How to get a job in the environment sector

Thu, 15/11/2012 - 12:10 -- nick

UnemployedNet supports The Mirror's really useful Get Britain Working campaign. The Mirror has been looking at jobs in the environmental sector, finding 3,160 available vacancies at the time of writing.

This vital sector combines potentially good wages with social value; you could be helping the UK to combat climate change, one of the biggest threats to our future.

The environment sector covers green energy, green building, and local authority environment officers. Pay is likely to be greater than average as a reward for the fact that many of the jobs need specialist skills. Read on to see if you want to join the million people already working in this area.

"THE green sector just keeps growing and as part of our Get Britain Working campaign, we have tracked down 3,160 environmentally friendly jobs.

There are almost a million people employed by the green sector, working in a range of industries from biofuels and electric car ­manufacturing to wind turbine installation.

Last year more than 25,000 new jobs were created, and 112,000 people now work in green building technologies, such as insulation, while wind energy employs 100,000 people.

If you can get on the green career ladder you will do well – especially in the world of engineering.

Professor Andy Hopper of the Institution of ­Engineering and Technology says: “Demand for ­professional engineers and technicians continues to accelerate.”

The work is especially rewarding if you want to make a difference and help ensure the UK has a ­low-carbon future.

Andy says: “There has never been a more crucial time to have a pool of skilled ­professionals taking up these well-paid jobs.”


THIS time last year Shona Rawlins was struggling to find work.

A qualified electrician, she had been made redundant out of the blue in October and couldn’t find work near her home in Sheffield.

Shona, 25, says: “I was beginning to think there was no hope of finding work.

“I had done an apprenticeship straight from school and had a lot of electrical installation experience. but there was nothing around, even with my qualifications. It was horrible. I hated not having money.”

Then Shona saw the British Gas website and found they were recruiting a new band of Smart Meter Experts.

She says: “I wasn’t sure what that was, but I researched it and saw they needed the right people to help them with the national roll-out of meters which allow customers to reduce energy consumption and save money.”

Shona applied and had to do online assessments. “I passed those initial tests, which included making sure my maths was up to scratch,” she says.

She then had a ­telephone interview, which she breezed through. Within days, right before Christmas, she learned she had the job.

“It was the best Christmas ever,” she says. Starting work in January, Shona went straight into training at the British Gas Academy in Leeds.

She says: “I’d spend a few weeks at the academy and then a few weeks on the job with a mentor.

“I learned all about the meters, how to fit them, and how to best advise customers and help them. In July, I qualified as a Smart Meter Expert and started work on my own, although I was shadowed to start with.”

Shona loves the job.

“I love knowing I make a difference to people’s lives – saving them money and helping them understand their energy consumption.”


Key employers in the energy sector are the water, gas, power and nuclear industries.

British Gas is currently recruiting 1,000 apprentice Smart Energy Experts. You need a minimum of four GCSEs, C grade and above, a driving licence, and great communication skills. Apply online at

At there are 417 related jobs, including a wind farm operations engineer in Inverness (£35,000) and an environmental sales job in Birmingham (£350 a week). has 339 jobs, including an acoustics consultant in Northampton (£30,000) and a sustainability consultant in London (from £25,000).

Check out, which has 512 jobs, including a South Downs Way adviser in Sussex (from £21,000), a schools Bike It project leader in ­Eastbourne (from £20,574) and an Ofgem administrator in Glasgow (from £16,900). has 632 jobs, including a lab analyst in Kent (£20,000), water resources consultant in Swindon (up to £30,000) and a water treatment engineer in Bristol (£24,000).

EDF Energy wants candidates for its graduate programme. See for more details.

The sustainable recruitment experts at ­ have 599 jobs, including a waste contract manager in the South West (from £45,000) and wind farm electrical engineer in Glasgow (from £40,000).


The Institution of Engineering and Technology ( has great careers and training pages for advice and guidance. Check out Cogent at for nuclear and petroleum industry jobs.

For training in the energy and utility industries check out

See or call 08000 150 600 to find green careers among the 300 types of ­apprenticeship available."

Via The Mirror