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field and trees

Discover other sectors

This sector not for you? Don't worry, there are plenty of others to explore.

The environment sector is broad and comprises of a wide range of employers and career opportunities, both outdoors and office-based.

It can include:

  • conservation
  • environmental assessment
  • energy
  • sustainability
  • corporate social responsiblity (CSR)
  • and a range of land-based and animal-related careers

Find out about environment careers

Key resources

Keep up with news and current issues by reading:


Work in the environment sector is likely to require a degree in Life Sciences, Environment or Ecology, possibly with a postgraduate qualification, though other subjects may be acceptable for some roles.

Useful skills include: 

  • Demonstrable interest in environment and sustainability
  • team work
  • communication skills
  • negotiation skills
  • commercial awareness

Look at the IEMA skills map for more suggestions.

Work experience

Getting work experience is important for this sector, to make you stand out as a graduate applicant, and may be gained by volunteering, summer internships or a placement year.

  • Some larger organisations offer vacation internships, but these are likely to be companies in the water, energy, construction, oil, manufacturing, chemical and defence sectors.
  • The Student Internship Bureau (SIB), part of Careers and Placements, works with local organisations to develop paid project based internships, which are advertised on Careers Gateway (in the Exclusive Opportunities @York tab). We receive relatively small numbers of scientific research or lab based projects, but business related projects within organisations can offer useful insights, and all projects will give you experience of project management and a range of other employability skills. 

Finding jobs

A wide range of employers recruit into this sector, including organisations in the private and public sectors, charities and NGOs.

Labour market information (LMI)

See Prospects job profiles for the sector, for suggestions on employers and jobs sites. Use the following list as a starting point for your job search:

General environment/conservation/multiple functions:



Environmental consultancy/resource economics:

UK and European government departments and agencies:

Fisheries and marine:


Renewable energy:

Sustainability and CSR:


Jobs boards and LinkedIn can also be useful in your job search.

The recruitment process

Large graduate recruiters will typically have online application forms, while smaller companies may require a CV. Check closing dates for opportunities and plan accordingly. Allow as much time as possible to make your application. Some graduate vacancies may be advertised up to a year in advance, but other opportunities may be more immediate, with a period of weeks from advert to deadline. Always follow the application method stated in the job advert. See our pages on the recruitment process to help you and find out more about CVs in the CV Guide on the VLE.

What can I do at York?

Make the most of your time at York to build relevant skills and experience, and find out about this sector. You could: