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What is it like going into the Environmental field in terms of workload and tasks?

The environmental field is one of the many things i like but ive been told the job isnt what it seems along with there being job opportunities at all. #environmental

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Rylan’s Answer

Hi Rayann,

The answer for this can vary greatly depending on your focus in the environmental field. One can focus on Enviro engineering, Sciences, or policy/government. I focused on Hydrology and restoration sciences and found employment at conservation authorities, cities, and an engineering firm. Being outdoor in sometimes adverse weather is a regular part of the job. You might be waist deep in water or working, summer heat, or deep in a thick wood lot. With conservation authorities I spent a lot of time planting seedlings, creating erosion barriers, restoring stream shoreline and identifying species (Such as frog identification in wetlands). Others on the team may have spent their day clearing invasive species or tracking other animals in a region. Friends in engineering roles are those designing the restoration of the areas.

One thing to note is that many environmental employees work seasonally. I wouldn't see this as a negative aspect of the role though as many people have winter hobbies, they might find work elsewhere in the world during winter, or enjoy the time off.

I would recommend finding a city or conservation authority to volunteer with. Where I live getting a job can be a tough competition. Volunteering is a great way to get experience before entering the field and you'll meet experienced employees that can offer advice and alert you when position become available. You might also find nearby clubs and organizations to further develop your skills and network.

The field is very rewarding! I've enjoyed going back to parks I've worked in many years ago and seeing the growth that's occurred. My suggestions would look at college programs that teach technical skills or at Environmental engineering programs. An engineering degree will allow you to do many other things in the future should you find other interests.


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Tammy’s Answer

As Rylan mentioned in the above comment, there are many fields within the environmental industry. I work within the multifamily financial industry and specialize in environmental concerns at individual properties. I work with environmental lawyers, environmental consultants, property owners and Lenders. 99.9% of my work is done indoors behind a computer finding solutions that meet all of the stakeholders needs in mitigating the risk associated with a specific property.

If you are interested in environmental banking/finance, I have found the Environmental Bankers Association to be a great resource and may be able to help you narrow down your interests.

About EBA

Environmental Bankers Association (EBA) is a non-profit trade association that represents the financial services industry, including bank and non-bank financial institutions, insurers, asset management firms and those who provide services to them.

Membership in the EBA is not limited to financial institutions. In addition to the financial sector our membership currently includes:

- property & casualty insurers and brokers,
- environmental consultants, appraisers and environmental information management firms
- environmental, real estate and trust attorneys .

The EBA meets formally twice a year. The meetings provide not only a forum to promote the exchange of environmental risk management and sustainable development lending information and technical expertise, but also provides the opportunity for our members to network.