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

  • $1,541 Weekly Pay
  • 25,900 workers Employment Size
  • Very strong Future Growth
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • Average unemployment Unemployment
  • 81.7% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 38.2 hours Average full-time
  • 40 years Average age
  • 36.5% female Gender Share

The number of Environmental Scientists grew moderately over the past 5 years and is expected to grow very strongly over the next 5 years:
from 25,900 in 2017 to 31,600 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 18,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Size: This is a large occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was average in 2017.
  • Location: Environmental Scientists work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Public Administration and Safety; and Arts and Recreation Services.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (81.7%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 38.2 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 40 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 36.5% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
200715800
200820500
200915600
201020100
201121500
201224200
201318900
201422900
201518500
201621600
201725900
202231600

Weekly Earnings

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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 Services28.8
Public Administration and Safety28.4
Arts and Recreation Services17.9
Mining5.6
Other Industries19.3

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 2017, 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
NSW24.731.6
VIC22.626.2
QLD26.719.7
SA4.86.7
WA13.810.8
TAS2.02.0
NT2.81.1
ACT2.61.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-191.7-5.25.2
20-244.9-9.99.9
25-3427.2-23.623.6
35-4429.4-21.721.7
45-5421.6-20.820.8
55-598.1-8.88.8
60-646.2-6.06.0
65 and Over0.9-4.04.0

Education Level

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation & Land Management and Sustainability VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 19-2041.00 - Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 19-2041.00 - Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health.

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