Working in conservation and environment with a degree (or similar)

All the jobs in this area need a mixture of academic qualifications and experience.

It is essential that as well as your qualifications, you can also offer some relevant skills and experience. You can gain skills and experience through voluntary work or a training placement. These are offered by organisations such as The Conservation Volunteers (TCV).

Example jobs

Ecologist
Studying the relationships between animals, plants, people and their surroundings.

Coastal manager
Managing a team that maintains and protects a coastal area.

Countryside ranger
Responsible for the natural environment and public access and recreation in areas such as national parks and nature conservation sites.

Case study

Don’t underestimate the importance of practical conservation skills such as surveying and identification skills. You may not gain these on a degree course...

Becky May, ecologist, Warwickshire County Council

Approximate pay levels

Figures supplied as a guide only

Pay levels graph

Typical working conditions

  • Jobs will involve a mixture of indoor and outdoor work.
  • Some jobs are office-based, so having IT skills is important.
  • Many jobs involve working directly with the public.

Qualifications needed

You will normally need a degree for jobs at this level. There are several related degree courses available, including ecology, environmental conservation and environmental science. However, graduates with degrees in other subjects can often enter this industry providing they have done some relevant voluntary work or work experience.

Career path

You could progress to senior or management positions such as senior ecologist or director of conservation services. However, senior jobs tend to be more office- or laboratory-based and some people prefer to continue in their jobs working outdoors.

Useful links

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The Conservation Volunteers

The community volunteering charity

Natural England

Helping to protect England’s nature and landscapes for people to enjoy