Environmental expert

Environmental expert article illustration


An environmental expert is a highly knowledgeable professional specializing in various aspects of environmental science, policy, and management. This role involves addressing environmental challenges, providing expertise on sustainable practices, and contributing to developing and implementing environmental initiatives.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to environmental expert:

land survey technician
environmental scientist
soil scientist
environmental consultant
mineral technologist
technological environmentalist
environmental compliance expert
geological technologist
geological technician
environmental technologist
environmental advisor
ecosystem restoration project manager
environmental health manager
climate change specialist
mineral technician
green infrastructure analyst
environmental sustainability expert
environmental specialist

Working conditions

Environmental experts work in various settings, including government agencies, consulting firms, research institutions, non-profit organizations, and corporate sustainability teams. The role may involve fieldwork, collaboration with diverse stakeholders, and participation in conferences and public forums.

Minimum qualifications

To become an environmental expert, a bachelor’s or master’s degree in environmental science, environmental management, ecology, or a related field is typically required. Advanced degrees (Ph.D.) may be preferred for specialized roles and research positions. Practical experience gained through internships, research projects, or work in environmental organizations contributes to the development of environmental experts. Continuous learning, staying updated on environmental advancements, and engaging with the broader environmental science and policy community are crucial for success in this role. Strong analytical, communication, and problem-solving skills are essential for addressing complex environmental challenges and influencing positive change.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Environmental expert is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Environmental expert career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to environmental expert.

environmental policy officer
environmental scientist
environmental programme coordinator
aquaculture environmental analyst

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of environmental expert.

  • Environmental policy: Local, national and international policies dealing with the promotion of environmental sustainability and the development of projects which reduce negative environmental impact and improve the state of the environment.
  • Pollution legislation: Be familiar with European and National legislation regarding the risk of pollution.
  • Environmental legislation: The environmental policies and legislation applicable in a certain domain.
  • Pollution prevention: The processes used to prevent pollution: precautions to pollution of the environment, procedures to counter pollution and associated equipment, and possible measures to protect the environment.
  • Environmental threats: The threats to the environment that are related to biological, chemical, nuclear, radiological, and physical hazards.
  • Scientific research methodology: The theoretical methodology used in scientific research involving doing background research, constructing a hypothesis, testing it, analysing data and concluding the results.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of environmental expert.

  • Create solutions to problems: Solve problems that arise in planning, prioritising, organising, directing/facilitating action and evaluating performance. Use systematic processes of collecting, analysing, and synthesising information to evaluate current practice and generate new understandings about practice.
  • Investigate pollution: Identify the cause of pollution incidents, as well as its nature and the extent of the risks, by performing tests on the site of pollution and in a laboratory and performing research.
  • Perform environmental investigations: Perform environmental investigations as required, checking regulatory proceedings, possible legal actions or other types of complaints.
  • Collect samples for analysis: Collect samples of materials or products for laboratory analysis.
  • Advise on pollution prevention: Advise individuals and organisations on the development and implementation of actions that aid in the prevention of pollution and its related risks.
  • Develop environmental policy: Develop an organisational policy on sustainable development and compliance with environmental legislation in line with policy mechanisms used in the field of environmental protection.
  • Measure pollution: Conduct pollution measurements to determine whether the prescribed pollutant limits are respected. Check firing systems and exhaust paths of gas water heaters, air heaters, and similar equipment.
  • Carry out environmental audits: Use equipment to measure various environmental parameters in order to identify environmental problems and investigate manners in which they can be resolved. Perform inspections in order to ensure compliance with environmental legislation.
  • Analyse environmental data: Analyse data that interpret correlations between human activities and environmental effects.
  • Conduct environmental surveys: Conduct surveys in order to collect information for analysis and management of environmental risks within an organisation or in a wider context.
  • Advise on environmental remediation: Advise on the development and implementation of actions that aim to remove sources of pollution and contamination from the environment.
  • Report pollution incidents: Examine the extent of the damage and consequences when an incident causes pollution, and report it to the relevant institution following pollution reporting procedures.
  • Develop environmental remediation strategies: Develop strategies for the removal of pollution and contaminants from soil, groundwater, surface water, or sediment, taking into account environmental remediation regulations and available technologies.
  • Assess environmental impact: Monitor environmental impacts and carry out assessments in order to identify and to reduce the organisation’s environmental risks while taking costs into account.
  • Report on environmental issues: Compile environmental reports and communicate on issues. Inform the public or any interested parties in a given context on relevant recent developments in the environment, forecasts on the future of the environment, and any problems and possible solutions.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of environmental expert. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Environmental engineering: The application of scientific and engineering theories and principles aimed at improving the environment and sustainability, such as the provision of clean habitation necessities (such as air, water, and land) for humans and other organisms, for environmental remediation in the event of pollution, sustainable energy development, and improved waste management and waste reduction methods.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of environmental expert. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Assess environmental plans against financial costs: Assess environmental plans in financial terms in order to balance the expenditure required for environmental improvements. Assess the economic benefit that those investments will bring to the company in the long term.
  • Liaise with local authorities: Maintain the liaison and exchange of information with regional or local authorities.
  • Carry out training in environmental matters: Perform staff training and ensure all workforce members understand how they can contribute to improved environmental performance.
  • Monitor environmental parameters: Check the impact of manufacturing machinery on the environment, analysing temperature levels, water quality and air pollution.
  • Perform scientific research: Gain, correct or improve knowledge about phenomena by using scientific methods and techniques, based on empirical or measurable observations.
  • Apply scientific methods: Apply scientific methods and techniques to investigate phenomena, by acquiring new knowledge or correcting and integrating previous knowledge.
  • Promote environmental awareness: Calculate the carbon footprint of business processes and other practices in order to promote sustainability and to raise awareness for the environmental impact.
  • Work with chemicals: Handle chemicals and select specific ones for certain processes. Be aware of the reactions that arise from combining them.
  • Inspect industrial equipment: Inspect equipment used during industrial activities such as manufacturing or construction equipment in order to ensure that the equipment complies with health, safety, and environmental legislation.
  • Write scientific papers: Present the hypothesis, findings, and conclusions of your scientific research in your field of expertise in a professional publication.
  • Liaise with engineers: Collaborate with engineers to ensure common understanding and discuss product design, development and improvement.

ISCO group and title

2143 – Environmental engineers

  1. Environmental expert – ESCO
  2. Featured image: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio
Last updated on January 21, 2024