Job Description: Graduate flood risk consultant

An increase in extreme weather has led to a rise in the need for flood risk consultants.

As a graduate flood risk consultant, your skills are needed to assess potential flood risks and help in the delivery of flood risk projects. Are you equipped to work in this multifaceted sector?

Day to day

As a graduate flood risk consultant, you will be working with a team of experienced consultants to tackle varied flood risk, hydraulic modelling and drainage projects for private and public sector clients.

You may find yourself splitting your time between offices and travelling to sites to conduct field studies. You will focus on producing technical reports, analytical findings and utilising your knowledge in river modelling, sustainable drainage systems and integrated urban drainage modelling.

Key responsibilities

  • Complete risk assessments: With some help from your supervisors, you will be required to complete flood risk assessments and environmental impact assessments as well as surface water management plans and drainage strategies.
  • Compile analytical data: You will use GIS mapping programmes and hydrology and flood risk modelling programmes such as ISIS and TuFLOW to gather data. You will use your findings to help advise clients on their environmental issues.
  • Write technical reports: You will be required to report your findings in an easy-to-read report for your supervisors and clients.
  • Project management: You will need to assist with some project management duties as you will often be dealing with clients, planning authorities and government bodies.
  • Report findings to superiors and clients: You will need to utilise your communication skills to relate scientific data into layman's terms. Excellent presentation skills to convey your ideas on projects to clients are crucial.

Key skills

  • An analytical mind
  • Good technical knowledge
  • Adept IT skills
  • Sound geographical knowledge
  • Some experience working with local authorities, government bodies or environmental agencies
  • Good report writing abilities
  • Strong communication skills
  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Confident presentation skills

Qualifications

Employers are looking for candidates that have a strong background in hydrology, environmental management, geography or river basin dynamics with either a BSc or MSc in these subjects.

It is also beneficial for graduates to have gained work experience with a consultancy, local authority or government body.

Hours

Your working hours will typically be about 40 hours per week.

Salary

The salary for a graduate flood risk consultant is about £20,000 to £25,000 per annum, though many roles offer more competitive salaries.

Your next steps

Your next roles may include:

  • Associate flood risk consultant
  • Flood risk consultant
  • Senior flood risk consultant

Industry advice for aspiring flood risk consultants

  • Familiarise yourself with niche technical software: The flood risk companies that you will be interviewing for will look for people who already have some knowledge of GIS software and TuFLOW programmes. Set yourself apart by really getting to grips with some of the other software they will be using, such as Infoworks, MapInfo and ArcGIS.
  • Embrace learning opportunities: As a graduate you can accelerate your development by taking advantage of any relevant training opportunities your company or industry associations offer. As this is such a niche sector, many companies will offer training.
  • Get work experience: If you’re yet to secure employment, there are various options available for you in the form of graduate placements, internships and volunteering positions. These will not only give you valuable experience but you may be hired at the end of your placement.

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