What employment sector do you work in?

NGO

How long have you had a green job for nature?

8 months

Salary Range

£20,000 – £25,000

Please describe the work that you do.

As a Science Trainee, I have two roles:

I spend three days a week as a GIS assistant, in which my role involves using mapping software to visualise data, mostly for my organisation’s conservation projects.

I spend the other two days of my working week assisting with running a biological recording citizen science scheme. This also involves a lot of data handling but is slightly more varied as I can do more science communication and volunteer support with this side of my role.

What do you most like about your job? Any dislikes?

I enjoy pulling maps together and being able to see the patterns in the data become an image. I also think it’s nice to get insight into the conservation work happening across the organisation. In contrast, a conservation officer will mostly be restricted to awareness of their own project, day-to-day.

What inspired you into this career? 

I had been looking for roles in the environmental sector because it’s essential to me to feel that my work is making a positive difference, and I was looking to make a bit of a shift from experiencing that motivation in the social care sector.

Have you faced any challenges in progressing your career so far? 

I am in my first role in the sector so progression opportunities have not opened up for me yet. However, making the career change to get a role like this was very difficult, even as I tried to utilise my transferable skills by applying to lots of office/admin-based, green roles.

What education/training did you have?

I did not have any previous education or training in the sector. I don’t have a degree at all. That’s why I jumped at the chance to get on a traineeship like my current role, as it provided a great entry point to the sector for someone who doesn’t have that academic background.

What advice would you give to someone coming into the profession? 

Take as many opportunities as possible while looking for work – volunteering especially helps demonstrate your enthusiasm and build up your skill set.

When you land that first role, I would say well done! I think the best thing to start doing, as someone who’s still new to the sector, would be to take training opportunities that come your way. I would also encourage you to begin building up a network – start by making connections with people in different areas of your organisation.

Note: Getting into the environmental sector as a career changer can be difficult, but traineeships offer a pathway inthese are entry-level opportunities that are usually paid through either a salary or a bursary, and offer valuable experience for getting into the sector.

If you were inspired by reading Hugo’s experiences as a Science Trainee, see our ‘Job Vacancies’ page for more information on where to look out for traineeships.

Tags: Scotland, NGO, New to Nature trainee, data and mapping

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