Does a career centered around finding safe environmental solutions to improve contaminated sites interest you?
If you are searching for a career that allows you to be outdoors, conducting field studies and in the office, meeting with clients - then this could be the job for you.
A contaminated land consultant’s job varies with the possibility of specialising in environmental sectors such as renewable energy, remediation, air quality or waste management.
The central duty of a contaminated land consultant is to find cost effective and safe solutions to improve the condition of contaminated land. You’ll do this by designing effective remediation schemes.
This job requires you to apply your knowledge of environmental pollution to practical situations in office and field situations in order to analyse data and prepare interpretive report findings for clients.
- Manage the scheduling and maintaining of sites: If you are in a senior consultant role, you will need to be aware of what sites need to be scheduled in order of priority and why, sending out teams to check and maintain a sites progress.
- Review and analyse contaminated land investigation reports: You will need to be a competent writer and analyst to ensure the data you collect from sites is compiled accurately into reports. These will help sites meet UK due diligence standards.
- Liaise with clients and manage projects effectively: You will need to keep your clients and your team up to date on the latest data, findings and reports from your Phase I (desk studies) and Phase II (ground investigations, management and risk assessment reporting) analysis, to ensure that they are aware of project timelines and deadlines.
- Make bids to organisations: You may be asked to make bids for funding, which will again, call on your writing skills as well as business acumen.
- Good writing skills
- Good communication and presentation skills
- Excellent project management and team leadership capabilities
- Proficient ability to interpret, review and analyse data to produce reports
- Good field and surveying skills
- Invaluable understanding of environmental regulations
Consultants need to have a BSc or higher in a science subject such as engineering, environmental science or geology.
Employers will be looking for potential candidates with at least four years of environmental consulting experience. A strong technical background within contaminated land investigation or risk assessment is always favoured.
For junior contaminated land consultancy roles, they will most likely look for relevant work experience instead.
A good attitude towards flexible working conditions is necessary. This job requires someone who is comfortable with working outside of the regular nine to five.
The average salary for a contaminated land consultant starts at around £25,000 per annum for junior roles to £37,000 or more for senior roles.
Your next steps
As a contaminated land consultant, your career has the potential to develop into a senior role, a teaching role or a role specialising in a niche field of contaminated land consulting. There is also the opportunity to branch off into a different subclass of ecology entirely and there is always the option to work abroad.
Industry advice for contaminated land consultants
- Work towards a chartership. Improving your skills and your education will prove consistently beneficial throughout your career. Join the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIEWM) or the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) to get started.
- Know your codes: You need to keep up to date with the most relevant UK environmental legislation, guidance and codes of practice. Use CL:AIRE to stay up to date on contaminated land codes of practice.
- Learn how to drive: You will be regularly asked to travel between locations in order to visit sites.
- Gain a basic understanding of GIS technology and cartography. It will help you understand the relationships and correlations that can occur between habitats, species, geology, the general environment and its effect on ecology as a whole.