Environmental Scientists study, develop, implement and advise on policies and plans for managing and protecting the environment, flora, fauna and other natural resources.

A Bachelor Degree or higher is usually required. Around three quarters of workers have a university degree. Sometimes relevant experience or on-the-job training is also needed.

Tasks

  • evaluating habitat, wildlife and fisheries needs, and formulating shortand long-term management goals and objectives
  • enforcing laws and regulations to conserve and protect fish and wildlife
  • carrying out environmental impact assessments for a wide range of development projects
  • proposing solutions to address negative environmental impact
  • studying the effects of factors, such as terrain, altitude, climatic and environmental change, sources of nutrition, predators and the impacts of humans, on animal and plant life
  • studying and analysing pollution, atmospheric conditions, demographic characteristics, ecology, mineral, soil and water samples
  • developing conservation and management policies for biological resources, such as fish populations and forests, and establishing standards and developing approaches for the control of pollution and the rehabilitation of areas disturbed by activities such as mining, timber felling and overgrazing
  • implementing policies and organising activities in designated parks and other areas to conserve and protect natural and cultural heritage
  • participating in management planning by providing environmental information and making inventories of plants, animals and items of cultural and heritage significance

Job Titles

  • Conservation Officer
  • Environmental Consultant, Adviser, Auditor or Officer
  • Environmental Research Scientist
  • Park Ranger
  • Other Environmental Scientists
  • Conservation Officer

    Develops and implements programs and regulations for the protection of fish, wildlife and other natural resources.

    Specialisations: Landcare Facilitator

  • Environmental Consultant, Adviser, Auditor or Officer

    Analyses and advises on policies guiding the design, implementation and modification of government or commercial environmental operations and programs.

  • Environmental Research Scientist

    Studies and develops policies and plans for the control of factors which may produce pollution, imbalance in or degradation of the environment.

    Specialisations: Air Pollution Analyst, Ecologist, Land Degradation Analyst, Water Quality Analyst

  • Park Ranger

    Assists in controlling a State or national park, scenic area, historic site, nature reserve, recreation area or conservation reserve in accordance with authorised policies and priorities.

    Specialisations: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land and Sea Ranger

  • Other Environmental Scientists

    Includes Environmental Educator, Soil Scientist

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,541 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    moderate
  • Skill Level

    Bachelor Degree or higher
  • Employment Size

    18,700
  • Unemployment

    below average
  • Male Share

    58.1%
  • Female Share

    41.9%
  • Full-Time Share

    78.7%

Find Vacancies

This is a medium sized occupation employing 18,700 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has stayed about the same.
Moderate growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 5,001 and 10,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Environmental Scientists work in most parts of Australia.
  • They mainly work in: Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Public Administration and Safety; and Arts and Recreation Services.
  • Full-time work is common. Full-time workers, on average, work 38.5 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,541 per week (higher than the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 41 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Around 6 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was below average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200515200
200614200
200718900
200816200
200920300
201019200
201124400
201219500
201321100
201421700
201518700
202019300

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsEnvironmental ScientistsAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings15411230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryEnvironmental ScientistsAll Jobs Average
Full-time78.768.4
Part-time21.331.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)38.540.0

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services30.8
Public Administration and Safety21.7
Arts and Recreation Services18.4
Mining7.6
Other Industries21.5

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateEnvironmental ScientistsAll Jobs Average
NSW25.331.8
VIC19.825.5
QLD22.419.8
SA3.46.8
WA20.011.2
TAS2.12.0
NT3.81.1
ACT3.01.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketEnvironmental ScientistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-191.7-5.45.4
20-246.3-9.99.9
25-3425.4-23.423.4
35-4434.4-21.721.7
45-5423.4-21.121.1
55-594.2-8.78.7
60-641.4-5.95.9
65 and Over3.2-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryEnvironmental ScientistsCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males58.1Males53.6
Females41.9Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

A Bachelor Degree or higher is usually required.
Around three quarters of workers have a university degree. Sometimes relevant experience or on-the-job training is also needed.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Environmental Scientists who can communicate clearly, work well in a team and have strong interpersonal skills.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. English Language

    85% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  2. Mathematics

    77% Important

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  3. Law and Government

    74% Important

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  4. Clerical

    72% Important

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  5. Customer and Personal Service

    70% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

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O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Getting Information

    92% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  2. Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events

    88% Important

    Comparing objects, actions, or events, looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  3. Interacting With Computers

    88% Important

    Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

  4. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    87% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

  5. Checking Compliance with Standards

    86% Important

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Occupational Information Network Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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