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Which green jobs are the highest-paid in the UK?

By Niamh O

Updated September 24, 2021 Updated September 24, 2021

Do you want to be an environmental lawyer? Sustainability engineer? or the Head of Sustainability? Find out how much you can really earn in these roles.

Searches for green courses have steadily increased over the past three years, with 98 percent more people searching for these courses in October 2020 than in October 2019 – showing an appetite for green careers.  

It’s been predicted that 10m jobs could be created in the green sector worldwide. Of course, salary isn’t the be all and end all, but it still plays a crucial part when thinking of starting on a new career path. 

With this in mind, Uswitch has found the best paid green roles in the UK and the qualifications and experience that are required to land them.  

Will Owen, energy expert at Uswitch.com, said: “With the government’s 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution, more jobs than ever are expected to be in the green sector.  

“The appetite for this is evident in our research showing how many people are looking for courses to set them on the path to a green career. 

“Wages can be high for the most experienced and highly educated individuals. However, not being just about money, those in the green sector can feel comfortable knowing that they’re doing their bit for the planet too”.  

Best paid roles in the green sector 

Average salary 

Environmental Lawyer 

£82,875 

Head of Sustainability 

£63,105.25 

Renewable Energy Consultant 

£52,000 

Hydrologist 

£47,250 

Environmental Manager 

£47170 

Sustainability Engineer 

£46,250 

Climate Change Manager 

£42,139.25 

Solar Installer 

£41,500.25 

Carbon Analyst 

£41,450 

Ecologist 

£39,250 

Solar Electrician 

£38,750 

Solar Design Engineer 

£36,250 

Hydrographic Surveyor 

£35,250 

Environmental Engineer 

£34,500 

Environmental Consultant 

£33,750 

Environmental Scientist 

£30,250 

Sustainability Advisor 

£30,250

Unsurprisingly, the best paid roles require higher levels of education and experience. You can find out more about the necessary qualifications and preferred experience for the best paid roles in the environmental sector below.  

Qualifications needed with preferred experience for the best paid roles in energy 

Environmental lawyer

Qualifications:

  • Read a full law degree (LLB) as an undergraduate degree. 

  • An undergraduate degree of a different discipline and, after graduating, a one-year ‘law conversion. 

Skills/experience/internships:

  • Experience with environmental charities and NGOs is beneficial. 

Head of Sustainability

Skills/experience/internships:

  • Extensive experience in sustainability across strategy development, implementation, monitoring, communication and reporting. 

Renewable Energy Consultant

Qualifications:

  • Relevant degree in a subject such as renewable energy, environmental management, environmental science, engineering or sustainability. 

Skills/experience/internships:

  • Experience of UK planning systems, HSE procedures and standards. Commercially aware and experienced in business development. Low and zero-carbon technologies would be beneficial. 

Hydrologist 

Qualifications:

  • Relevant degree in environmental science, geography, civil engineering, environmental engineering, Earth sciences or ecology. 

  • Postgraduate course in water engineering, flood risk management or hydrogeology. 

Skills/experience/internships:

  • Keen interest in flood risk management and related environmental areas. 

Environmental Manager 

Qualifications:

  • An undergraduate degree in an environment related subject, which could include engineering, environmental health, environmental sciences/management, biosciences, applied science, physics or geography. 

Skills/experience/internships:

  • A genuine interest in and understanding of environmental issues, relevant legislation and renewable energy sources. Commercial awareness: the ability to work within commercial constraints. 

  • The ability to take the lead on projects and inspire others. 

Sustainability Engineer 

Qualifications:

  • A degree in a relevant engineering or sustainability subject. 

  • A master's degree in a relevant subject is preferred. 

  • It is also often expected that you have specific accreditations such as relevant BREEAM credits and professional registration of CIBSE is highly desirable. 

Skills/experience/internships:

  • Strong technical engineering knowledge. Good understanding of low-carbon technologies, manufacturing processes and equipment. 

  • Sound knowledge of mapping, thermal and energy modelling and life cycle assessment tools. 

  • Good understanding of the circular economy’s impact on sustainable engineering. 

  • CAD and GIS skills building solutions. 

Climate Change Manager 

Qualifications:

  • Relevant Master’s degree in sustainability, environmental management, etc. 

Skills/experience/internships:

  • Knowledge of legislative and regulatory landscape on climate change. 

  • Experience with data management and reporting (internal compliance, CDP). 

Solar Installer

Qualifications:

  • A City & Guilds Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Electrical Installation. 

  • 4 - 5 GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) (level 3 course). 

Skills/experience/internships:

  • No experience needed. 

Carbon Analyst

Qualifications:

  • Minimum a Bachelor’s Degree, preferably in the environmental field or numerical/analytical degree. 

Skills/experience/internships:

  • Experience in report writing, good attention to detail and strong numerical ability and data proficiency. 

Ecologist

Qualifications:

  • Degree in ecology or a related subject. 

Skills/experience/internships:

  • Experience working with external and internal stakeholders, including, clients, sub-contractors, local planning authorities, and conservation bodies desirable.

This article was originally published in September 2021 .

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Written by

Niamh is Deputy Head of Content at QS (TopMBA.com; topuniversities.com), creating and editing content for an international student audience. Having gained her journalism qualification at the Press Association, London and since written for different international publications, she's now enjoying telling the stories of students, alumni, faculty, entrepreneurs and organizations from across the globe.  

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