Career Guide

Environmental Manager

Ben Maples  · Dec 5th 2023

Working in the world of business means that you will have a number of concerns at various points and one of the many concerns that will rear its ugly head is that of the environment and every single company will want to make sure that you comply with all o

Grass with rain and sleek glistening on the blades of grass.

That is where an Environmental Manager manager comes in.

But how do you become an Environmental Manager? Well, we’ve compiled a useful career guide to help you out, so let’s dive in!


So what is an Environmental Manager and what do they do? Well, as the name suggests, an Environmental Manager is someone who is responsible for the environmental procedures carried out by the company. As an Environmental Manager, it is your job to oversee the environmental procedures of various companies in a sector of you are working for a local authority or just for your company if you are working for a large business.

You will need to be aware of various different environmental rules and legislations that are in place, such as making sure that your business or any businesses that you oversee are WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive) compliant.

Qualifications needed:

To become an Environmental Manager you do not necessarily require a degree. Whilst having a degree certainly helps you and will certainly push you right to the very front of the queue. This job is possible with a Foundation degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), however, any qualifications below that may make it difficult if you don’t have any relevant experience (in fact, you can search UK courses here and search Enviornmental Sciences courses here).

The best subjects to have a qualification in, to become an Environmental Manager are:

These subjects will give you the biggest chance of getting a job as an Environmental Manager. The degrees listed above can be studied as a joint degree, if there is a combination of two degrees you enjoy. With these degrees you will gain an understanding of a number of different areas and you will also see what needs to be done with regards to the disposal of certain waste products if indeed there are any that your company produces (and you can search Enviornmental Sciences courses here).

Environmental Manager Skills needed:

There are quite a few skills that are required when becoming an Environmental Manager. The job itself is designed to make you aware of the various environmental issues that can be affecting a number of businesses.

With this job, means that there will be a number of skills that you will need to get ahead in the role and while these may seem a little bit like overkill, these skills are incredibly important to becoming an Environmental Manager.

The most common skills associated with being an Environmental Manager are:

  • An understanding of various environmental causes
  • Good negotiation tactics
  • Excellent leadership skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Good management skills
  • Brilliant organisational skills
  • Excellent commercial awareness
  • Good media understanding

These skills will help you out an awful lot. A good media understanding, in particular, can stand you in very good stead as the publicity that you can get from not correctly dealing with white goods etc in an environmentally safe manner will mean that you will potentially receive some negative press attention, so it’s in your best interest to deal with these in a safe and secure manner.

Environmental Manager Responsibilities:

There are a number of responsibilities that come with being an Environmental Manager. Many of the responsibilities that come with it are generally considered to be a little bit out of your work remit, however, since the role of an Environmental Manager can often fall under the title of Sustainability Manager, then there are a number of different roles you may have to undertake.

The most common responsibilities for an Environmental Manager are:

  • Developing and implementing environmental strategies
  • Completing detailed reports
  • Ensuring that there is an environmental action plan in place for the company
  • Making sure that all WEEE directives and the like have been adhered to
  • Making sure that the various governing bodies’ rules and regulations are adhered to as well as company procedures
  • Carry out a number of risk assessments
  • Carry out company-wide audits
  • Raise awareness of environmental issues at a company level
  • Manage a number of issues that may arise from environmental rulings
  • Train staff members
  • Negotiate agreements
  • Set targets
  • Work in groups

These responsibilities will come as a shock as there are a number of different areas that you need to focus on that may seem outside the remit of environment, however, these skills are of the utmost importance and with these responsibilities, you won’t just be doing the same repetitive job over and over again.

These responsibilities are often thrown together because the work itself is often dovetailed between two roles and if you work for a smaller company, then you may have to take on multiple roles.

Environmental Manager Salary expectations:

The salary for an Environmental Manager isn’t anything bad, but it’s not as lucrative as other jobs either.

The starting salary for an Environmental Manager is around the £18,000 to £30,000 range, which is a very respectable range to have for an opening wage, although this does mean your student loan repayments will begin, so understanding student tax at this point is essential.

However, the role does not really have much room for wage rises and the highest average wage that it can reach is around the £35,000 to £40,000 range. That isn’t to say that some companies may improve your wage slightly, but the glass ceiling is essentially hit by that point unless your company decides to keep going with your wage increases.

Environmental Manager Working hours:

Working hours will generally be around the 09:00am to 17:00pm hours. These hours are general office hours.

Some companies may ask you to work the odd weekend or public holiday, and if you have an audit coming up, then you may have to work on the weekend or public holiday as this will be when employees won’t be in the office and you’ll be able to do the job unperturbed.

Environmental Manager Work experience:

You can get work experience as an Environmental Manager at a pre-university level if you need to, however, some companies will give you a slightly less-pivotal role when working at a company, which could be very important for you (Learn more – GCSE work experience).

Working at university, you may be able to take on an Environmental Manager role on a part-time basis, which may land you a full-time position when you have finally finished your degree (Learn more – How to manage working and studying). However, you may not have all of the senior roles and many companies may not have a very specific need for an Environmental Manager straight-away, so it’s best to get some voluntary work at a local authority under your belt in this time instead. You may have opportunities to enrol onto a work placement during your degree, which is why it’s important when choosing a degree course, as there are many benefits from a work placement.

Environmental Management Main employers:

There are a number of places that you can work as an Environmental Manager. Most small businesses probably aren’t looking for an Environmental Manager, as the role itself is really only suited for large companies, rather than smaller companies.

A lot of government departments are always looking for someone to carry out their environmental procedure. Many companies are looking for a good person who can keep the departments in check when it comes to environmental procedures, but since the local government is often responsible for the implementation of environmental procedures, then it stands to reason that a lot of local governments will be looking for an Environmental Manager too.

You can get some voluntary work which may help your case when it comes to having to apply for paid for work, you can get some work experience at voluntary level at companies such as :

  • Greenpeace
  • The Conservative Volunteers (TCV)

These companies specialise in voluntary work and it could certainly help your application when it comes to application.

There are a few companies, job boards or agencies that specialise in the placing of environmental specialists, which is likely to encompass Environmental Manager roles as well, so you can see vacancies at companies such as:

  • Earthworks Jobs
  • The Environment Post
  • The Environmentalist Jobs

Most environmental-related opportunities are advertised there and you will be able to see how many roles you are qualified for and you will be working with people who are better placed to get you a position at a company doing a job related to your passion!

Environmental Manager Career Prospects:

There are some good career prospects for an Environmental Manager, mainly because the role itself does not necessarily restrict itself to that role itself, you may take on multiple other roles as a result and have the Environmental Manager job as a matter of additional roles to undertake.

In fact, many Environmental Managers have been known to work as the Sustainability Manager (See above) and have also dovetailed the job with other roles that they have at the company, for instance, it can often fall under the remit of an HR Manager or the Accounts team, if they are suitably light on the ground.

The job is also a good entry-level job to a company and is a good way to get a foot in the door, so to speak, at a company and will allow you to learn more and more about the company and will mean that you can even rise higher in the company.

Many companies have Environmental Managers in senior roles, especially if it is a large company and if that company has to comply with various rules and regulations. For instance, a number of asset disposal companies need to be compliant with the environmental policies that govern their work, so they will need an Environmental Manager, and maybe even an Environmental Director!

The job itself may seem a little dull on its own, but the responsibility that comes with the job and the fact that the job can be done in conjunction with other roles in a company means that you can make the job into a more exciting role than you initially thought good luck!

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