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

    You usually need a formal qualification in a relevant field to work as an Environmental Scientist. Many Environmental Scientists complete postgraduate studies.

    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

    All Environmental Scientists

    • $1,779 Weekly Pay
    • Strong Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment
    • 25,300 workers Employment Size
    • Very high skill Skill level rating
    • 76% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 43 hours Average full-time
    • 39 years Average age
    • 41% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Environmental Scientists (in their main job) grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow strongly over the next 5 years:
    from 25,300 in 2018 to 28,100 by 2023.
    Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
    There are likely to be around 14,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 2,800 a year).

    • Size: This is a large occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.
    • Location: Environmental Scientists work in many parts of Australia. Western Australia has a large share of workers.
    • Industries: Most work in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Public Administration and Safety; and Arts and Recreation Services.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,779 per week (higher than the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Many work full-time (76%, higher than the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 43 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 39 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 41% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
    YearNumber of Workers
    200820500
    200915600
    201020100
    201121500
    201224200
    201319700
    201422800
    201518700
    201621700
    201720800
    201825300
    202328100

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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 Earnings17791460

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Professional, Scientific and Technical Services30.1
    Public Administration and Safety29.3
    Arts and Recreation Services11.3
    Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services5.6
    Other Industries23.7

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StateEnvironmental ScientistsAll Jobs Average
    NSW27.531.6
    VIC17.925.6
    QLD22.920.0
    SA6.07.0
    WA16.910.8
    TAS2.72.0
    NT3.91.0
    ACT2.11.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketEnvironmental ScientistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.8-5.05.0
    20-244.9-9.39.3
    25-3428.5-22.922.9
    35-4432.3-22.022.0
    45-5419.6-21.621.6
    55-597.2-9.09.0
    60-644.3-6.06.0
    65 and Over2.6-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationEnvironmental ScientistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate27.7-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree48.4-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma7.6-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV7.3-21.121.1
    Year 124.6-18.118.1
    Year 111.2-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below3.2-12.512.5

    You usually need a formal qualification in a relevant field to work as an Environmental Scientist. Many Environmental Scientists complete postgraduate studies.

    Membership with the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand or the Australian Ranger Federation may be useful.

    Thinking about study or training?

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

    • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
    • 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.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    Useful links and resources


    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.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. English language

      69% Skill level

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

    2. Mathematics

      67% Skill level

      Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

    3. Clerical

      66% Skill level

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

    4. Customer and personal service

      62% Skill level

      Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    5. Biology

      59% Skill level

      Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and 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.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Electronic mail

      100% Important

      Use electronic mail.

    2. Telephone

      98% Important

      Talk on the telephone.

    3. Face-to-face discussions

      96% Important

      Talk with people face-to-face.

    4. Unstructured work

      90% Important

      Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

    5. Freedom to make decisions

      89% Important

      Have freedom to make decision on your own.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and 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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