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What Does an Environmental Consultant Do?

Businessmen discuss green policies in a meeting room

Environmental consultants play an essential role in our modern economy by protecting natural resources for future generations. Their expert knowledge and research can help businesses and government decision-makers understand and reduce growth’s negative impact.

If you’d like to join the ranks of this vital profession, your next question is probably “what does an environmental consultant do exactly?” Let’s start by talking about an average day on the job. We’ll also cover what education environmental consultants have, where they work, and why they’re in demand now more than ever.

What does an environmental consultant do?

An environmental consultant’s goal is to help others make informed decisions about policies or projects that will impact the environment. In short, they gather information, analyze it, and provide their recommendations.

Businesses typically hire an environmental consultant to assess land for pollution or contamination before purchase, ensure they comply with environmental regulations, oversee a remediation (clean-up) project, or develop green policies.

Since the title environmental consultant could be defined differently depending on the employer or industry, let’s look at one of the primary roles you might explore.

Environmental Policy Analyst

  • Research environmental trends, policies, and laws
  • Consult with businesses, governments, and special interest groups
  • Coordinate public reviews and participate in public hearings on major projects
  • Make recommendations that balance environmental conservation with social and economic needs
  • Translate environmental regulations for business clients to understand
  • Develop rules and guidelines for the implementation of environmental laws and policies

A career in environmental consulting can take you in a lot of different directions. Some consultants may move into lobbying for environmental laws or focus on remediation efforts rather than assessments and planning.

Laptop showing environmental impact

Businesses look to environmental consultants to help them make well-informed decisions about how their policies or projects will affect the environment.

Why are environmental consultants so important right now?

There are a few overlapping trends that make environmental consultants a hot commodity in today’s economy. 

According to Environmental Leader, the environmental consulting industry “has benefitted from the rising awareness of environmental concerns and the effects of sustainable environmental planning. Governments across the globe are continuously investing in environmental regulations and policies to be implemented by businesses, industries, and even households.”

As a result, the market is growing steadily. According to new market research, the environmental consulting industry will reach $43.8 billion by 2025, up from $29.7 billion in 2016.

That means a lot of jobs. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), environmental consultants’ employment will grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. BLS attributed the growth to “heightened public interest in the hazards facing the environment, as well as increasing demands placed on the environment by population growth.”

Climate change concept with glass globe set among green backdrop

Public awareness and concern about climate change are crucial drivers in the growing need for qualified environmental consultants.

What education do you need to be an environmental consultant?

A bachelor’s degree is a must for aspiring environmental consultants regardless of their specialty.

If you’d like to be more hands-on, conducting field studies, and analyze scientific data, choose a degree in biology, geology, chemistry, or environmental science. However, don’t overlook the importance of communication and management skills. You’ll need to navigate both worlds. A practical internship is also very appealing to employers. 

For those interested in the industry’s policy side, the Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Policy and Management from Everglades University is an excellent choice. Our curriculum includes a solid foundation in business practices paired with in-depth coursework on environmental policy issues from renewable energy to environmental justice. Students gain broad-based knowledge of several emerging fields of study, including global environmental change, planning, and sustainability. Other benefits of our program include:

Where do environmental consultants work?

Private Employers

Most environmental consultants work for consultancy firms, which are hired by the government and commercial organizations. They often work with companies in the manufacturing and production sector, where environmental management is critical to their operations. You may want to check out the job boards of the big players in the industry:

  • Arcadis N.V.
  • Bechtel Corporation
  • John wood group PLC
  • Golder Associates Ltd.
  • ERM Group, Inc.
  • Tetra Tech, Inc.
  • Santec, Inc.
  • Ramboll Group
  • SLR International

In some cases, smaller firms concentrate their work in particular industries. Others specialize in certain services, such as environmental impact assessment or auditing.

Government Employers

Although your title may not be “environmental consultant,” government agencies perform similar work. These employees are involved in environmental monitoring, sampling, remediation projects, and environmental regulations and standards. Sometimes there are overlapping opportunities between the regulatory agency, client, and consulting firm.  

Hopefully, we’ve answered your question, “what does an environmental consultant do?” and opened your mind to the many possibilities within this growing industry. If you’d like to learn how to be an environmental consultant or get information about our bachelor’s degree in Environmental Policy and Management, we welcome you to contact us today.

How to get started in your career

If you think you are ready to get started toward your dream job as an environmental consultant, here are five easy steps to get you going. Starting a new degree program can feel very overwhelming at first, but it doesn’t have to be. We have trained professionals ready to walk you through and answer any questions you may have for each of these steps. Our top-rated programming is designed for busy professionals too!

Step 1 – Request More Information

If you aren’t sure you are ready for this big next step, then requesting more information is the perfect place to start. Simply fill out this online form, and we will call you and send you more details via email or regular mail.

Step 2 – Set Up a Call with an Admissions Counselor

Most likely, you’ve thought about this new career for a while, and you’re ready to take the next step. Our admissions counselors are prepared to talk with you about anything related to enrolling in college. We have trained staff prepared to walk you through the process or simply answer your questions about transferring credits. Call us directly at (888) 854-8308

Step 3 – Apply to Everglades University

We have made the process as easy as possible. The step-by-step online application is easy, and you can fill it in from the comfort of your own home at any hour of day or night. After setting up an account, you can go through the application all at once or work on it bit by bit until it is complete. If you need assistance, we are only a phone call away and will walk you through the process.

Step 4 – Financial Aid

Financial aid is available to both online and on-campus students to those who qualify. This includes; grants, loans, and scholarships available. We encourage all applicants to visit our scholarships, grants, and financial aid area to see if we can help.

Step 5 – Enroll in Classes

Everglades University offers a hassle-free approach to scheduling, where students don’t have to worry about standing in lines to register for classes. We automatically register students for their classes to ensure they get the right courses and always have a course available to them. This automatic scheduling ensures that our students graduate in the shortest amount of time.

Ready to start your journey towards a successful career in environmental policy and management? Contact us today to get started!