Environmental Scientist

Environmental Scientist

Environmental scientists study plants, animals and microorganisms in the context of their environment or ecosystem, and provide advice about how to avoid or reduce harmful effects from human activities. They may also be involved in projects to restore habitats such as forests, wetlands and waterways.

Environmental scientists are employed by:

  • Local and national government, where they collect and analyse water, air and soil samples, prepare and apply environmental policies, provide technical advice, and work with communities
  • Research institutions such as Landcare Research, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) and universities
  • Engineering consultancies, where they prepare applications for resource consent on behalf of clients
  • Manufacturing and mining companies, where they help to monitor and reduce the production of environmentally-harmful by-products

As sectors such as mining and dairy farming grow rapidly, more environmental scientists are needed to investigate and reduce the environmental impacts of these industries. Your chances of getting a job as an environmental scientist are reasonably good, although competition for research roles can be fierce.

Environmental scientists generally earn:

  • $40-60,000 with one to five years’ experience
  • $70-100,000 with more than five years’ experience and/or further qualifications

Key tertiary qualifications include:

  • Bachelor of Science or Applied Science in Biology, Chemistry, Ecology, Environmental Science, Geography, Marine Science, Natural Resource Management or Soil Science
  • A PhD is generally required for research-based positions

Recommended school subjects:

  • Maths (especially Statistics & Modelling)
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Geography
  • English
  • Physics

Careers New Zealand: Environmental Scientist


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Environmental Scientist: People who work in this role

  • Sophia Olo-Whaanga

    Environmental Science Consultant, Sophia Olo-Whaanga  at work

    Nicole McAulay

    Resource Technician with the Water Quality and Ecology team., Nicole McAulay at work

    Heather Martindale

    Geochemist - groundwater scientist, Heather Martindale at work

    Alysha Bagasra

    Policy Analyst, Alysha Bagasra at work
  • Frank van Betuw

    Education and Compliance Officer, Frank van Betuw at work

    Sheree Tidswell

    Environmental Scientist, Sheree Tidswell at work

    Dean Olsen

    Water Resource Scientist, Dean Olsen at work

    Jamie Halla

    Environmental and Marine Scientist, Jamie Halla at work
  • Kent Steel

    Enviornmental Specialist, Kent Steel at work

    Nicholas Holwerda

    Environmental Specialist, Nicholas Holwerda at work

    Kimberley Robinson

    Surface Water Quality Analyst, Kimberley Robinson at work

    Donovan Van Kekem

    Air Quality Scientist, Donovan Van Kekem at work
  • Blair Sowman

    Environmental Specialist - Hydrology, Blair Sowman at work

    Jacob Williams

    Natural Hazard Analyst, Jacob Williams at work

    Ben Woodward

    Research Scientist, Ben Woodward at work

    Dale Eastham

    Environment & Risk Manager, Dale Eastham at work
  • Peter Williams

    Environmental Specialist, Peter Williams at work

    Stacey Lockie

    Environmental Field Technician, Stacey Lockie at work

    Tamsyn Dawson

    Environmental Manager, Tamsyn Dawson at work

    Suzanne Lowe

    Contaminated Land Scientist, Suzanne Lowe at work
  • Dan Clark

    Water Resource Scientist, Dan Clark at work

    Sarah Alexander

    Resource Technician, Sarah Alexander at work

    Leah Adlam

    Graduate Environmental Scientist, Leah Adlam at work

    Kelly Deihl

    Environmental Scientist, Kelly Deihl at work
  • Steph Goff

    Environmental Scientist, Steph Goff at work

    Judith Weggery

    Environmental Scientist, Judith Weggery at work

    Emma Comrie-Thomson

    Senior Environmental Consultant, Emma Comrie-Thomson at work

    Warwick Hesketh

    Land Management Advisor, Warwick Hesketh at work
  • Trudy Geoghegan

    Senior Advisor, Hazardous Substances Reassessments, Trudy Geoghegan at work

    Eva Harris

    Resource Management Officer, Eva Harris at work

Environmental Scientist: Companies that employ people in this job role

  • Ministry for Primary Industries
    Ministry for Primary Industries
    NIWA
    NIWA
    AgResearch
    AgResearch
    Western Bay of Plenty District Council
    Western Bay of Plenty District Council
  • Shell Todd Oil Services
    Shell Todd Oil Services
    Aeroqual
    Aeroqual
    Ballance Agri-Nutrients
    Ballance Agri-Nutrients
    Downer
    Downer
  • 4Sight Consulting
    4Sight Consulting
    Marshall Day Acoustics
    Marshall Day Acoustics
    Plant & Food Research
    Plant & Food Research
    Hawke's Bay Regional Council
    Hawke's Bay Regional Council
  • Stantec
    Stantec
    Dunedin City Council
    Dunedin City Council
    Davis Ogilvie
    Davis Ogilvie

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