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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental ScienceUndergraduate study

Qualifications for working in waste management

A brief overview of the qualifications and work experience generally required for those hoping to move into the field of waste management.


  1. A geography degree is usually considered relevant for entering a career in waste management. Most entrants into this field are graduates.
  2. A postgraduate qualification in waste management or environmental engineering could be useful but is not strictly necessary.
  3. A driving licence is often essential.
  4. Some employers require you to be a member of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, which also allows you to gain knowledge of the industry. They have various levels of membership, including a heavily discounted student rate.

Work experience

Employers tend to look for pre-entry experience, which can be paid or unpaid. Volunteering on environmental or recycling projects can allow you to build up contacts and get your name known.

If you are currently studying, choosing a dissertation linked to waste management could help your application stand out.

For experience you could contact your local council to see if they offer any work experience opportunities.

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