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Environmental Policy and Environmental Planning Careers Overview

Most careers in environmental policy and environmental planning involve spending a lot of time in an office environment reading, researching, planning, and collaborating with co-workers. However, some environmental planning jobs involve the oversight or implementation of building programs, meaning that you may have to spend some of your time outdoors possibly in adverse weather conditions.

Typically careers in environmental policy and environmental planning require a Masters degree, though there are certainly some exceptions to this generalization. Some of the top employers of those specializing in environmental policy and environmental planning are various government agencies.

Some nonprofits corporations and politicians may also require the services of environmental policy and environmental planning It is important to note that critical thinking, computer skills, and communication skills are fine traits to possess if you’re looking for a career in Environmental Policy and Environmental Planning.

Environmental Planning and Policy Job Description

The job outlook for Environmental Policy and Environmental Planning careers is fantastic. Both fields are projected to grow faster than average, largely due to the astronomical population growth, worsening environmental conditions, the rapid development of sustainable technologies, and the constant reconsideration of environmental policies.

Steering public opinion on various green issues is those professionals involved in environmental policy and planning initiatives. While environmental jobs span a number of industries environmental policy and planning professionals should be familiar with the following tasks:

  • Evaluate land use issues
  • Remain compliant with applicable zoning and engineering plans
  • Organize correspondence, reports, data and other project information
  • Research local, state and federal environmental policies
  • Analyze remediation strategies
  • Proactively maintain client and stakeholder relationships
  • Show innovation in strategy across various projects
  • Work well in an interdisciplinary environment with other technicians, scientists, and engineers
  • Create and maintain technical documentation
  • Collect and analyze data
  • Maintain records and databases to support standard project operations
  • Provide technical feedback on environmental policy
  • Maintain aspects of operating budgets

Senior environmental policy and planning personnel are often promoted on the strength of their strategic leadership. Each leadership position is unique, however, most have the same overarching traits:

Planning Careers - Environmental Policy and Environmental Planning Careers Overview
  • Craft management policies
  • Strategize the best use of engineering and human resources as well as asset management
  • Manage local environmental conservation projects where applicable
  • Solicit grant funding
  • Oversee consultant contracts with local and state agencies
  • Coordinate and serve on teams for resource conservation
  • Take interest in energy issues at all levels
  • Oversee the activities of hourly and seasonal team members
  • Develop short and long-range plans for energy scoring and reduction
  • Lead interdisciplinary teams and task forces for projects
  • Commit to best practices in work and research
  • Create a positive work environment, creating leadership opportunities by positive modelling of these traits.

There are many different career options in the Environmental Policy and Planning field. Though most involve a large amount of office work, each career focuses on different aspects of the policy-making and planning processes.

Culled from Environmental Science Website | Environmental Policy & Planning Careers

What are the Roles and Objectives of Urban and Regional Planners

Urban and regional planning is the art and science of ordering and managing land uses based on the detailed understanding and analysis of societal needs, goals and objectives within the social, economic and physical environmental framework.

It is a professional discipline that is concerned with the formulation, design, implementation and monitoring of land use. It is a broad-based discipline requiring a multi-disciplinary approach and knowledge.

It requires comprehensive education and training in the planning, design and management of the total environment from both the theoretical and practical perspectives.

The purpose of an urban and regional planner is to protect and improve the commonwealth of a particular location. The inevitable result of the best efforts of urban planners is a city that promotes the well being of its citizens, reinforces democratic institutions and permits purposeful satisfying lifestyles.

Urban and regional planning in broad terms can be described as the process by which communities attempt to control and/or design change and development in their physical environments. It is also the process by which communities attempt to control and/or design change and development in their physical environments. It has been practised under many names:

  • Town planning
  • City planning
  • Community planning
  • Land use planning and
  • Physical environment planning.

What are the Roles of an Urban Planner

The roles of urban and regional planners can vary somewhat, but the overall goal is to help develop cities into functional, thriving communities that can accommodate the population and offer a pleasant place to live and work. Sounds easy, right? But urban planning requires more than just deciding which new stores should come to town or how land should be used.

The job takes a strong knowledge of regulations and codes to make sure everything’s legal. The main duties of urban planner centred around how land is used in a particular city, county or region.

The goal is to improve the community as a whole with consideration to things such as the environmental impact, economic development and social issues. Some urban planners work in a general planning role while others specialize in certain issues, such as historic preservation or transportation planning.

What does an urban planner do?

Duties of an urban planner can vary, but often, it includes gathering and analyzing data, looking at site plans from developers, figuring out changes that need to be made to proposals and going into the field to look at factors that affect development. It’s important to understand all of the regulations and codes regarding building and environmental protection.

Urban planner work covers a variety of projects and goals. You might be involved in developing new parks and recreation areas or making the city look more attractive. You might find yourself figuring out how to provide shelter for the homeless population in your city.

If you work in a historic city, you might work to revitalize the area while maintaining the historical integrity. In an urban area that’s growing faster than expected, you may focus on how to accommodate that growth.

A typical urban planner work schedule takes place during normal business hours. There may be some exceptions to accommodate evening or weekend meetings and presentations.

Larger cities are more likely to hire urban planners than smaller towns, so you may need to relocate to a metropolitan area to find a job. While a lot of work is done in the office, you’ll also spend time out of the office inspecting sites and meeting with stakeholders.

Looking at the job growth potential helps you decide if a career path will give you plenty of opportunities. The growth for urban planners is expected to be faster than the average growth of careers in general with a 13% increase from 2016 to 2026. Cities always face growth and change issues that demand urban planners.

Even though the job prospects are good, you may face some competition for jobs. Since urban planners often work for governments, the budget can fluctuate, affecting the need for planners. If funds aren’t available, urban planner positions can’t grow. Learn more https://work.chron.com/role-urban-planners-11562.html

Objective of Urban and Regional Planning

nature plan - What are the Roles and Objectives of Urban and Regional Planners
Image by Johannes Plenio from Pixabay

The objectives of urban and regional are to protect the environment, improve public health and safety, and increase the wealth of choices available to each and every citizen.

The object of urban planning is also the “physical environment,” which is taken to mean land and all its uses, along with everything that has tangible existence on or beneath the land surface. Planning also includes the manner and style by which buildings are laid out in a city and the design of public places.

Philosophy of Urban and Regional Planning for Academic Purpose

Developing students to understand urban and regional planning through the study of theories and methods for planning, designing and managing land-use activities and the environment;

Assisting students to acquire an understanding of the development of the social, economic, technological and legislative framework of society within the existing physical, social and economic planning processes, and the potential capacities of that framework for more coherent and relevant collaborative policy formulation and implementation.

Providing students with varied practical experience of realistic planning problems, and to encourage the students to develop interest in particular planning skills and research methods. Variety of issues fall within the scope of urban and regional planning, depending partly on the geographical scale of the planning area.

Regional planners will be concerned with such matters as the protection of farmland or other valued resource sites (eg, forests, mineral deposits, seashores, lakeshores); the preservation of unique natural or historical features; the locations of highways and other transport facilities, such as PIPELINES or airports.

And the growth prospects of communities located throughout the region. If the region is organized around a large city, the planners must also take account of the problems caused by the city’s expansion, and its impact upon the surrounding countryside and nearby towns.

For cities and towns, planning issues are of 2 general kinds

First, there is a need to think ahead to accommodate the city’s growth – deciding which lands should be built on and when, and whether they should be used for residential development, for industry or for some more specialized function, such as a shopping centre or playing fields. Eventually, more detailed plans will also be required to determine the layout of every piece of land.

hintersee - What are the Roles and Objectives of Urban and Regional Planners
Image by Johannes Plenio from Pixabay

The street network has to be designed; sites have to be reserved for schools and parks, shops, public buildings and religious institutions; provision has to be made for transit services and utilities; and development standards have to be set and design ideas have to be tested to ensure that the desired environmental quality is achieved.

The second group of issues concerns those parts of the community that are already developed. Planners will distinguish between areas where change is not desired and those where change is either unavoidable or judged to be needed. In the former case, the concern is for maintaining the built environment at its existing quality, regardless of pressures for change.

This applies particularly to inner-city neighbourhoods which face pressures for apartment redevelopment or for streets to be widened to permit through traffic. In the latter case, the problem is to facilitate the changes that are considered most desirable.

In one situation this may mean that a deteriorating area has to be upgraded; in another, it may mean that buildings have to be demolished to allow their sites to be used in a new and different way.

Urban environments continue to change. As cities age, it becomes more difficult and more expensive to maintain environmental quality. People’s needs and desires change as well, and the built environment must be constantly adapted. Special restoration or revitalization programs may be undertaken to try to draw business back to declining shopping districts and stimulate the local economy.

Culled from The Canadian Encyclopedia | Urban and Regional Planning

Town Planner Typical Work Activities and Qualifications with Experience

Planning is a broad area of work that requires many different skills. Some town planners specialise in a particular area of work, such as protecting the historical environment or urban design, while others work across a variety of areas. A town planner make decisions about the management and development of cities, towns, villages and the countryside. Town planner aims to balance the conflicting demands of

  • Housing
  • Industrial development
  • Agriculture,
  • Recreation
  • Transport and the environment
  • In order to allow appropriate development to take place.

Town planners are at the heart of regeneration, taking into account the conflicting views of business and local communities in towns and cities. In rural areas, town planner ensure that development is sustainable and that the countryside is preserved alongside development. The work of town planner also makes a positive contribution to tackling the effects of climate change.

Town Planner Typical Work Activities

  • Developing creative and original planning solutions to specifications;
  • Consulting with stakeholders and negotiating with developers and professionals such as surveyors and architects;
  • Assessing planning applications and enforcing and monitoring outcomes;
  • Researching and designing planning policies to guide development;
  • Researching and analysing data about strategic developments, such as increases in affordable housing provision;
  • Designing layouts and drafting design statements;
  • Using information technology systems such as CAD (computer-aided design) or GIS (geographical information systems);
  • Attending and presenting at planning boards and public inquiries;
  • Keeping up to date with legislation associated with land use;
  • Promoting environmental education and awareness;
  • Helping disadvantaged groups express their opinions about planning issues and proposals, and visiting sites to assess the effects of
    proposals on people or the environment;
  • Scheduling available resources to meet planning targets;
  • Writing reports, often of a complex nature, which make recommendations or explain detailed regulations – these reports may be for a range of groups, from borough councils to regional assemblies, or members of the public.

Town planners specialise further into several areas

town - Town Planner Typical Work Activities and Qualifications with Experience

Town planner can become chartered town planners by completing relevant degrees and qualifications. This qualification gives you professional recognition in

  • Transport planning
  • Urban design
  • Environmental planning
  • Development management
  • Regeneration
  • Heritage and conservation

Town Planner Qualifications and Work Experience

A career as a town planner is likely to need further qualifications on top of your undergraduate degree and relevant work experience. To become a chartered town planner (which is advisable) you will need to have completed a Royal Town Planning Institute accredited degree.

If your degree is not covered by this it is still possible to qualify for chartered status by completing an accredited postgraduate degree. Having a first degree in geography is usually considered relevant for continuing to these postgraduate qualifications.

Work Experience

A pre-entry experience is desirable for town planners. Relevant experience could include vacation work in the planning department of a local authority or with a consultancy, work shadowing a planner, experience of dealing with the public or administrative experience, especially in a local authority. In applying for jobs in this sector you are likely to need to show evidence of the following:

  • Problem-solving skills;
  • Analytical skills;
  • Report writing skills;
  • Communication and organisational skills;
  • The ability to work as part of a team and to manage an individual caseload;
  • Project-management skills;
  • Self-motivation;
  • The ability to listen to and negotiate with a diverse range of people;
  • Accuracy and attention to detail;
  • Flexibility, initiative and innovation;
  • Creative thinking skills and the ability to come up with imaginative solutions to problems

If you are having the consideration to become a chartered town planner it may be worth becoming a student member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), which will give you access to publications and their library, membership of networks and allow you to participate in the institute’s activities. This could also assist you in finding relevant work experience alongside your degree.

More information | The prospects website has more information about this career | The careers and employability service website have more resources to help in your career research.

Urban and Regional Planner Tasks, Duities, and Responsibilities

Urban and regional planner deals in policy development and plans for the use of land and resources. Urban planner advise on the economic, environmental, social and cultural needs of a particular locality or a region as in relation to the built environment and the community. The urban and regional planner also work on large-scale projects such as

  • New suburbs
  • Towns
  • Industrial areas
  • Commercial and retail developments
  • Urban renewal projects and Transportation links.

Planning is a broadly based discipline and it is possible to specialise in a wide range of fields, including strategic planning, urban design, environmental impact assessment, residential planning, commercial and industrial planning, heritage planning, tourism planning and social planning.

To become an urban and regional planner, one usually has to study urban, regional or environmental planning at university. You may also consider other degrees that emphasise related fields such as

  • Architecture
  • Economics
  • Environmental management or science, – Geography and sociology.

To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English and mathematics, are normally required. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

Urban and Regional Planner Personal Requirements

double deck electric multiple unit - Urban and Regional Planner Tasks, Duities, and Responsibilities
  • Interested in social, economic, environmental and cultural issues
  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Able to produce detailed and accurate work
  • Good analytical and problem-solving skills

Urban and Regional Planner Duties and Tasks

  • Develop long-range objectives to cope with growth and change, in consultation with affected communities
  • Perform surveys and site inspections
  • Compile and analyse information on physical, economic, social, legal, political, cultural and environmental factors that affect land use
  • Discuss plans with local communities, private companies and government organisations
    consider new developments or re-developing areas and advise state and local governments about planning issues for projects such as new suburbs, transportation links, industrial estates, retail complexes and housing developments
  • Draw up plans for development or re-development and evaluate proposals in terms of benefits and costs, recommending how schemes can be carried out
  • Prepare urban and rural subdivision plans, taking into account various land uses, including residential, public open space, schools and shops
  • Prepare and coordinate economic, social and environmental impact studies
  • Provide evidence for appeals in planning disputes
  • Consult with, and act as an advocate for, community groups or developers
  • Assist developers to obtain planning permits
  • Design strategies to guide land and resource use and development in particular locations
  • Recommend a course of action that ensures local and regional needs will be met, by taking into account factors such as amenity, community facilities, access to employment, retail housing and transport
  • Supervise and work with associates and technicians.

Urban and Regional Planner Working Conditions

Urban and Regional Planners work closely with professionals in other fields (such as surveying, urban design, architecture, engineering, environment and conservation, property development, community services and transport planning). There is a high level of public contact as planners spend a lot of time in meetings and discussions.

Time is also spent on field visits, writing reports and performing research. Planners are required to prepare documentation of decisions for independent review and are often called upon to appear as expert witnesses before appeal hearings. The majority of urban and regional planners work in metropolitan areas and regional centres. However, the number of opportunities available in country areas is growing.

Culled from The Good University Guide | How to become an Urban and Regional Planner

Environmental Science Degree Holder Responsibilities and Job Description

This is an interdisciplinary field that encompasses ideas and information from many scientific disciplines including maths, physics, chemistry, geology, botany, and zoology. As a result, there is a wide range of scientific careers which are available for an environmental science degree holder. How closely they align with the discipline will vary depending on employer, project and individual preference.

There are many careers in environmental science which require scientific understanding but could be accessed by people who studied a different degree. A career in environmental science is so varied, it is difficult to consider. An environmental science degree holder could end up working from home most of the time or travelling around the world on an annual basis. He/She could be doing desk work, fieldwork, or some combination thereof.

The focus could be mathematical, physical, or written. Of course, the majority careers in environmental science are some blend in-between. Those engaged in Environmental Policy, Planning, and Management usually work for a local government and are likely to be engaged in a lot of research-intensive work. Environmental Lawyers may be able to get out of the office to the courtroom, or, again, have intensive desk jobs.

Environmental Policy Degree Holder Job Description

It could be argued that environmental policy is one of the most important career specializations in existence for an environmental science degree holder today. People who have a degree in environmental policy are knowledgeable in quite a few areas.

They study ecology and the environment, such as how climate change works and what factors contribute to it, as well as laws and policies related to environmental changes, such as government regulations that limit the number of waste companies can emit, or even citywide recycling initiatives.

Other important areas of knowledge may include common sources of pollution, methods to protect nonrenewable resources, economics, and statistics. They stand out from Environmental Science majors and Environmental Studies majors by being trained to deal with laws, permitting, and regulations.

Most in the field began their careers by going to college and receiving a Bachelor’s degree in

  • Environmental Policy or a related environmentally-focused area of study. Many schools offer specific tracks to this degree, which allow specialization in specific fields of interest. It is not required to have studied environmental policy specifically for an undergraduate degree, though, and one can be admitted to a graduate program in Environmental Policy with a wide variety of degrees.
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Statistics, and
  • Business Management are a few undergraduate choices that would provide a beneficial background to a graduate degree in Environmental Policy.

Getting a higher-level degree will greatly improve your knowledge, skills, ability to get a good job, and starting salary. A Master’s or Doctoral degree will allow you to gain specialized knowledge in the areas that you would want to work in during your career. Learn more

Environmental Planning and Design Degree Job Description

The main goal of a program in Environmental Planning and Design is to merge environmental concerns with human desires and needs. Blending efficiency with social desires as well as practicality and environmental feasibility is a true science. There may be different approaches to doing this and different interpretations of what this means. Is the design to maximize efficiency for utilities;

The nuances involved in finding a balance between nature and the needs of mankind are multitudinous. Often economic demands may win out, but one must remember that those economic demands may change over time as well. What this generation considers a nuisance or unsightly may be the next generation’s future; for example, a highly polluted lake may be turned into a sight-seeing development area with well-planned restoration efforts.

Unlike other Environmental Science programs, Environmental Planning and Design is often housed either in or in conjunction with, a school of architecture. Due to the nature of the profession, there are established routes to licensure in most schools.

There is a good deal of variability among the schools highlighted, researching individual professors may factor into a student’s selected university as well. When choosing this major, students may believe they are going into a program with one goal and come out with another after learning some of the fundamentals

Typical coursework should include basics of design, landscape planning, rural and urban development. Fundamental environmental classes should cover basics of ecology and hydrologic systems and water movement.

Speciality classes may be in anthropologic areas, sociology, interior design, historic design, preservation, restoration, and land management, to name a few. International programs may be available. Learn more

Environmental Law Degree Holder Job Description

Environmental Law is a specialization in law related to the regulation and usage of our natural resources; be they water, air, land, and species inhabiting these areas. Laws are in place globally and locally that regulate specifics from noise levels to chemical discharges encompassing habitat destruction, remediation, and a variety of other subjects.

Pollutants and their containment, transport, and clean-up are a large part of environmental regulatory issues. The energy sector, especially involving fossil fuels such as oil and gas, is highly regulated. Many environmental law professionals can work their entire career just in this arena.

A degree in Environmental Law is just that, it isn’t a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD, it is a “doctor of Law”, or Juris Doctor (JD). You may also see the abbreviation or offering of an LLD or MD, JSP, JSD, etc. from some schools. These speciality degrees are often for individuals planning to teach law, or those that know they have an established role in a well-respected firm that requires such elaborate degrees.

Bachelor’s degrees, and perhaps, if one wanted, Master’s degrees, can be earned in other closely related fields that would aid a student in their environmental law efforts. Suggested fields would be

  • Environmental Policy
  • Environmental Management
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Environmental Legislation
  • Environmental Economics, or Environmental Monitoring and Assessment.

Some students may begin in a true “environmental science”, such as biology or chemistry and then go to law school. They may also major in Policy, Law, Economics, etc. as an undergraduate and then gain an interest in the environmental area afterwards. Typical coursework for the Environmental Law speciality should include environmental law and international environmental law.

Basic legal courses will also be covered so that students can pass the bar exam. If no other environmental classes were taken before law school, students should have some ecology and sustainability core course work. Speciality classes may be in land use, energy law, economic analysis of law, animal law, indigenous rights, various international specialities, and climate change. Learn more

Basic Career Opportunities for an Environmental Science Degree Holder

Teaching

Teaching is an important aspect of environmental science – ensuring future generations understand the importance of the environment and the impact humans have upon it is vital to ensure that preservation and conservation continue in the future.

Typically, the older the pupils the greater the opportunity to specialize in environmental science-related topics secondary teachers are usually expected to teach physics, chemistry or biology whereas university lecturers have greater opportunity to specialize.

Main Responsibilities

  • Planning and teaching lessons
  • Assessing students to identify weaknesses and strengths inspiring students to develop their interests and abilities
  • Adapt lessons to any changes in class size, ability or attitude
  • Supervise students outside the classroom – for instance in clubs or trips

Required Skills

A degree will be required, as will interest in education. Confident public speaking, strong people skills and a lot of patience is also beneficial! Progression will typically involve managing people and taking greater responsibility for student grades. Strong scientific knowledge and the ability to explain complex ideas is also key.

Environmental Engineer

Environmental engineering is not solely concerned with the construction of eco-friendly buildings or renewable energy facilities. It involves all of the ways buildings and sites can impact on the environment, including tackling contamination or dealing with wastewater or developing regulations to prevent mishaps during construction.

Typical Responsibilities

  • Design projects that contribute to environmental protection
  • Inspect government and private factories and facilities to ensure that they comply with environmental standards
  • Advise governments and businesses on managing and cleaning contaminated sites
  • Evaluate the significance of an environmental hazard and advise of treating or containing it
  • Research the environmental impact of construction projects

Required Skills

A degree in engineering will be required – some universities offer environmental engineering degrees, but any engineering degree will help provide the skills you need. Imaginative thought and problem-solving are very important, as well as data analysis, communication skills and the ability to understand technical information quickly.

Environmental Lawyer

Environmental law is a broad and complex specialism, which is increasingly in demand. This is an area of law that requires a highly technical understanding of environmental issues alongside the key skills required to practice law. This career offers an opportunity to work hard to change attitudes and policy, as an alternative to searching for scientific solutions to environmental problems.

Typical Responsibilities

  • Analyse and interpret data obtained from case law, literature reviews, research and sample findings
  • Convince judges and juries of legal culpability through carefully constructed arguments which are evidenced persuasively
  • Determine if there is sufficient evidence to proceed with prosecution
  • Interpret data through interviews with scientists, often as part of the court enabling them to give expert opinions, testify and inform.

Required Skills

In order to pursue a career in environmental law, you will need to qualify as a lawyer and successfully pass the bar examination. Analytical thinking, public speaking skills, careful judgement, and excellent memory and eye for details and strong scientific understanding are necessary to succeed in this career.

Environmental Scientist

The job duties, working conditions and focus are all very varied in this career; depending on your employer, you could be part of a one-person team conducting an in-depth analysis of a specific body of water, or you could work as part of a large multi-disciplinary team analyzing a wide range of environmental samples.

Typical Responsibilities

  • Informing and supporting businesses, governments and the general public on health risks and environmental hazards
  • Choose the best data collection method for research projects
  • Analyze samples of soil, water, air, food and other materials to collect environmental data
  • Assess threats to the environment through scientific analysis
  • Present technical reports on findings, and explaining research and findings
  • Develop strategies to prevent, limit or fix environmental problems such as land or water pollution

Required Skills

A postgraduate degree in environmental science or a science-related field is usually required. Understanding of a wide range of scientific and data analysis methods, ability to present findings in technical reports and also communicate them in an understandable way.

Zoologist

dinosaur - Environmental Science Degree Holder Responsibilities and Job Description

Zoology is one of the many branches of science that environmental science influences and are influenced by. Although zoology is a very specialized discipline, many zoologists make a detailed study of animal habitats, the impact of human behaviour and the way animals interact with the environment, all of which is closely relevant to environmental science.

Typical Responsibilities

  • Develop and carry out experimental studies with animals
  • Collect specimens and data for scientific analysis
  • Utilizing geographic information systems and modelling software to analyze animal behaviour
  • Analyze the impact of human activity on wildlife and habitats
  • Develop conservation plans and recommend courses of action on wildlife conservation and management issues to stakeholders

Required Skills

A degree in a biology-related subject is necessary; this can be specified in zoology or wildlife biology or might be a more general degree with electives in these areas. This will equip you with the knowledge of ecology, anatomy and cellular biology required for the role. Strong IT skills, critical thought, attention to detail and problem solving are also key to the role.

Hydrologist

Hydrologists analyze how water influences the environment and how the environment impacts on the quality and quantity of water. There are different kinds of hydrologists – including groundwater hydrologists, who study the water below the Earth’s surface; and surface water hydrologists, who study above groundwater such as streams, lakes and snowpacks.

Typical Responsibilities

  • Measure volume, streamflow, pH and pollution levels of bodies of water and water samples
  • Analyze data on how pollution, erosion drought and other problems impact the environment
  • Research ways to minimize the impact of natural and man-made changes to bodies of water, such as sedimentation, erosion and pollution
  • Use computer modelling software to forecast water supplies, floods and the spread of pollution
  • Evaluate whether water-related projects such as hydro-electric power plans, irrigation systems and wastewater treatment facilities are feasible

Required Skills

A degree is required for this career; very few universities offer a degree in hydrology however, most earth science or geoscience degrees offer an opportunity to concentrate on hydrology. Understanding of economics, environmental law and government policy may help hydrologists influence policymakers. Analytical, communication and critical thinking skills are also key.

Conservation Scientist

Although conservation scientists and environmental scientists appear very similar, and often have similar education, in fact, the roles are very different. Whereas environmental scientists focus on a broader study of air, water and soil; conservation scientists are typically concerned with land use and the effect of consuming land related natural resources such as wood.

Typical Responsibilities

  • Support governments and landowners to decide the most ecological and prudent use of land
  • Help manage parks, forests, natural areas and private land
  • Monitoring forestry and conservation activities to ensure they are complying with government regulations
  • Creating and implementing plans to manage lands and resources
  • Create plans taking into consideration disease prevention, harmful insect invasions and the use of fertilizer.

Required Skills

A degree in an environmental science-related area or forestry is typically required. These degrees teach practice skills alongside theory to prepare you for the role. Decision-making skills, speaking skills, management skills and physical stamina are all important for this role, which is often very hands-on.

Culled from Mendeley | Top Careers in Environmental Science

10 Alternative Professional Career for Urban Planning Graduates

The urban planning graduates are playing major roles in how the environment we live in is managed and developed. Most of the urban planning graduates go on to careers in planning, design and development, as well as in areas such as transport, economic development, urban regeneration and environmental consultancy. Specialist courses for urban planning graduates can allow you to focus on topics including

  • Transport
  • Urban design
  • Urban regeneration
  • Environmental planning or infrastructure.

Find out how Urban Planning skills can be used across a wide range of sectors

Community Development Worker

As a community development worker, you’ll help communities to bring about social change and improve the quality of life in their local area. You might work with individuals, families or whole communities, empowering them to:

  • identify their assets, needs, opportunities, rights and responsibilities
  • plan what they want to achieve and take appropriate action
  • develop activities and services to generate aspiration and confidence.

Community development workers act as the link between communities and a range of other local authority and voluntary sector providers, such as the police, social workers and teachers.

You will frequently be involved in addressing inequality. Projects often target communities perceived to be culturally, economically or geographically disadvantaged.

Community work can be generic or specialised. Generic community work takes place in a particular geographical area, focusing on working with the community to identify their needs and issues, and formulating strategies to address those issues. The setting is either urban or rural, with rural community development work increasingly attracting attention. Learn more

Civil Service Administrator

The Civil Service is a significant employer, comprising departments, agencies and non-departmental public bodies. The Civil Service is made up of a large number of different departments, which implement government policies and deliver services to the public.

business executive - 10 Alternative Professional Career for Urban Planning Graduates

Civil Service administrators may have direct dealings with individuals and have the chance to make a real difference to people’s lives or may conduct research, compile reports and work on policy documents. As a civil service administrator, you will need to meet nationality requirements. Any job in the Civil Service is open to UK nationals or those who have dual nationality (with one being British).

Some posts are open to Commonwealth citizens, and nationals of the member states of the European Economic Area (EEA). Civil Service departments and agencies each have responsibility for their pay, grading and performance management. They negotiate salaries for their own staff and because of these salaries can vary across the Civil Service. Learn more

Sustainability Consultant

A sustainability consultant promotes sustainable solutions for the often conflicting needs of people, the environment, development and successful business. You’ll help businesses develop an environmental conscience, while simultaneously saving them money by making choices that positively impact the earth and all who live on it.

Their work will involve evaluating the impact a company is having on the environment (for example, their carbon footprint) and then minimising that impact or planning the use of limited resources. You may be involved in all or some stages of a project from planning and building, through to remediation, restoration and reuse of land and property, for example.

Flexibility is important when getting your first job and you may need to get experience in a relevant area of work before moving into a sustainability consultant role. Many start their careers as environmental impact assessors and there are a number of graduate schemes available for both roles.

Competition for jobs is strong so getting some work experience is important. Many charities are active within the environmental sector and offer opportunities to volunteer in conservation work. You may be able to do a relevant work placement as part of your degree course or apply for a summer internship.

Work on any type of eco-project, alternative energy, living-building design or sustainable-community scheme would be useful. Experience in waste management and recycling is also relevant. Roles such as sustainability or energy project officer/assistant can provide an insight into issues around sustainability. Office experience can also help develop your understanding of how businesses operate. Learn more

Environmental Manager

As an environmental manager or sustainability manager, you’ll be responsible for overseeing the environmental performance of private, public and voluntary sector organisations. Your role will involve examining corporate activities to determine where improvements can be made and ensuring compliance with environmental legislation across the organisation.

You’ll also create, implement and monitor environmental strategies to promote sustainable development. Your wide remit means you’ll review the whole operation, carrying out environmental audits and assessments, identifying and resolving environmental problems and ensuring necessary changes are implemented.

Most employers look for candidates with work experience, even at junior levels, so relevant work experience, gained through vacation or sandwich placements, is advantageous. Experience gained through voluntary work can also be very helpful.

Becoming a student member of relevant societies, institutes or charities will increase your knowledge of the sector, show your commitment to the field to potential employers and provide you with essential opportunities to network and make useful contacts. It’s also important to keep track of developments and changes in the sector.

A relevant degree, or postgraduate qualification, provides the necessary skills for employment in this field. However, a business qualification or experience in the area of business activity carried out by a company may be considered as important as knowledge of environmental aspects. Learn more

Fire Risk Assessor

A fire risk assessor identify fire hazards and risks, record your findings and advice on fire prevention. You’ll identify people at risk, as well as evaluate, remove or reduce the risks. The fire risk assessors prepare emergency plans and provide training to all employees, updating and reviewing fire risk assessment regularly.

You will also be tasked with informing and supporting health and safety managers in a workplace or public place. Fire risk assessors work to strict guidelines set out by the government and fire safety experts and must ensure that buildings and services are compliant with all regulations such as The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Not only do you have the potential as a fire risk assessor to prevent the loss of life and the cost of damage to property, but fire risk assessment is also a legal requirement for any place of work or business that gives access to members of the public. Government guidelines state that it’s the legal responsibility of an employer, owner, landlord, an occupier or anyone else with control of premises used for employment or public services to take responsibility for fire safety.

Many local authorities who manage a number of residential properties and other public spaces recruit their own fire risk assessor whereas a smaller business would hire the services of a fire risk assessor on a consultancy basis. Charitable organisations operating social housing schemes also recruit fire risk assessors.

Large housing associations or property management companies often employ fire risk assessors because of the volume of work that is needed in this area. Residential properties require the highest level of risk assessment because lives are most at risk from fire when people are sleeping. Learn more

Planning and Development Surveyor

Planning and development surveyors roles include planning and development surveyor is to advise on all aspects of planning and development in order to help your clients make informed choices about investment. This can include issues such as site planning, development, conservation and transport options.

Working in the public or private sector, you’ll consider a range of complex economic, social and environmental factors when providing clients with critical information. Your expertise is particularly critical where development funds are coming from the public purse, and careful planning and financial consideration needs to be evidenced.

You may find success with speculative applications, particularly when applying to smaller firms in the private sector. Larger employers may visit campuses and target certain degree courses to recruit final year undergraduates. Many of the larger graduate schemes have deadlines in November or December, although you’re advised to apply as early as possible.

There are considerable opportunities for advancement within the profession as well as varied career paths, dependent on the organisation you’re working for. Generally, graduates start in trainee surveyor positions, progressing to experienced and senior surveyor roles.

After this, there is the potential to take up management positions (including associate, partner and directorial roles in some organisations) or pursue further specialisms. Surveyors who can demonstrate significant achievements in their careers can achieve Fellowship of RICS (FRICS). Learn more

Landscape Architect

As a landscape architect, you will create landscapes and plan, design and manage open spaces, including both natural and built environments. Your work will provide innovative and aesthetically-pleasing environments for people to enjoy while ensuring that changes to the natural environment are appropriate, sensitive and sustainable.

Collaborating closely with other professionals, you’ll work on a diverse range of projects in both urban and rural settings – from parks, gardens and housing estates to city-centre design, sporting sites and motorway construction.

The ways in which you can progress your career as a landscape architect include taking on greater responsibility, taking charge of projects, managing a team or becoming a specialist in a certain area. The rate of progression will depend on how ambitious you are and how quickly you acquire additional knowledge and skills.

With substantial experience and strong commercial awareness, you may progress to leading consultancy roles, become a partner in private practice, or set up your own business. To be successful in private practice, you’ll need a good client and contact base as well as excellent experience, knowledge and skills. Learn more

Estates Manager

As an estates manager, you’ll be concerned with the historical or heritage preservation of a site and your aim will be to enable an estate to run as effectively as possible. Through careful management and coordination, you’ll seek to solve problems and maximise financial returns from the estate.

You will also work to improve other areas, such as health outcomes or improved social integration. The nature of this role can vary according to the type of employer and estate you work for. For example, an estates manager for the National Trust will have quite a different role to an NHS estate and facilities manager.

An important part of your work will be to ensure that longer-term issues are planned for. For instance, if an estate is looking to increase visitor numbers using a house and gardens, there could be a need for improved access, parking and toilet facilities, or you may be required to facilitate an additional service within a hospital estate, without additional buildings.

Career development will very much depend of the type of estates management you are moving into. You’ll find opportunities to work in organisations within an estates and facilities team, where you’ll have the opportunity to progress from a graduate role into management.

Specialisation in a particular area may be possible too. Organisations such as the National Trust will offer a number of graduate-entry positions that will then lead to more senior-level positions with experience. Learn more

Remember that you need to keep up to date with current planning, built environment and wider environmental issues if you want to pursue a career in planning. You also need to be able to express a passion for making better places.

Try to get work experience through relevant part-time or temporary jobs, voluntary positions or internships. Some local authorities and private sector employers offer work placements in planning departments and they may also have opportunities for work shadowing or workplace visits.

What is the Urban Planning Degree Holders Job Prospects?

Urban planning graduates have the skills that can be used in many different sectors. If you recently graduated and you have an urban planning degree, you might feel a little overwhelmed simply because of the different options available. There are many urban planning firms that you can consider working for but what work you will actually do there depends a lot from one firm to the next.

After getting your urban planning degree you need to remain up-to-date with built environment, current planning laws and the wider environmental issues that affect your work. This is mandatory when going for a planning career. Fortunately, this constant learning will be made easier by the fact that you can constantly express the passion you have for making places better.

Main jobs that are directly related to Urban Planning degree are

  • Transportation Planning
  • Local Government Officer
  • Town Planning Officer
  • Housing Officer
  • Conservation Officer (Historic buildings inspector)

Some of the jobs where the Urban Planning degree is useful to include

  • Sustainability Consultant
  • Civil Service Administrator
  • Environmental Manager
  • Community Development Worker
  • Development Surveyor
  • Planning Surveyor

Most urban planning graduates normally choose careers in design, planning and development. There are also work positions available in areas like

  • Economic Development
  • Environmental Consultancy
  • Urban Regeneration and even transport. You can find public sector jobs through:
  • Developed/Central Government.
  • Local Authority Departments; like services related to development, planning or regeneration.
  • Major public bodies.

Environmental and private planning consultancies will employ the urban planning graduate in order to advise individuals and organizations on some specific planning schemes. It is also possible to find work opportunities with:

  • Utility Companies
  • Housing Associations
  • Transport Organizations
  • Neighbourhood Planning Organizations
  • Large Retail Businesses. If you need even more work sources, you can consider NGOs and charity sectors that deal with heritage, conservation and environmental issues.
Urban Planning Jobs - What is the Urban Planning Degree Holders Job Prospects?

As a graduate of urban planning, you can develop specific specialist knowledge in regional and town planning. This gives you access to various professional skills like

  • Finance Development
  • Analytical Research
  • Place Making
  • Partnership Working
  • Collaboration and making Reasoned arguments.

It is also possible that you will develop skills that are going to be pretty useful in other career areas. Examples can be given in

  • Problem-solving
  • Information Technology (IT)
  • Written Communication
  • Creativity
  • Teamwork
  • Pragmatism and Decision-making.

The last thing that should be mentioned is that you can go on a postgraduate study course in order to further your planning knowledge or when you want to specialize in some specific areas. This might also be necessary for some organization partnerships. You can consider various specialist courses and you can further study some options in order to go to some related careers like landscape architecture or built environment.

Culled from Time Square Chronicles | What Can You Do With Your Urban Planning Degree?

Environmental Planner Job Description and Impacts in National Development

Environmental planner largely deals with making sure that development projects comply with environmental laws and regulations. The professional help to reduce the impacts, facilitate environmental permitting, and write environmental reports and documents. Environmental planner analyze and minimize the environmental impacts of proposed construction projects and make sure they meet all environmental regulations.

They also aim to minimize the environmental impacts of housing, industrial, and transportation-related construction projects. They also help project managers navigate the environmental permitting process. Helps in reviewing site plans and visit project sites to investigate potential environmental effects and identify needed changes. Environmental planner coordinate with regulatory agencies to manage permitting issues, and ensure compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and all federal, state, and local environmental regulations.

Any environmental planners that are working for a government agency may recommend whether permits should be approved or denied. They prepare environmental impact analysis reports and responses to requests for proposals. They also monitor the changes in zoning and building codes, environmental regulations, and other legal issues.

Environmental Planner Full Job Description

The main responsibility of an environmental planner is to focus on the sustainability of an urban plan and attempt to mitigate the environmental impact of architecture, logistics, systems, and other aspects of a development project. While duties vary significantly from job to job, listed below includes typical responsibilities that an environmental planner may encounter:

mountain - Environmental Planner Job Description and Impacts in National Development
  • Facilitate public inquiries on land or resource development as a stakeholder or as a decision-maker
  • Process paperwork and permits regarding zoning and other regulatory processes
  • Prepare reports regarding land usage, environmental impact and human impact
  • Communicate on the phone, in meetings, and in presentations with clients and stakeholders
  • Participate in committee work for land and resource development, management, and stewardship
  • Conduct site inspections in the field for future development
  • Monitor construction progress, both ‘big picture’ and detail work
  • Manage environmental remediation projects and tasks
  • Present information to internal and external stakeholders, who might include the general public, interested parties, government officials, and contractors
  • Consult with an answer to client requests
  • Evaluate submitted proposals
  • Submit requests to amend bylaws and for exemption or clarification on regulations and policies that would impact a project
  • Strategize, develop, and manage planning and logistics from phase to phase
  • Develop and implement phases of the planning process through the various levels of work
  • Ensure compliance with regulatory, policy, and legal entities
  • Assertively communicate project ideas and solutions to internal and external stakeholders
  • Review maps, aerial photos, data, and field investigation reports and interpret data for planning usage
  • Draft designs, schematics and maps of varying types by hand and through computer programs
  • Liaise with additional planning teams, industrial representatives, lobbyists, developers, public and private stakeholders, and members of the public
  • Create requests for proposals for development and tender

Chartered environmental planners often have a breadth of experience that makes them well-suited to managerial or administrative task management in addition to their regular skillset. With this in mind, the professional environmental planner role may look like:

  • Engage in tasks like report preparation and submittal and peer review
  • Supervise fieldwork (survey, site recording, testing, monitoring, and data integrity) of multiple field crews
  • Identify as point of first contact for communication with internal and external stakeholders
  • Sign off on field status reports and presentation of team findings
  • Research and implement new technology
  • Remain up to date with new advancements in the field of environmental planning
  • Participate on committees for policy and regulatory development within the industry
  • Participate on committees for research and educational program development within the industry
  • Facilitate positive and safe workgroup interactions
  • Develop project scopes, schedules, benchmarks and budgets
  • Navigate regulatory protocols and best professional practices on behalf of the project and team
  • Manage equipment testing and calibrate equipment and instruments
  • Oversee records management, retention, destruction
  • Create business proposals for funding purposes
  • Engage in quality assurance
  • Organize and track appropriate field data

To become a chartered or a professional environmental planner, you need at least a B.S. or B.A. in

  • Environmental Science
  • Geography
  • Historic Preservation
  • Archaeology
  • Regional Planning
  • Civil or Environmental Engineering, or a related field.

A degree in the following courses can also be considered

  • Environmental Law
    Planning Theory and Methods
  • Statistics
  • Mathematics
  • Geology
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Impact Analysis
  • Economic Analysis, and Technical/Engineering Project Management. – Knowledge of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping software and excellent writing skills are also essential.

A master’s degree in planning, environmental planning and management, or a related area may be preferred by some employers or required for some positions. They typically accept students from a variety of backgrounds such as geography, engineering, architecture, and environmental science. Some schools also offer graduate certificates in environmental planning.

According to research, employment of urban and regional planners is projected to grow 10 from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Population increases and emphasis on environmental issues will drive employment growth for environmental planners.

Culled from Environmental Science Website | What is an Environmental Planner?

Urban and Regional Planners Job Requirements and Education Information

The urban and regional planners develop land use plans and programs that help create communities, accommodate population growth and revitalize physical facilities in towns, cities, counties, and metropolitan areas. The professionals identify community needs and develop short and long-term solutions to improve and revitalize communities and areas.

As an area growing or changing, urban and regional planners help communities manage the related economic, social, and environmental issues, such as planning new parks, sheltering the homeless, and making the region more attractive to businesses. Planners often work with public officials, community members, and other groups to identify community issues and goals

Through research, data analysis, urban and regional planners collaboration with interest groups, they formulate strategies to address issues and to meet goals. The planners may also help carry out community plans by overseeing projects, enforcing zoning regulations, and organizing the work of the groups involved.

Urban and regional planners use a variety of tools and technology in their work. They commonly use statistical software, data visualization and presentation programs, financial spreadsheets, and other database and software programs.

Geographic Information System (GIS) software is used to integrate data, such as for population density, with digital maps. They may specialize in areas such as transportation planning, community development, historic preservation, or urban design, among other fields of interest.

Important Qualities for Urban and Regional Planners

Analytical skills. Urban and regional planners analyze information and data from a variety of sources, such as market research studies, censuses, and environmental impact studies. They use statistical techniques and technologies such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in their analyses to determine the significance of the data.

Communication skills. Urban and regional planners must be able to communicate clearly and effectively because they interact with colleagues and stakeholders, prepare research reports, give presentations, and meet with a wide variety of audiences, including public officials, interest groups, and community members.

Decisionmaking skills. Urban and regional planners must weigh all possible planning options and combine analysis, creativity, and realism to choose the appropriate action or plan.

Leadership skills. Urban and regional planners must be able to manage projects, which may include overseeing tasks and planning assignments.

Urban and Regional Planners Education Information

Most urban and regional planners have a master’s degree from an accredited urban or regional planning program. There are 71 programs accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) that offered a master’s degree in planning.

The Master degree programs accept students with a wide range of undergraduate backgrounds. However, many candidates who enter these programs have a bachelor’s degree in economics, geography, political science, or environmental design.

Most of the master programs have students spending considerable time in seminars, workshops, and laboratory courses, in which they learn to analyze and solve planning problems. Although most master’s programs have a similar core curriculum, there is some variability in the courses they offer and the issues they focus on.

For example, programs located in agricultural states may focus on rural planning, and programs located in larger cities may focus on urban revitalization.

A Bachelor degree holder can qualify for a small number of jobs as assistant or junior planners. There are 15 accredited bachelor’s degree programs in planning. Candidates with a bachelor’s degree typically need work experience in planning, public policy, or a related field.

It is not necessary for all positions, some entry-level positions require 1 to 2 years of work experience in a related field, such as architecture, public policy, or economic development. Many students gain experience through real planning projects or part-time internships while enrolled in a master’s planning program. Others enrol in full-time internships after completing their degree.

Urban and Regional Planners Duties

great for planning - Urban and Regional Planners Job Requirements and Education Information
  • Meet with public officials, developers, and the public regarding development plans and land use
  • Administer government plans or policies affecting land use
  • Gather and analyze data from market research, censuses, and economic and environmental studies
  • Conduct field investigations to analyze factors affecting community development and decline, including land use
  • Review site plans submitted by developers
  • Assess the feasibility of proposals and identify needed changes
  • Recommend whether proposals should be approved or denied
  • Present projects to communities, planning officials, and planning commissions
  • Stay current on zoning and building codes, environmental regulations, and other legal issues

Within cities, urban planners will be needed to develop revitalization projects and address issues associated with population growth, environmental degradation, the movement of people and goods, and resource scarcity.

Similarly, suburban areas and municipalities will need planners to address the challenges associated with population changes, including housing needs and transportation systems covering larger areas with less population density.

Urban and regional planners should expect to face competition for positions. Job opportunities for planners often depend on government budgets and economic conditions. When municipalities and developers have funds for development projects, planners are in higher demand.

Culled from CollegeGrad | Urban and Regional Planners

What are the Job Options for Urban Planning Graduates

Studying urban planning allows you to develop specialist knowledge in town and regional planning, providing you with a range of professional skills. Urban planning graduates go on to careers in planning, design and development, as well as in areas such as transport, economic development, urban regeneration and environmental consultancy.

Urban planning can be studied at the postgraduate level, following the completion of a cognate degree. Some urban planning graduates go on to postgraduate study to further their planning knowledge or to specialise in a particular area.

Postgraduate study, along with practical experience, is important if you want to secure chartered membership from Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

15 Typical Employment Prospects for Urban Planning Graduates

Urban designing

As an urban designer, you will create practical and visually pleasing places, including buildings, open spaces and landscapes. Playing a vital part of a much bigger team, you’ll help to bring viable developments to life, ensuring that the environments you create are both useful and enjoyable.

Urban design is a relatively new profession, which has grown considerably as a career path and particularly over the last 25 years. A career in this field offers an interesting and varied environment with good opportunities for progression. The sector continues to grow at a steady rate in line with growing populations.

Urban designing - What are the Job Options for Urban Planning Graduates

Most urban designers are employed by an organisation, rather than working on a freelance basis, though some go on to launch their own urban design consultancies.

Depending on the type and size of organisation you work for, you may be given some benefits such as a mobile phone or company car, as the role requires regular site visits. Learn more https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/urban-designer

Historic buildings inspector/conservation officer

In this role, urban planner duties include advising on and promoting the conservation of historic buildings, structures and areas of special historic, architectural, or artistic interest. You will work in the areas of long-term care, preservation and enhancement and may also be involved in regeneration projects that have community, economic and environmental benefits.

An entry without a degree or HND is possible, especially through the planning technician route, from where you can move across into the role of historic buildings inspector or conservation officer. A postgraduate qualification can be highly advantageous in what is a quite specialist and competitive field.

The large number of volunteers in this sector means that the search for a paid position is even more intense. Completing further study will not guarantee a job but it will improve your chances. Learn more

Local government officer

A local government officer is responsible for the practical development of council policies and procedures, and need to ensure that local services are delivered. As an officer, you’ll need to figure out how to implement cost-effective public policy.

This type of work is likely to involve contact with members of the public, councillors, administrators and specialists in other departments or other local councils or authorities.

Some posts, particularly more senior roles, also involve committee work. Some less senior roles will work more exclusively within specific departments, but can still be responsible for a variety of services. Specific activities vary depending on the local authority and department, and on the level of responsibility.

Some departments will involve a lot of work with the public, others may have a more technical function and some will work more predominantly with other council staff and departments. Learn more

Housing manager/officer

As a housing manager or housing officer, you’ll manage housing and related services on behalf of housing associations, local authorities, charities and private sector organisations.

Your role will involve managing a designated patch of housing and keeping in regular contact with tenants, looking after rental income and dealing with repairs and neighbour nuisance issues.

It is common practice to work with specific clients, such as homeless people, minority groups or people with disabilities. You may have line management responsibility for a team of housing officers, rent arrears staff and tenancy support officers, and participation in more strategic projects.

Some housing organisations offer graduate trainee schemes. These schemes generally provide the opportunity to gain experience in a range of departments and sometimes offer a professional qualification. It may also be possible to secure a graduate internship on a specific project. Contact housing organisations directly for details of opportunities. Learn more

Transport Planner

As a transport planner, you will look at ways to improve these systems or how new systems can be implemented in certain areas. You’ll need to take into consideration issues such as climate change, the economy and the environment.

The work is often related to government policies and initiatives, such as encouraging people to reduce their car use and take up walking, cycling or public transport.

Part-time work and career breaks are more likely to be offered within the public sector for transport planner, although consultancies are becoming more flexible in order to attract and retain staff. Self-employment may be possible when you have significant experience and you can work for consultancies or local authorities on a contract basis. Learn more

Town Planner

As a town planner, you will be involved in the management and development of cities, towns, villages and the countryside. Your aim will be to balance the conflicting demands of housing, industrial development, agriculture, recreation, transport and the environment, in order to allow appropriate development to take place.

If you work within a rural area, you’ll need to ensure that development is sustainable and that the right balance of development is achieved to preserve the countryside. You will also aim to make a positive contribution towards tackling the effects of climate change.

You can get into town planning with a degree in any subject but specific degrees in planning are available. To become a chartered town planner you will need to complete an RTPI accredited degree, either at undergraduate or postgraduate level, completing either a combined qualification or a spatial qualification and a specialist qualification.

If your degree is not accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), you can still qualify for chartered status by completing an accredited postgraduate qualification. Graduates from a range of subjects are accepted onto postgraduate courses but the following subjects may be particularly relevant: Learn more

Landscape Architect

As a landscape architect, you’ll create landscapes and plan, design and manage open spaces, including both natural and built environments. Your work will provide innovative and aesthetically-pleasing environments for people to enjoy while ensuring that changes to the natural environment are appropriate, sensitive and sustainable.

You will collaborate closely with other professionals, you’ll work on a diverse range of projects in both urban and rural settings – from parks, gardens and housing estates to city-centre design, sporting sites and motorway construction.

Landscape architecture is a chartered profession and the first step towards getting chartered status is to ensure that you have reached Masters level on a higher education course accredited by the LI. Undergraduate degree courses typically last four years, with an option of taking a year out to undertake paid work experience.

If you already have an undergraduate degree that isn’t accredited by the LI, you can still enter the profession by completing an LI-accredited postgraduate conversion course.

These courses generally last between 18 months and two years full time, or longer if part-time. Learn more https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/landscape-architect

Community development worker

As a community development worker, you’ll help communities to bring about social change and improve the quality of life in their local area. Community development workers act as the link between communities and a range of other local authority and voluntary sector providers, such as the police, social workers and teachers.

You will frequently be involved in addressing inequality. Projects often target communities perceived to be culturally, economically or geographically disadvantaged. Although this area of work is open to all graduates and those with an HND, a qualification in a social sciences subject may improve your chances.

Entry without a degree or HND is possible, although career development is more restricted. A degree in any subject will be an advantage in gaining higher-level posts. In community development, relevant experience is far more important than the subject area studied. Learn more

Estates manager

As an estates manager, you’ll be concerned with the historical or heritage preservation of a site and your aim will be to enable an estate to run as effectively as possible. Through careful management and coordination, you’ll seek to solve problems and maximise financial returns from the estate.

You will also work to improve other areas, such as health outcomes or improved social integration. The nature of this role can vary according to the type of employer and estate you work for. For example, an estates manager for the National Trust will have quite a different role to an NHS estate and facilities manager.

An important part of your work will be to ensure that longer-term issues are planned for. For instance, if an estate is looking to increase visitor numbers using a house and gardens, there could be a need for improved access, parking and toilet facilities, or you may be required to facilitate an additional service within a hospital estate, without additional buildings. Learn more

Environmental manager

As an environmental manager or sustainability manager, you’ll be responsible for overseeing the environmental performance of private, public and voluntary sector organisations. Your role will involve examining corporate activities to determine where improvements can be made and ensuring compliance with environmental legislation across the organisation.

You will also create, implement and monitor environmental strategies to promote sustainable development. Your wide remit means you’ll review the whole operation, carrying out environmental audits and assessments, identifying and resolving environmental problems and ensuring necessary changes are implemented.

A relevant degree, or postgraduate qualification, provides the necessary skills for employment in this field. However, a business qualification or experience in the area of business activity carried out by a company may be considered as important as knowledge of environmental aspects. Learn more

Civil Service administrator

The Civil Service is made up of a large number of different departments, which implement government policies and deliver services to the public. Civil Service administrators may have direct dealings with individuals and have the chance to make a real difference to people’s lives or may conduct research, compile reports and work on policy documents.

During the recruitment process, you’ll be assessed against key competencies that cover skills, knowledge and behaviours. You will need to meet the nationality requirements.

Any job in the Civil Service is open to UK nationals or those who have dual nationality (with one being British). Some posts are open to Commonwealth citizens, and nationals of the member states of the European Economic Area (EEA). Learn more

Planning and development surveyor

Your role as a planning and development surveyor is to advise on all aspects of planning and development in order to help your clients make informed choices about investment. This can include issues such as site planning, development, conservation and transport options.

Working in the public or private sector, you’ll consider a range of complex economic, social and environmental factors when providing clients with critical information.

Your expertise is particularly critical where development funds are coming from the public purse, and careful planning and financial consideration needs to be evidenced.

A property-related undergraduate degree is not essential. For applicants whose first degree is not property-related (or non-cognate), an RICS-approved postgraduate conversion qualification is required.

Some organisations, particularly the large commercial firms of surveyors, welcome applications from those with non-property degrees and will support or sponsor conversion training while you are employed, either by day release or by distance learning. Learn more

Sustainability consultant

As a sustainability consultant, you’ll promote sustainable solutions for the often conflicting needs of people, the environment, development and successful business. You’ll help businesses develop an environmental conscience, while simultaneously saving them money by making choices that positively impact the earth and all who live on it.

Your work will involve evaluating the impact a company is having on the environment (for example, their carbon footprint) and then minimising that impact or planning the use of limited resources.

You may be involved in all or some stages of a project from planning and building, through to remediation, restoration and reuse of land and property,

Sustainability consultants come from a range of backgrounds, including the environmental, built environment, construction and business-based careers.

Flexibility is important when getting your first job and you may need to get experience in a relevant area of work before moving into a sustainability consultant role. Many start their careers as environmental impact assessors and there are a number of graduate schemes available for both roles. Learn more

Fire risk assessor

As a fire risk assessor, you’ll identify fire hazards and risks, record your findings and advice on fire prevention. You’ll identify people at risk, as well as evaluate, remove or reduce the risks.

Fire risk assessors prepare emergency plans and provide training to all employees, updating and reviewing fire risk assessment regularly. You’ll also be tasked with informing and supporting health and safety managers in a workplace or public place.

Not only do you have the potential as a fire risk assessor to prevent the loss of life and the cost of damage to property, but fire risk assessment is also a legal requirement for any place of work or business that gives access to members of the public.

Government guidelines state that it’s the legal responsibility of an employer, owner, landlord, an occupier or anyone else with control of premises used for employment or public services to take responsibility for fire safety.

Fire risk assessors work to strict guidelines set out by the government and fire safety experts and must ensure that buildings and services are compliant with all regulations such as

Higher education isn’t necessary but a degree in fire safety, building surveying or a health and safety-related subject can help. Having a broader degree in a subject such as civil engineering can be helpful, although this isn’t a specific requirement. Learn more

Specialist courses for urban planning graduates can allow you to focus on topics including transport, urban design, urban regeneration, environmental planning or infrastructure.