Are you interested in a career as an air quality consultant? Find out if you have what it takes here.
As an air quality consultant, the research you conduct will be used to assess the pollution levels in the air, monitoring whether they could pose harm to human health or cause ecological damage.
Your daily responsibilities will see you delivering specialist air quality assessments, such as data analysis, dispersion modelling and monitoring studies, in order to reduce air pollution, carbon emissions and improve air quality in general.
Day to day, you’ll need to be collaborative, technical and creative - it’s a multifaceted role that requires you to think quickly and analytically with each task you’re given. You’ll need to work with team-mates and liaise with clients in order to achieve goals and reach project deadlines effectively. The work you’ll be doing will spread from writing analytical reports to designing dispersion models. As such, you will need to be able to juggle multiple projects efficiently.
- Undertake air quality assessments and surveys
- Create dispersion models to assess the movement and volume of air pollution using software like ADMS of DMRB
- Use mapping technologies like GIS to help map the spread of air pollution
- Data analysis and interpretation analyse data found from desk or field studies, interpret the findings and compile them into factual reports
- Spearhead multiple projects to completion, working and communicating with colleagues, clients, environmental regulators and more to meet deadlines
- Maintain and develop strong client relationships in order to retain clients’ business
- Good writing skills
- Keen analytical mind
- Project management
- Good communication skills
- Excellent organisational and multitasking skills
- Collaborative skills
- Ability to work independently
A relevant MSc or BSc in a science subject such as environmental sciences, engineering or sustainability is key.
Depending on the level and role of an air quality consultant, the experience needed can vary. Becoming a member of an environmental body such as the IAQM is beneficial as it offers accredited courses, seminars and networking opportunities which will provide you with the added experience you need to apply for your next role.
Though air quality consultant roles call for a strong knowledge base and experience in technical software, graduates often don’t need to have prior in-depth experience in this specialism. Air quality consultant graduate roles are normally offer on the job training. It is important to have some work experience on hand to differentiate yourself from your competition.
For principal and senior air quality consultants, experience with detailed dispersion modelling, and assessment of road pollution software is key. You’ll also need to be familiar with regional, national, and in some cases, global air quality issues as having this knowledge base will help assist you in your projects. Understanding of the role of UK planning and permitting processes in the regulation of air quality is also a must in your line of work.
As an air quality consultant your hours will conform to the standard 9 - 5 working week.
The average salary for a graduate air quality consultant falls into the range of £18,000 - £22,000 per annum and a principal or senior air quality consultant could earn upwards of £32,000 - £48,000 per annum.
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