ENVIRONMENTAL CAREERS OVERVIEW
Choosing a career within the environmental field is both rewarding and fascinating. You actively contribute to the maintenance and conservation of the environment and career options are wide and diverse.
There are two main routes which you can take.
Careers in this field are centred around people and their interaction with the environment, and how to make these exchanges beneficial to both people and the environment.
Environmental science careers
Depending on your subjects and major, careers in this field generally lead to a career path in biodiversity conservation, environmental management aspects such as pollution control, waste management or infrastructural development.
Many environmental organisations need help from volunteers and working in a voluntary position in an environment-related role may often be the first step into getting your first paying position. One could take up a volunteering role with conservation organisations or join advocacy groups in your local area. Volunteering gives you experience and shows commitment.
JOINING A PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION
Membership of one or more learned societies is essential for the development of a successful professional career. It is important to stay up to date with your industry and joining a professional association, attending conferences and events and reading publications in your field will help you in this regard. Some professional bodies also offer bursaries or internships.
The Institute of Environment and Recreation Management (IERM) is a professional body specifically aimed at municipal managers and provides members with a platform for interaction and networking with colleagues in the industry.
Membership will provide you with the following benefits:
- Opportunity to meet and interact with colleagues in your industry
- You can learn about the macro socio-political drivers in your industry
- A chance to compare your thinking on issues with that of your peers
- The Institute provides a platform to profile yourself in the industry
- You can demonstrate your thought leadership in a peer environment
- Industry trends and issues can be tracked and monitored
- An opportunity to participate in your industry on a national level
The membership of the IERM consists of managers responsible for management processes involving:
- Cemeteries and Crematoria
- Public Parks
- Environmental Management & Planning
- Nature Conservation
- Community Recreation a& Recreation Facilities
- Urban Greening
- Arboriculture & Urban Agriculture
Once you have qualified and started a career in your chosen field, it is advisable to further qualify yourself in obtaining a professional designation. Click here to find out more about becoming a South African Certified Park Professional (SACPP).