Centre for Sustainable Energy

St James Court, St James Parade, Bristol BS1 3LH
0117 934 1400 | www.cse.org.uk | Charity 298740 

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Bright Green Future is managed by the Centre for Sustainable Energy and is part of a Big Lottery funded project called Our Bright Future, aimed at empowering young people to lead progressive change in their communities and local environment.

Environmental Educator

What do you do?

Teach children and young people about the natural world around them. Usually environmental educators teach groups of children who have come on a school visit for one or more days to a nature reserve or a dedicated environmental centre.

 

What’s a typical day like?

When you start out in your career, you will spend a lot of time outside! You might take groups to woods, ponds, mountains, sand dunes or just their local park. You will guide them through how to investigate the natural world and our place in it. For younger children this could be hunting for creatures under logs, drawing pictures of them and then getting them to make potions out of leaves. For GCSE or A level students you could be helping them investigate more complex topics, like how building houses on the coastline affects ecosystems and creates problems with flooding. When you’re not teaching you will spend a lot of time doing things like planning visits, fixing equipment, photocopying and cleaning wellies. When you are more experienced you will be able to design new resources or whole new workshops. If you move into a management position you will spend less time outside, and more time managing budgets, staff and volunteers. You may have the power to influence the direction of your organisation, or to train other people.

This career would suit people with:

  • Passion for the natural world

  • Enthusiasm and patience, and who like children and teenagers!

  • Good levels of fitness

  • A scientific mind

  • Good communication skills, particularly spoken

  • People who like being outside in all weathers

  • Like working flexibility (you will probably work some weekends, evenings and holidays)

 

What makes it a green career?

As David Attenborough says: “No one will protect what they don’t care about, and no one will care about what they haven’t experienced”. Sharing your passion for nature and giving young people inspiring experiences in the outdoors will help them become adults who buy green products, give to charity and campaign for nature. Persuading someone to cycle instead of drive, or to change to a green electricity supplier is much easier if they understand the sometimes complex relationships between our actions and the impact on the places, animals and plants they care about. Environmental education teaches about these interactions.

What qualifications do you need?

For most jobs you will need a degree in a related subject, e.g. Geography, Biology, Wildlife Conservation or Environmental Science. You may also be able to do an apprenticeship with an environmental education organisation. Environmental Education is very competitive, so most people working in environmental education volunteer for organisations in the UK or abroad to build up their experience.

How much could you earn?

£10,000 to £20,000 per year, rising to around £26,000 per year as a manager, or higher if you are a senior manager.

Photo credit: Flickr