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Career Options: Environmental Science

Career Development Service



Environmental Scientists study, develop, implement and advise on policies and plans for managing and protecting the environment, flora, fauna and other natural resources. Environmental Scientists are employed in national parks and protected area management, environmental protection, environmental impact assessment and monitoring, environmental education and interpretation, sustainable forestry, fisheries management, aquaculture, ecotourism, and land/river/coast care programs; and in the private sector and all tiers of government.

Employment prospects and starting salaries

Weekly average earnings in 2014

Weekly avergage earnings for Environmental Science graduates in 2014

Image source: U & Your Future SCU.

Job openings in 2014

Job openings in 2014 for Environmental Science graduates

Image source: U & Your Future SCU.

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Where do SCU Environmental Science graduates go?

Below is a sample of recent employers and position titles for our Environmental Science graduates. Note that employers and positions are sorted in alphabetical order below - they are not matched lists.

Sample of employers Sample of position titles
ABR Process DevelopmentAssistant Director
AECOMAssistant Environmental Officer
Ballina Fishermen's CooperativeCoal Technician
Balnarring Foreshore and Parks Reserve Committee Of ManagementCommunity Support Officer
Barwon Water AuthorityCo-Ordinator Joint Venture
Blomfield EnvironmentalEcologist
Carbon Based Environmental Ecotechnologist
Coffs Harbour Regional LandscapeEnvironmental Chemist
Commonwealth Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and CommunitiesEnvironmental Scientist
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research OrganisationEnvironmental Officer
Cruise WhitsundaysGraduate Ecologist
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and ForestryGraduate Environmental Health Officer
Department of Environment and Heritage ProtectionHarvesting Forester
Ecological AustraliaHorticulturalist
EcosureLaboratory Assistant
EcoteamMaintenance Worker
EnviroagMarine Biologist
Enviropacific ServicesMarine Mammal Trainer
Forestry SAPlanning Forester
FSAPlanning Officer
Gilbert and Sutherland Pty LtdProject Engineer
Great Lakes CouncilRanger/Manager
Gunns Forest ProductsResearch Assistant
Hostel Reef Trips - Reef ExperienceResearch Officer
HQ PlantationsResearch Projects Officer
James Cook UniversityResource Forester
JHA RecruitmentSafari Tour Guide
Maitland City CouncilScientific Technical Officer
MGT LabmarkTechnical Officer
New Ground EnvironmentalVisual Environment Administrator
Pet Porpoise Pool Pty Ltd
Plantmark Pty Ltd
Polymetals Mining Limited
Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
SGS Australia - Brisbane
South Australian Forestry Corporation
Southern Cross University
URS Corporation

Graduate and vacation programs

Graduate programs are formal programs, usually offered by government departments and large companies. They are designed to attract new graduates and feature structured on-the-job training and development. Graduate programs often close applications 12 months prior to the job starting. This means you may need to apply for these roles as early as February/March in your final year of study.

Vacation programs are usually paid, short-term contracts of 6-8 weeks. They are typically offered to students in their penultimate year of study. Peak advertising times are July and August of each year and most vacation programs take place in the summer vacation period (December-February). Undertaking a vacation program may improve your chances of being short-listed for graduate programs or roles.

Bookmark the following sites for centralised listings of vacation, internship and graduate programs.

Also monitor relevant company websites for additional information and opportunities.

You can connect with other students and search for questions and answers on a number of graduate programs at the Graduate Programs Whirlpool Forums.

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Targeting potential employers

General and specialist job search websites are listed below. These can be used to source currently advertised roles and can also be used to create your personal database of potential employers and job titles. Being a proactive jobseeker and creating a living database early on in your studies can help you to research potential opportunities and learn more about your preferred industries.

For more job search help, make sure you access the Graduate Careers and Internship Preparation resources on Blackboard in the online Career Development Program (in MySCU select the 'MyCareer' link).

Reviewing company websites is the key to ensuring a good 'job fit' for you and the potential employer. It can help you identify links between your strengths and qualities (skills, experience, interests and qualifications) and an employer's needs, which will increase your chances of success in the recruitment process.

It is estimated the majority of jobs (approximately 80 per cent) are filled through word-of-mouth or networking, known as the 'hidden job market'. Developing your personal and professional networks (professional associations and university memberships, social networking, attending workshops and conferences and undertaking extracurricular activities) are all valuable ways to tap into hidden job opportunities.

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LinkedIn is the largest online professional network with more than 313 million members in over 200 countries and territories; 6 million of those in Australia.

With 60% of LinkedIn revenue coming from talent solutions (recruitment), building your presence and becoming active on LinkedIn can increase the number of job opportunities available to you.

LinkedIn has fast become an effective tool for students and graduates to:

  • Present a professional online image
  • Showcase their skills, qualifications, qualities and achievements
  • Build their network of connections
  • Research potential career paths
  • Follow and engage with targeted companies
  • Connect with fellow professionals in industry and specific interest groups
  • Source national and international job vacancies
  • Be headhunted by recruiters searching for new talent

Find out how to get started and make the use of LinkedIn at LinkedIn Student Jobs 101.

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Specialist job vacancy websites

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General job vacancy websites

Career Development Service
Don't forget to visit SCU's CareerHub for job vacancies, events and resources. Use your MySCU details to login.

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International job vacancy websites

Country Website
Worldwide (and Australia) Australian Volunteers International
Worldwide Career Jet (use keyword: graduate)
Worldwide Going Global
WorldwideUnited Nations Careers
Worldwide The World Bank
Europe European Union job opportunities for graduates
Europe Eurograduate Live
Hong KongJobStreet Hong Kong
India FreshersHome
Indonesia JobStreet Campus Indonesia
Ireland GradIreland
Malaysia Graduan
Malaysia JobStreet Campus Malaysia
Philippines JobStreet Campus Philippines
Singapore JobStreet Campus Singapore
United Kingdom All About Law
United Kingdom Prospects UK
United Kingdom TARGETjobs
United States Quintessential Careers

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Professional associations

If you are interested in furthering your career, joining a professional association is a good start. There are associations for nearly every profession or area of interest and many have national, state and regional chapters you can join. Students are often eligible for significant membership discounts. Some benefits of joining an association include:

  • Updated information on industry-relevant trends and developments
  • Access to a range of resources, including publications, newsletters, webinars, conferences and training opportunities
  • Enhancing your network

So, whether you are looking to learn about career opportunities in your field, network in your professional community, access current events in your industry sector, or just have some fun while meeting new people, joining a professional association is a step in the right direction!

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