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Environment Advisers/Managers ensure that construction projects comply with environmental regulations and targets.

Average salaries are in the region of £20,000.00 to £25,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location / employer

Career Profile

Environment Advisors/Managers ensure that construction projects comply with environmental regulations and targets.

What they do

Environmental Advisors work on a variety of contracts, addressing many issues including:

  • air quality
  • land and water contamination
  • waste management
  • environmental impact

They ensure regulations are complied with which involves liasinf with site teams, clients, stakeholders and the wider environmental team. 

Corporate social responsibility or community involvement is often involved , as the environmental impacts of a project can be of great concern to the local community. 

Environmental Advisors:

  • Manage legislative issues for clients, including planning permissions and consents
  • Conduct field surveys to establish a baseline for levels of pollutions or contamination for a site
  • Interpret data
  • Keep up to date with the most recent changes in environmental law
  • Identify and consider potential contaminant sources
  • Write reports for stakeholders and other team members
  • Communicate with clients
  • Research previous investigations of a site, providing information for clients considering purchase
  • Undertake field work to identify any previous activity on the site and any possible contamination
  • Create site waste managment plans
  • Ensure that any biodiversity recommendations are met on site

Hours & Salary

  • Newly trained environmental advisers can earn in the region of £20,000 and £25,000 per year
  • Trained with experience environmental advisers can earn in the region of £22,000 and £33,000
  • Senior, chartered or master environmental advisers can earn £38,000 or more

Salaries typically range depending on location and level of responsibility.

Environmental Advisors typically work 40 hours per week. 


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Case Study

What do you like about your job? 

I really enjoy the variety of projects that I work on; I get to do lots of different things and work all over the business. We work national roles in our team so we go all over the country visiting our sites and offices which is great as I never feel I have a monotonous desk job!

What's your working day like? 

My working days are variable, either I am in our head office or London office attending meetings and working on projects or I can be going on site to speak to the site teams about our Sustainability targets and ways to achieve them. I do have admin to do, but so does every job, but it is not all-consuming and there is plenty of time to concentrate on an exciting project and rolling it out across the business. 

What skills do you need in your job? 

Passion, ambition and determination! The role is very rewarding and it is great when you go onto site and they are fully involved and really want to make every effort to reduce their carbon footprint! 

What was your background before starting your role? 

I have a Masters in Environmental Management and I was previously working for the London Wildlife Trust, I have also worked abroad for a marine conservation charity for a year. I have a varied CV and have done a lot of different roles, I had no experience of the construction industry before I joined Wates but I have found it fascinating and a great industry to work in. 

What are you most proud of in your career? 

I am proud of my academic achievements and I am proud of my role now, I feel that I am in a great place, working for a business who will support me in my career and help me achieve my development goals. 

Where do you see yourself in ten years' time? 

Not sure just yet - we'll wait and see!

Any advice for someone thinking about a career in construction? 

It is a fantastic industry growing all the time, there are so many job opportunities related to the construction industry that people are unaware of. 


Ruth Finlayson is a Senior Environmental Management Consultant

What is your current role and what does it involve?

Environmental Management is a wide ranging, bespoke career that many employers are learning needs to be prioritised in order to develop their business.

My role involving providing support and training across the company in project environmental management and environmental management systems.

I provide on-site support for various engineering projects from bridges and roads, to flood defences.

I co-ordinate pollution control, waste management, resource efficiency, ecology and conservation from design to operation and assess and develop business development opportunities to steer environmental strategies and action plans for clients.

On top of this, my job involves auditing and assessment and working closely with clients to ensure they comply with environmental legislation.

I also prepare and submit consent applications, assessing ecological surveys for scheme impacts, and delivering to design and construction teams.

Delivering training programs on permitting, compliance and monitoring in all areas of environmental management is also key to my role.

What is your educational background and how did you get into this career?

I worked in a different jobs including bar management, teaching, government, volunteering abroad, and legal work before doing a second degree and changing my career.

My degree was a BSc (hons) Physics with Environmental Science and a second BSC (hons) in Environmental Conservation. I then got some work experience working in conservation in Africa and volunteering with RSPB, BTCV, NARRS, BCT and ERYC before getting a job as an advisor with a civil engineering contractor.

I learned on the job before becoming an environment manager.

My varied career has allowed me to understand the wider impacts of environmental management and the needs of stakeholders.

What do you like about your role?

I really enjoy the variety of the projects I work on.

I get to do a lot of different things and work all over the business.

Our team also gets to visit sites and offices across the country which is wonderful. I am very lucky not to have a monotonous desk job!

Construction is an industry of variety and change. You have the opportunity to make a difference in the environment on a grass-roots level as well as have your voice heard at governmental level.

You can influence change and innovation for the future of our country and its infrastructure, and improve people’s understanding of the connection of development and global resources.

What does a typical day look like?

My working day depends on whether I am on site or in the office. On site I may start at around 7.30am and be called on to lead a progress discussion before carrying out a tour of the site compound. I also have plenty of paperwork to get on with including auditing Duty of Care waste documents, pollution prevention documents and KPIs.

On an office day I work 9 to 5 and plough through a daily “to do” list. I might arrange to have some teleconferences with clients or be preparing training materials.

What are the most essential skills involved in your job?

You need a basic degree in an environment related discipline, good report writing skills and be able to talk to people of all levels positively and assertively.

You need to be confident in the legislation and policy required, have a passion for the environment, understand climate change pressures and be prepared to learn about the stakeholders and drivers for change.

It helps if you are able to stand up for yourself. After all, it is a challenging role and you will have to handle plenty of disagreements. An ability to influence decision-making is valuable.

What are you most proud of in your career? 

I have enjoyed much of my career in environmental management and have worked on some great projects, most recently the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon. Being part of such a groundbreaking project for renewable energy has been a steep learning curve but very rewarding.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?

I hope to be with the same company heading up a team of environmental management and legal compliance.

I enjoy the variety of consulting work and being able to work with so many different clients means it never gets boring.

What advice do you have for someone considering entering the construction industry?

Be willing to learn on the job. You don’t need to be an expert in construction methods to be able to manage environmental aspects and impacts.

But you do need to have a tough exterior, be assertive and - most of all - enjoy what you do.

Qualifications & Training

What qualifications or subjects do I need for this role?

A degree or (L6 NVQ/HNC in Wales) is the minimum entry qualification to become an environmental adviser. Getting a job in this field is unlikely with an HND only.

What kind of degree is preferred?

Some employers will accept any degree discipline, but most prefer subjects related to the environment and land such as environmental sciences or geography.

Graduates can study for a professional qualification with the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA).

If they become specialists in a particular area, such as water, they may also find it beneficial to join a related professional body – for example, the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM).

Do I need to have any previous experience?

Employers generally expect applicants to have relevant work experience and sometimes offer summer placements and work-based placements linked to masters programmes.

In your first job you are likely to shadow an experienced adviser.

Want to find out more?

Try our Matching Service for work experience opportunities in your local area, with new opportunities being added on a regular basis. 

Looking for a vacancy?

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The number of job vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary daily, as these are external websites. Check regularly to see new opportunities as they are posted.

Career trends and forecasts

16240 additional staff needed

According to the latest Construction Skills Network research, the UK construction industry will need an additional 16,240 Construction Professionals and Technical staff every year (which includes Environmental Advisors) for the period 2017 - 2021.  The majority of this demand will be in Scotland followed by a fairly even spread across North East, East England, Wales, Northern Ireland and West Midlands.

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