As societies all around the world continue to develop and our planet has begun to feel the effects of industrialization, environmental managers are coming into high demand to help companies and organizations everywhere comply with emerging standards of sustainability. In this vein, landing an environmental management job abroad can be a great way to make your impact felt in some of our planet’s most sensitive areas, while also gaining valuable professional experience to carry with you down your global career path.
Why Work Abroad
Environmental issues have begun to transcend national boundaries, as the effects of pollution and industrialization can be felt indiscriminately around the entire planet. As nations work to collaborate on establishing appropriate rules and regulations by which to facilitate sustainable development, environmental managers fill an invaluable role by implementing these measures on the ground, ensuring that standards are met and local populations are kept safe. The opportunities to work abroad in environmental management are vast; where will you begin your leg of the journey?
While every country around the world has their own internal environmental laws and regulations, there is an increasingly grounded international framework by which all the planet’s nations are expected to abide. Nevertheless each country presents a unique set of circumstances to work within; wherever you seek out an environmental management job abroad, factors such as geography, urbanization, and economic development are typically good indicators of what type of work will be available.
For instance in infrastructurally and economically advanced countries such as Germany, Spain, or Australia, environmental management jobs abroad will often be focused on maintaining the regulations which minimize effects of waste and pollution in an industrialized society. Alternatively in rapidly developing countries such as China and India, the problems and laws embedded in industrialization will provide a much different context for environmental managers to work within.
The language barrier is another important factor to take into consideration. While English is commonly spoken everywhere as a second language, many countries outside the native-English speaking world will expect you to have an adequate command of the local language in order to be considered for an environmental management job abroad. This may seem daunting at first, but making the effort to learn a second language certainly never got in the way of anyone’s career options!
Jobs & Positions
Environmental managers oversee projects of all different kinds, all over the world. From consulting with multinational companies to meet pollution standards, to working with NGO’s to implement international policy, to overseeing environmental safety restrictions for on-the-ground projects, there are many different types of environmental management jobs abroad that you can seek out at any stage in your career.
If you are at the entry-level, most environmental management positions around the world will expect you to be certified with a relevant advanced degree in order to be considered for hiring. Just as in most fields, the higher level of certification you have, the better jobs with better salaries you will be able to apply to. Compensation varies around the world, but in general environmental managers are paid quite well for their work (in the United States, for example, environmental managers make an average above six figures).
Because of visa considerations, it can sometimes be hard to find an employer abroad that is willing and able to endorse you for a full time position. Beyond applying directly to an international position, the best ways to land an environmental management job abroad are either to apply to a domestic position and look to transfer overseas, or else apply through a jobs abroad program (as listed on this page).
Benefits & Challenges
Positive Impact. Working abroad in environmental management is a way to travel the world, while knowing that the impact you leave behind is a positive one. Societies all over the world can benefit from adhering to a more sustainable development path.
Professional Development. The work you do will not only prove valuable to your host country throughout the duration of your environmental management job abroad; it will also be an incredible growth experience for you, placing yourself in a new environmental context and interacting across cultures on a daily basis.
New Terrain. Adapting to the cultural customs of a different country, as well as learning to navigate the bureaucracy of national environmental regulations therein, will be a challenging task. Think you’re up to taking it on?
Environmental managers are increasingly important to the wellbeing of our planet and of the societies which build upon it. Environmental sustainability is a truly global cause, and there is no better way to learn this than by travelling the world to learn of it firsthand.