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Independent resettlement & recruitment guide for serving Armed Forces & Veterans




13 Sep, 2022

Growing public awareness of environmental issues, and the responsibility we have to control our future and slow down the progression of climate change, means more people are looking for a career in a sustainable role …

… however, finding a job like this, which is within the area you are interested in, is not easy. Workers before us are likely to have taken a job without considering either ethics or their personal opinions, but the times are changing.

What is the situation for people leaving the Armed Forces?

Perhaps they want to go into higher education, or maybe they want to look for another job immediately. With more people choosing degrees based on sustainability and environmental welfare, is this a sign that there are now increased opportunities in more sustainable job roles?

What opportunities are out there?

When researching jobs in sustainability, you will realise there are more available than you may have thought. Check out job search site, for instance, to get an idea just how many, permanent, full-time and part-time.

What kinds of jobs are there in sustainability?

Depending on the career path you have set your mind on, finding the ideal job might not be that easy. Luckily, there are many different roles for you to consider. One possible career is in sustainability consultancy. Such consultants take responsibility for devising plans and strategies for companies to use, to help them improve how sustainable and environmentally efficient they are, augmenting the social responsibility businesses have in terms of their everyday practices and operations, including such areas as hazardous waste collection

If you want to have a bigger impact on our climate, you could get a job as a climate change analyst. At a glance, this analyst’s main work involves researching and analysing developments being put in place to help tackle climate change. The ultimate objective of the job is to suggest policies and practices that should be legislated to help prevent climate change, and create campaigns to promote these ideas to wider society. 

Environmental specialists also have a responsibility to protect the climate but in a different way. Their main job role is to conduct research into the different types of pollutants or hazards that are negatively impacting our planet, and to develop strategies to help eliminate them. 

Common jobs you may already know about also protect the environment but indirectly – a career in graphic design for example. This involves designing and creating elements such as packaging, promotional materials, displays or even logos. Although it might not immediately seem like a sustainable job, graphic design plays a central role in creating innovative business materials and techniques that are environmentally friendly and sustainable to maintain without harming the environment.

As more people become concerned about the impact they are having on the environment and the state of the planet they are going to leave behind, businesses need to make more of an impact in terms of their sustainability. The need for sustainable job roles to be fulfilled is thus becoming increasingly important.

Sustainability-related apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are a great way to get into the world of work while still learning and getting an official qualification at the end, helping you progress further in your chosen career. Although not a common industry in which to look for an apprenticeship, they are becoming increasingly popular within sustainable job roles.

Since 2019 there has been a level 6 Environmental Practitioner degree apprenticeship course available to the public. This was the first degree apprenticeship in the environmental sector to take off. The aim of this apprenticeship was to help broaden the knowledge, skills and capabilities of those wanting to pursue a career in the environmental sector by teaching the environmental principles and techniques of different systems.

There are other apprenticeships and trainee schemes available, depending on your interests, including level 5 construction management in sustainability, trainee environmental practitioner degrees, and health, safety and sustainability apprentice programmes.

Whatever career path you decide to follow, an apprenticeship can be a great way to get into the sustainable jobs sector. Take a look at the website of the Society for the Environment to find out about some of the related apprenticeships available in this sector, or check out the relevant pages of Alternatively, use your favourite search engine to browse for more.

Use your ELC

Under the ELC scheme, a wide range of learning can be taken, provided it is offered by an approved provider listed on the ELC website and is at level 3 or above. For full details of how to make the most of your ELC, refer to the in-depth features elsewhere on this website.

What’s the money like? 

Aside from the fact that you may be motivated by personal beliefs and interests to pursue a career in sustainability, ensuring you are earning a sufficient amount to live is also a priority. We again scoured Indeed and discovered the average salary in 2020 for working within this industry is £40,323.

Further research revealed that those starting out on their careers in a job such as sustainability consultancy can command a starting salary of around £25,000 per year, increasing to around £60,000 for senior consultants. As for climate change analysts, the average salary in the UK is £36,000, potentially increasing to £60,000. 

Finding a job

If you are seeking to turn your concern for the environment into a full-time career, there are many jobs out there that will help you do just that. Time to start looking for your next job in the sustainability sector …