There has been an expansion in the number of job opportunities within this field of work as a result of government and international environmental policies and National Lottery funded projects.
Typical responsibilities of the job include:
- informing groups about the natural environment through guided walks, events and talks
- raising awareness of environmental issues
- preparing and distributing publicity materials and displays
- writing plans, reports and press releases
- producing educational resources
- liaising with schools, businesses, LEAs, voluntary/community groups and other local organisations
- organising school visits
- generating income via fundraising activities, submitting funding bids etc
- managing budgets
- allocating funding
- supervising and training staff/volunteers
- analysing data and collating information
- attending conferences.
Working with people is a key feature of the job and includes conservation awareness events such as talks, presentations, workshops and guided walks, helping with volunteer activities and conservation projects.
Employers of environmental education officers include charities, The National Trust, local authorities/LEAs, The Wildlife Trusts, government organisations such as Natural England and conservation groups including The British Trust for Conservation Volunteers and Groundwork UK.
You could take a look at websites such as Environment Jobs and The Wildlife Trusts, as well as the New Scientist publication (or its online equivalent).
To become an environmental health officer you will usually need a relevant degree or HND qualification. You may be able to enter the profession without qualifications, but this is rare.
To become an environmental education officer it is usually necessary to possess at least six months prior relevant work experience (paid or voluntary) and an appropriate degree/HND gained in a subject such as education, community studies, countryside management, agricultural science, horticulture, biology, geography, plant sciences/botany, zoology or environmental sciences. In order to enter the profession without qualifications you would need a great deal of appropriate work experience.
A driving licence, first aid and/or health and safety training can be helpful, as can experience of initiating and managing projects, supervising others and organising guided walks and school groups. You'll also need:
- enthusiasm about environmental issues and conservation
- computer literacy
- the ability to communicate confidently and clearly
- organisational skills.