How to become a Sustainability Officer

Sustainability officers work to create enduring communities that have a positive environmental, economical and social impact.

Personal requirements for a Sustainability Officer

  • Strong organisational and project management skills
  • Able to work well in a team
  • Able to think strategically
  • Interested in the environment and communities
  • Good communication skills

Education & Training for a Sustainability Officer

You can become a sustainability officer by studying sustainability, environmental science or environmental science and management at university. Alternatively, you can complete a degree in a relevant field, followed by a postgraduate qualification in sustainability or environmental management. To get into the degree courses you usually need to gain a Year 12 qualification. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in English and mathematics is normally required. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

Duties & Tasks of a Sustainability Officer

Sustainability officers:

  • Prepare grants and partnership proposals
  • Assess a city or business’s programmes to determine their environmental impact, and make recommendations to avoid or lessen impacts
  • Investigate, recommend and implement renewable energy, water conservation, waste and recycling and other environmental management programmes
  • Provide information to the public about environmentally sustainable methods and projects
  • Represent organisations in public forums
  • Strategically advocate for sustainable approaches to projects
  • Develop sustainability programmes.


  • Proposes solutions to address negative environmental impacts of a development project.
  • Studies the effects of factors, such as terrain, altitude, climatic and environmental change, sources of nutrition, predators and the impacts of humans, on animal and plant life.
  • Studies and analyses pollution, atmospheric conditions, demographic characteristics, ecology, mineral, soil and water samples.
  • Develops conservation and management policies for biological resources, such as fish populations and forests, as well as establishing standards and developing approaches for the control of pollution and the rehabilitation of areas disturbed by activities such as mining, timber felling and overgrazing.
  • Participates in management planning by providing environmental information and making inventories of plants, animals and items of cultural and heritage significance.
  • Carries out environmental impact assessments for a wide range of development projects.

Working conditions for a Sustainability Officer

Sustainability officers may work indoors, or visit sites relevant to an environmental management programme.

Employment Opportunities for a Sustainability Officer

Opportunities exist within state and federal government departments, city councils and private organisations.

  • Average age
    Average age
    39 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    41% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    45 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Very high skill
  • Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    75% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    3,600 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 1.6%
    NSW: 27.6%
    NT: 1.6%
    QLD: 20.5%
    SA: 5.3%
    TAS: 2.1%
    VIC: 19.0%
    WA: 22.2%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 0.1%
    20-24: 3%
    25-34: 31.8%
    35-44: 33.3%
    45-54: 17.1%
    55-59: 6%
    60-64: 4.6%
    65 and Over: 4.2%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 3.9%
    Bachelor degree: 56%
    Certificate III/IV: 1.7%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 35.2%
    Year 10 and below: 0.1%
    Year 11: 0.3%
    Year 12: 2.8%
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