Environmental consultant: Job description and activities

Monday, May 3, 2010

Environmental consultant: Job description and activities
1. Job description
2. Typical work activities
Job description
An environmental consultant works on commercial contracts to address a variety of environmental issues for their clients. They cover a wide range of disciplines such as assessment of air, land and water contamination, environmental impact assessment, environmental audit, waste management, development of environmental policy and development of environmental management systems.
The sector continues to expand in response to a mix of regulation, corporate risk and reputation management. Consultants operate in a very commercial environment and senior staff may be required to help attract future clients for the business.
According to the 2008 Environmental Data Services (ENDS) survey of environmental professionals, the majority continue to be employed in the consultancy sector.
A career as an environmental consultant offers the opportunity to work on a variety of different disciplines, with the potential to specialise.
Typical work activities
As there is such a variety in the type of work that an environmental consultant may undertake on a day-to-day basis there is clearly a wide range of typical activities. A key task is to identify whether land, air or water is contaminated by means of desk-based research and field work, and then undertake an assessment to identify if that contaminant source can have an adverse impact on a receptor (such as humans or groundwater, for example).
Typical work activities include:
 Conducting field surveys: collecting data to establish a baseline condition for levels of pollution or contamination for a site or area of consideration.
 Data interpretation: this can include detailed assessment of data, often using software modelling packages, to identify whether 'contamination' exists in accordance with legislative drivers.
 Development of conceptual models: this involves identification and consideration of the potential contaminant sources, critical pathways and receptors that could potentially have an adverse impact on the immediate and wider environment.
 Report writing: completion of detailed scientific reporting, written in a manner that can be understood by non-technical people.
 Dialogue with clients, regulators and sub-contractors e.g. analytical laboratories.
 Due diligence: carrying out desk-based research to review previous investigations of a site that a client wants to purchase, and possibly undertaking field work, to identify previous activities on the site and any contamination.


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Simon Adair said...

Man, being an environmental consultant seems like it would be an awesome job!

Paul Santiago said...

Thank you very much for this. I have been looking for a good job description on environmental consultants for some time now. Great description.

Joseph Chekov said...

Thanks for sharing about environmental consultants. I didn't really know anything about them.

Clarissa Jenkins said...

I have talked to a few environmental consultants and after talking to them, I have realized that I might be interested in that job. Does anyone know a good school to go to if you want to become an environmental consultant?

Jak Manson said...

My friend is an environmental consultant and he talks to me all the time about his job. He tells me how great it is and how he makes a difference. I am very proud of him everyone else doing this job.

Strake Davis said...

I have seen how the environmental consultants work, and I must say, they are incredible. Thanks for sharing this article, I like to see all this information in different forms.

Avi Bill said...

I have been wanting to learn more about what environmental consultants do and how they can help me out. This post had been very helpful to me. Thank you!

Mike Ross said...

Thanks for this. I had no idea that being an environmental consultant required so much of you.

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Jason Strong said...

It's comforting to know that there safety consulting professionals to help make the work place safer to work at. Accidents happen every day, and it's important to find where safety hazards could be before they cause trouble. I'm grateful for these people and the service the perform for our society.


Jim Stout said...

Doing safety consulting for a living seems like it would be a really good deal to me. I know that those who have Master's degrees tend to make better money with it though. It is good to know that the people who do this really are quite capable.


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Having a environmental consultant really brings value to a company. Knowing that the company cares about safety. It's always a good idea to have a environmental consultant not only to ensure safety but even for land surveying like the article mentioned.

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Dean Reese said...

I had no idea that an environmental consultant covers the assessment of air. My sister is looking into doing this as her career and I think she would be really good at it. She has always been really concerned about the environment and I think having it as her profession would be a great thing for her. I'm excited to see where she goes! http://www.robsonenviro.com.au

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Andersen Miller said...

The job of environmental consulting firm is really important to the society; they offer a range of services towards assessment of business or industrial sites from an environmental viewpoint.

The assistance that these environmental consulting firm provides centers on the examination of possible development sites and remediation of sites which are determined of having contamination issues which usually needs to have environmental services and remediation.


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