For Job Seekers

FES alumni work as managers of various non-profit and charitable organizations, as government policy advisors, and as professors and research institute directors at top universities – just to name a few possibilities. Check out our alumni profiles for more ideas. Our resources can help you find the career of your dreams!

Career Services maintains a list of environmental opportunities – including jobs, internships, and volunteer positions – available to FES community members. Our user-friendly search engine will help you find the best job to match your skills and interests! For the password to enter the Board, contact the Student Resource Assistant.

Career Planning

The first step in choosing a career path is to learn more about you! A career choice based on your values is likely to contribute to your overall job satisfaction. The career planning process consists of:

Step 1: Self-Assessment

It is important to find out about your work interests, styles and preferences. When you choose a career path, you are making a choice that will affect every aspect of your life. Your self-knowledge can help you make more informed and better decisions.

Important questions to ask include:

  • Interests: What are my likes and dislikes?
  • Preferred Skills: What skills have I developed that I would like to use in a job?
  • Personal Values: What kind of work will give me the most career satisfaction?
  • Preferred Working Conditions: What type of environment would I like to work in?
  • Physical Aspects: Do I have any physical aspects to consider when making a career choice?

Step 2: Research

The next step is to identify jobs which fit with your personal profile. Use the resource library to learn more about particular companies, organization, NGOs and governmental agencies you might want to work for. Talk to people in occupations that seem to match your personal profile to get a sense of the “real world” aspects of the job.

For more information, browse through our alumni profiles to find out what specific career paths our FES graduates have pursued, or check out our environmental career profiles below.

Step 3: Action

After researching your career options and finding out which occupation fits your personal profile, set your career goals and identify the steps required to achieve those goals. For example, consider that you might need to:

Resource Library

A key feature of the Career Centre and Alumni Relations Office is a resource library for students and alumni to research and prepare for the job search process and their ongoing career development.

The library is generally open during regular university hours (8:30am–4:30pm Monday to Friday) and provides a comfortable atmosphere for reviewing materials.

Resources include:

  • directories of environmental companies, NGOs, and industries
  • reference guides on résumé and cover letter writing and interview preparation information about volunteer opportunities
  • publications from various environmental professional organizations

Career Development Workshops and Events

Please see below for upcoming events. If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact the Student Resource Assistant.

Upcoming events to be announced

Environmental Career Profiles

Agricultural Technologist

Agricultural technologists assist farmers with everything from planning, cultivating, harvesting and storing crops, as well as soil and water conservation. Some work in an urban setting as urban farmers or advisors to community gardens. Others focus on food security issues. As an agricultural technologist, you can:

  • Demonstrate and promote environmentally sustainable agricultural techniques to producers.
  • Conduct inventories of resources (water, soil, flora, fauna) found on agricultural lands.
  • Plant and maintain urban farms.
  • Help plan, design and implement soil remediation measures.
  • Plan which agricultural crops to grow in particular soils and growing conditions.

Where you could work:

  • Farms and farming cooperatives
  • Conservation authorities
  • Consulting firms
  • Provincial and federal governments
  • Environmental organizations
  • Community gardens/urban farms
  • Research institutions
  • International development projects

The BES program helps students develop their analytical and statistical skills, both of which are invaluable to an agricultural technologist. The ability to develop and manage projects is also vital. Several BES courses examine food security issues and community development techniques, which will assist future agricultural technologists.

Environmental Analyst

Environmental analysts play a key role in ensuring our environmental legacy by developing programs and policies that protect the environment. As an environmental analyst, you can:

  • Draft environmental position papers, submissions to senior management and briefing material for politicians.
  • Evaluate new environmental policy as a government representative.
  • Mediate between different interest groups like environmental groups, industry, government officials and technical experts.
  • Monitor and evaluate environmental programs operated by government departments and agencies or private organizations.
  • Present the views of an association or organization to politicians, the media or general public.

Where you could work:

  • Federal, provincial, and municipal governments
  • Local land-use/conservation organizations
  • Environmental advocacy organizations
  • Private consulting companies
  • Be self-employed

The BES program teaches the sound analytical and decision-making skills needed to be an environmental analyst. The variety of courses and in-depth discussions that occur, both in and out of the classroom, help students develop these skills. Many different viewpoints from both the sciences and social sciences are presented. Together with the valuable experience gained through research and report writing, this helps prepare students for environmental policy careers.

Environmental Communicator

Garnering support to protect lush forests or threatened ecosystems, informing people about pressing environmental issues, working towards changing behaviors to protect the environment — these represent just a few of the many things that environmental communicators undertake.

Environmental Communicators may:

  • Act as a spokespeople for an environmental organization.
  • Write stories on environmental issues for newspapers or magazines.
  • Develop audio-visual products like Web sites, videos, films and photos that highlight sustainable forms of development and showcase nature and promote conservation.
  • Develop and implement communication strategies to inform target audiences about an organization’s environmental policies and goals.

Where you could work:

  • Media outlets such as newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations
  • Environmental advocacy organizations
  • Environmental consulting firms.
  • Federal and provincial governments
  • Self-employment
  • Nature reserves, parks, museums and other heritage or cultural sites

Strong written and oral communication skills are necessary for this type of job, which BES students develop through writing research papers, leading class discussions and preparing creative writing assignments. The Faculty’s interdisciplinary nature and the inclusion of a variety of perspectives foster skills in transmitting a more balanced account and the ability to look at issues from a variety of angles. Students also explore issues around and gain experience in community organizing. In addition, students can use the video equipment, editing bay and darkroom in the Faculty’s Media Centre, and they can participate in the annual Eco-Art and Media Festival.

Environmental Educator

Environmental educators help us to acquire knowledge about environmental issues and develop the skills to protect the environment. They can inspire others to become passionate about the environment and influence changes in behaviour. As an Environmental Educator, you may:

  • Prepare teaching materials and curriculum resources on environmental topics.
  • Coordinate environmental education programming and environmental resource centres for school and community education groups.
  • Develop and deliver educational and publicity programs to increase awareness of parks and ecological reserves.
  • Prepare environmental training modules for staff in industry and government.

Where you could work:

  • National, provincial and local parks; natural heritage facilities, science centres and museums
  • Environmental advocacy organizations.
  • Community colleges, agricultural colleges, technical institutes and vocational schools.
  • Universities
  • As a corporate trainer in industry, training employees in new technologies or techniques.

To be an effective educator, you need excellent communication skills, which the BES program helps to develop. It is also useful to have a general knowledge of environmental issues from a variety of perspectives. Grounding in both the social sciences and sciences is vital, and the variety of courses within the BES program allows for this. Students in the BES program have an opportunity to develop their facilitation skills, which are invaluable to environmental educators. 

Environmental Lawyer

It is hard to think of an environmental issue that is not also a legal issue. Deciding to develop or save a wetland, siting a toxic waste dump, or protecting a species - all of these require law and public regulation. Environmental lawyers help guide us when making these decisions or when creating laws and policies. As an environmental lawyer, you may:

  • Draft environmental legislation.
  • Work through the courts to save endangered habitat like old-growth forests or wetlands.
  • Prosecute environmental offenders under provincial and federal laws including the Criminal Code.
  • Provide legal advice to boards, as well as directors and the managers of corporations, on how to comply with environmental regulations.
  • Assist in legal training, professional development and education related to environmental law.

Where you could work:

  • Law firms and notary offices
  • Prosecutors’ offices
  • Federal, provincial and municipal departments and ministries concerned with the environment
  • Large resource companies
  • Environmental consulting firms
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
  • Be self-employed

The BES program provides students with a strong foundation to go on to pursue a law degree. They will already possess a strong knowledge of many environmental issues, as well as sound analytical and critical thinking skills. Environmental lawyers need to be good communicators and require the ability to persuade others of their cause. Through class discussions, research papers and community action projects, BES students develop these skills. After finishing the BES degree, you may pursue the joint MES/JD degree given by the Faculty of Environmental Studies and Osgoode Hall Law School at York.

Environmental Manager

Developing projects and programs, fundraising, training, public relations—all of these represent roles that managers undertake. Managers motivate and inspire others, while directing environmental organizations or departments. As an environmental manager, you can:

  • Develop pollution control, pollution prevention and recycling programs.
  • Coordinate public hearings and consultations on environmental matters.
  • Manage environmental research projects.
  • Develop environmental strategies that ensure corporate sustainable development.

Where you could work:

  • Provincial or federal government departments and ministries, especially natural resources and the environment
  • College or university environmental programs
  • NGOs
  • Consulting firms
  • Environment departments of organizations in other industries

To be a good environmental manager, you need an understanding of environmental issues, as well as expertise in project development and management. The BES program fosters this with its wide array of courses and emphasis on student-directed study. Students have the opportunity to participate in community development projects, which helps them to develop their communication, facilitation and decision-making skills. Along with a BES degree, you can qualify in international project management through our joint program with Humber College.

Environmental Planner

The people who shape the landscape around us are environmental planners. If they follow the principles of sustainable development, they will develop land-use plans that meet human needs while preserving a balance with nature. Environmental planners:

  • Consult with the public, government employees, industry and interest groups to formulate land-use or community plans that consider both urban and environmental needs.
  • Prepare regional land-use plans for wildlife preserves, national parks and provincial parks.
  • Recommend zoning regulations to protect sensitive areas like river valleys or coastal shorelines.
  • Plan public facilities such as transportation systems, urban renewal projects and recreational areas.

Where you could work:

  • Municipal and regional governments and conservation agencies
  • Provincial and federal ministries and departments.
  • Landscape consulting firms and contractors.
  • Be a self-employed consultant

Planners need solid skills in project management and policy analysis, both of which are fostered within the BES program. They also need to possess an understanding of land formations and how human settlements affect the natural environment. Several courses in the BES program prepare future planners by focusing on report research and writing. In addition, the BES program offers an opportunity to develop specialization in environmental landscape design (ELD). The ELD certificate program will develop your evaluative and problem-solving skills in order to create, visualize and evaluate alternative ways of design that improve the quality of life for people and protect the environment.

Fine or Performing Artist

Often people do not immediately associate the fine or performing arts with the environment, but artists can play a profound role in working for social and environmental change. Through such arts as sculpture, painting, music and dance, artists can raise awareness of injustices and inspire us to value the natural world. For example, you can:

  • Develop and implement community arts programs that enrich people’s lives while working for social or environmental change.
  • Create works of art, dances, theatre that depict nature or touch on environmental themes.
  • Develop curriculum or arts programs for schools, community centres, or youth groups.

Where you could work:

  • Art galleries
  • Theatre or dance groups
  • Community centres
  • NGOs
  • As a self-employed arts practitioner

The BES program provides ample scope for students to think creatively and produce non-traditional scholarly work. For those interested in teaching or working as a community artist, students gain these skills through participation in community projects. Every year the Faculty hosts the Eco-Art and Media Festival, which represents an opportunity for students to showcase their art work, present a dance or stage a play. Students also have access to the Wild Garden Media Centre, which includes a darkroom, video equipment and an editing bay. You can also minor in Fine Arts in the BES program.

Forest Resource Officer

Forest resource officers ensure the sustainable use of forests and work to promote respect for the intricate web of life that exists in a forest ecosystem. As a forest resource officer, you can:

  • Coordinate the development and implementation of actions to protect the biodiversity of forests.
  • Plan and implement restorative activities including watershed restoration, site preparation and fertilization and the selection of species for reforestation projects.
  • Conduct field research to collect data and samples of water, soil, plant and animal populations of forest ecosystems
  • Use computerized mapping techniques to develop an understanding of the geography of a forested area.

Where you could work:

  • Federal and provincial government departments
  • Forest industry companies
  • Environmental consulting companies
  • Educational and research institutes

Forest officers need excellent analytical and statistical skills in order to conduct surveys of forest ecosystems. Several courses in the BES program help students develop these skills. Instruction is also given in project planning, implementation and evaluation. Students obtain an in-depth understanding of environmental issues related to forests and the management of natural resources.

Health Promoter/Alternative Medicine Specialist

Health promoters raise awareness about health-related issues. They take a more holistic view of a person's health, and often work on tackling a wide range of issues. An alternative medicine specialist uses non-Western and non-traditional techniques to cure ailments and illnesses. As a health promotion or alternative medicine specialist, you can:

  • Create public education programs to increase knowledge of health and environmental issues.
  • Study disease and public health issues to identify potential relationships with environmental pollution.
  • Research traditional uses of plants for medicinal purposes.
  • Treat patients using homeopathy, acupuncture, massage, aromatherapy or other alternative medical practices.

Where you could work:

  • Local, provincial and national government ministries concerned with health and the environment.
  • Hospitals and health clinics
  • Health promotion organizations
  • Community health centres
  • Be self-employed

Health promotion and alternative medicine requires a good understanding of the social and environmental determinants of health and the connection between illness and the environment. The inclusion of a variety of perspectives within the BES program helps students to develop the ability to look at alternative explanations for illnesses and alternative solutions. You will acquire the strong analytical and communication skills necessary for success in these fields.

International development specialist

The issues with which international development specialists are concerned are very broad and include sustainable development, international trade and economics, Third World development, gender and development, foreign policy, and international and intergovernmental environmental regulatory policies. As an international development specialist, you may:

  • Plan, implement and evaluate development projects related to social, environmental or human rights issues, such as income generation programs, health promotion, and community-based resource management.
  • Conduct research on policy issues concerning international organizations and relations between developing and industrialized countries.
  • Develop special programs to ensure the equitable participation of women in the development process.
  • Work for organizations supporting refugees and other victims of disasters.

Where you could work:

  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
  • International donor organizations
  • International environmental organizations
  • Federal government ministries and departments, especially the Canadian International Development Agency, Environment Canada, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Opportunities may exist within the BES program for students to do field work in other countries if this is consistent with their plan of study. Faculty members are involved in a number of overseas projects and many faculty members have international development experience. The ability to plan and manage projects is vital for this type of career, and students can pursue a specialized program in international project management. Also, the variety of courses and the multitude of perspectives presented in them allow students to become globally aware citizens.

Outdoor recreation specialist

Recreation is not just playing around—it plays a central role in developing human capacities and building an appreciation for nature and the environment. Outdoor recreation specialists tap into the inspiration nature provides and share it with others to build their appreciation of the natural environment. As a specialist in outdoor recreation, you can:

  • Lead nature walks and field outings.
  • Design trails, develop visitor centre displays and audio-visual presentations that showcase habitats and natural features of a region.
  • Conduct cultural and historical research of parks and other historical sites.
  • Develop government environmental policies related to recreation and the low-impact use of natural areas.

Where you could work:

  • Federal, provincial and municipal government ministries and departments concerned with outdoor recreation, especially parks
  • Community centres
  • Outfitters who specialize in eco-tours
  • NGOs
  • Sports and fitness consulting firms

The BES program instills a deep appreciation for the natural world and a love of the outdoors, both of which are prerequisites for a career in outdoor education. Excellent oral and written communication skills are also needed. BES students develop the ability to adapt to changing circumstances, while remaining strong leaders. These skills will help them with this career.

Remote sensing specialist

Remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) are becoming an integral component of many professional fields such as transportation, environmental monitoring, land-use planning, and resource identification and development. As a remote sensing specialist, you can:

  • Gather environmental data from many sources and prepare it for input into the computer.
  • Coordinate aerial and ground surveys of the natural features, wildlife and human population features of an area.
  • Combine digital mapping, land-use zoning, property registration, traffic flow information and demographic information to locate and rank the most suitable properties for the location of new schools.
  • Work with aboriginal groups to map natural resources and assist them in the negotiation of land claims.

Where you could work:

  • Local, provincial and federal departments concerned with sustainable development.
  • Private and public educational and research institutions.
  • Consulting firms providing remote sensing and information technology services.
  • Companies specializing in computers, telecommunications equipment and networks.
  • Social justice organizations concerned with planning safer and healthier cities with adequate housing and amenities.

Within the BES program, a specialized certificate program equips students with applied skills in statistical techniques, computer cartography, geographic information systems and remote sensing, and satellite image processing. You will gain exposure to state of the art technology. In addition, the interdisciplinary perspective of the BES program will allow you to broaden your knowledge base and understanding of policy issues while fostering decision-making abilities.

Individual Career Advising

To address your specific questions and needs, FES Career Services provides individual career guidance including targeted job search advice and résumé critiques.

To book an appointment, please contact the Student Resource Assistant.

To ensure you get the most out of your appointment, please review our online career resources beforehand.