Environmental Scientists

ANZSCO ID 2343

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
31,600
Future Growth
-2.1%
Weekly Earnings
$2,099
Full-Time Share
76%
Female Share
41%
Average age
39

Summary

Environmental Scientists study, develop, implement and advise on policies and plans for managing and protecting the environment, flora, fauna and other natural resources.

Tasks

  • evaluating habitat, wildlife and fisheries needs, and formulating shortand long-term management goals and objectives

  • enforcing laws and regulations to conserve and protect fish and wildlife

  • carrying out environmental impact assessments for a wide range of development projects

  • proposing solutions to address negative environmental impact

  • studying the effects of factors, such as terrain, altitude, climatic and environmental change, sources of nutrition, predators and the impacts of humans, on animal and plant life

  • studying and analysing pollution, atmospheric conditions, demographic characteristics, ecology, mineral, soil and water samples

  • developing conservation and management policies for biological resources, such as fish populations and forests, and establishing standards and developing approaches for the control of pollution and the rehabilitation of areas disturbed by activities such as mining, timber felling and overgrazing

  • implementing policies and organising activities in designated parks and other areas to conserve and protect natural and cultural heritage

  • participating in management planning by providing environmental information and making inventories of plants, animals and items of cultural and heritage significance

Characteristics

Job Type
Professionals
Skill Level
Very high skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Above average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • University
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Interests
  • Practical
  • Analytical
  • Administrative
Physical Demand
  • Sedentary
  • Light
  • Medium
  • Heavy

Outlook

Employment Outlook

The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers in this occupation is likely to remain stable.

Source: National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.

Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.

Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.

Projected Change
-2.1%
(or -500 jobs)
From
24,100
in 2021
To
23,600
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 23,700
2012 18,300
2013 20,900
2014 23,600
2015 19,100
2016 22,900
2017 18,000
2018 19,500
2019 37,000
2020 26,700
2021 24,100
2026 23,600

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 76% of people employed as Environmental Scientists work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 10 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 43 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    More than half of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).

    Median full-time earnings are $2,099 per week, this is much higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):

    • 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,372
    • 1 in 4 earn more than $2,515

    Median hourly earnings are $56, this is more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).

    Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Earnings Environmental Scientists All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 2,099 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.


Industries

Main industries

1
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
39.0%
2
Public Administration and Safety
22.4%
3
Arts and Recreation Services
9.9%
4
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services
6.6%
5
Other industries
21.3%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

27.5% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

17.9% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

22.9% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

6.0% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

16.9% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

2.7% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

3.9% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

2.1% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Environmental Scientists All Jobs Average
NSW 27.5 31.6
VIC 17.9 25.6
QLD 22.9 20.0
SA 6.0 7.0
WA 16.9 10.8
TAS 2.7 2.0
NT 3.9 1.0
ACT 2.1 1.9


  • Around 49% of Environmental Scientists live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.

    Western Australia has a large share of employment relative to its population size.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
39
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
41%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Environmental Scientists is 39 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 35 to 44 years.

    Females make up 41% of the workforce. This is 7 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Environmental Scientists All Jobs Average
15-19 0.8 5.0
20-24 4.9 9.3
25-34 28.5 22.9
35-44 32.3 22.0
45-54 19.6 21.6
55-59 7.2 9.0
60-64 4.3 6.0
65 and Over 2.6 4.2
Median Age 39 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

A bachelor degree in a relevant field is usually needed to work as an Environmental Scientist. Many workers have a postgraduate qualification.

Visit

  • Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
  • ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
  • My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
  • AAPathways website to explore Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation & Land Management and Sustainability VET training pathways.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of Qualification Environmental Scientists All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 27.7 10.1
Bachelor degree 48.4 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 7.6 11.6
Certificate III/IV 7.3 21.1
Year 12 4.6 18.1
Year 11 1.2 4.8
Year 10 and below 3.2 12.5

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.


Skills and Knowledge

Employers look for Environmental Scientists who can communicate clearly, work well in a team and have strong interpersonal skills.

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 71%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 66%

    Science

    Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

  • 64%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 63%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 59%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 59%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 59%

    Mathematics

    Using maths to solve problems.

  • 59%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 57%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 57%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 57%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 55%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 55%

    Learning strategies

    Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.

  • 55%

    Systems analysis

    Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.

  • 54%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 50%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 50%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 48%

    Management of personnel resources

    Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.

  • 46%

    Persuasion

    Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.

  • 43%

    Serving others

    Looking for ways to help people.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 69%

    English language

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  • 67%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 66%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 62%

    Customer and personal service

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  • 59%

    Biology

    Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

  • 58%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 58%

    Chemistry

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  • 55%

    Geography

    Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.

  • 55%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • 51%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 49%

    Engineering and technology

    Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  • 48%

    Physics

    The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

  • 47%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  • 46%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 41%

    Mechanical

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  • 40%

    Technical design

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

  • 39%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  • 37%

    Transportation

    Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.

  • 37%

    Building and construction

    Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.

  • 28%

    Economics and accounting

    Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 71%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 71%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 71%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 66%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 66%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 64%

    Written expression

    Write in a way that people can understand.

  • 59%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 55%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 55%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • 55%

    Brainstorming

    Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.

  • 54%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • 54%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 54%

    Mathematics

    Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.

  • 54%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 52%

    Working with numbers

    Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.

  • 52%

    Flexibility of closure

    See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.

  • 52%

    Originality

    Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.

  • 48%

    Far vision

    See details that are far away.

  • 46%

    Selective attention

    Pay attention to something without being distracted.

  • 41%

    Multitasking

    Do two or more things at the same time.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 78%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 78%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 77%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 77%

    Collecting and organising information

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

  • 74%

    Communicating with the public

    Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 73%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 72%

    Building good relationships

    Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.

  • 71%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 70%

    Making sense of information and ideas

    Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.

  • 69%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 66%

    Checking compliance with standards

    Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

  • 64%

    Scheduling work and activities

    Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

  • 63%

    Assessing and evaluating things

    Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.

  • 62%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 62%

    Explaining things to people

    Helping people to understand and use information.

  • 62%

    Giving expert advice

    Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups.

  • 61%

    Documenting or recording information

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  • 56%

    Estimating amounts, costs and resources

    Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.

  • 53%

    Coming up with systems and processes

    Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.

  • 47%

    Working with computers

    Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.


Interests and demands

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 100%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 76%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 57%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 48%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.

  • 24%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 24%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 71%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 71%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 71%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.

  • 67%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 57%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.

  • 52%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 100%

    Electronic mail

    Use electronic mail.

  • 98%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 96%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 90%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 89%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 88%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 85%

    Indoors, heat controlled

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  • 84%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 81%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 80%

    Spend time sitting

    Spend time sitting at work.

  • 78%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 78%

    Lead or coordinate a team

    Lead others to do work activities.

  • 78%

    Letters and memos

    Write letters and memos.

  • 75%

    Frequent decision making

    Frequently make decisions that impact other people.

  • 72%

    Contact with the public

    Work with customers or the public.

  • 70%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 66%

    Repeating same tasks

    Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.

  • 62%

    Competition

    Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.

  • 59%

    Responsible for outcomes

    Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.

  • 58%

    In an enclosed vehicle or equipment

    Work in a closed vehicle (e.g., car).

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 19-2041.00 - Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health.


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