presenting technical information to decision-makers and at inquiries.

For built environment roles in the public sector, ecologists and environmental scientists, therefore, need to be interested in nature, animals and plants, happy to carry out fieldwork outside, able to analyse statistics and ecological data, and able to communicate and present information to different audiences.

What type of job roles might an ecologist or environmental scientist be suitable for in the public sector?

People with a background in ecology or environmental science may be ideal for different public sector built environment roles, including development management - providing technical expertise in pre-apps; landscape or ecology roles - managing the delivery of green programmes or natural habitats; planning policy roles - contributing technical expertise for a local plan; sustainability roles - contributing to climate change policies.

Progression to a more senior role would lead to more responsibility for managerial tasks, budget and people management. In a more senior leadership role, ecologists or environmental scientists may be responsible for overseeing the work of others, and communicating with with contractors and consultants.

Qualifications needed

Ecologists and environmental scientists usually hold a degree in a scientific or ecological subject such as ecology, biological sciences, wildlife conservation or environmental management. Some, but not all working in the public sector may also have a postgraduate qualification. Becoming a member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, which provides access to professional development and networking opportunities, is also a helpful attribute for public sector roles.

Progress your career

Do you have more than 3 years of experience?

Find out more about how our Associate Programme works and how we can help you progress your career into the public sector.

Keep updated

Sign-up to our Mailing List to keep up-to-date and hear the latest news from Public Practice