Countryside officer

Alternative titles for this job include Conservation officer

Countryside officers manage, protect and improve the rural environment.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter

to

£50,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays

How to become a Countryside officer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship

University

You could complete a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in a subject like:

  • countryside or environmental management
  • ecology and geography
  • environmental science
  • biology

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

More information

College

You could do a college course, which will teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant subjects include:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Countryside and Environment
  • Level 3 Certificate in Countryside Management

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

More information

Apprenticeship

You may be able to do an advanced apprenticeship in environmental conservation.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), usually including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information

Volunteering and experience

Paid or unpaid work experience can be very useful when applying for jobs.

Organisations like The Conservation Volunteers, the National Trust and The Wildlife Trusts offer training for volunteers.

More information

Further information

You can get more details about countryside careers from the National Land Based College and Grow Careers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • the ability to read English
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • maths knowledge
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • active listening skills
  • Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • advising landowners on how to manage their land
  • conducting surveys, carrying out research and analysing data
  • writing reports and delivering presentations
  • preparing funding applications
  • dealing with complaints 
  • organising the upkeep of country parks and woodlands
  • making sure footpaths are clearly marked and litter bins and car parks are provided
  • advising on planning applications
  • giving talks to local groups
  • producing resources like leaflets and information boards 
  • supporting local environmental events, activities and projects

Working environment

You could work in an office, in a park or in woodland.

Your working environment may be physically demanding and outdoors in all weathers.

Career path and progression

With experience and further qualifications, you could progress to senior countryside officer or manager and then regional manager. 

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Food Union Cultivator

  • Wage : £15,000.00 Annually
  • Location: Coventry CV1 5DW

Countryside Operative Apprentice - Conservation Level 2 Apprenticeship

  • Wage : £136.90 Weekly
  • Location: Stoke-on-Trent ST3 5BQ

Courses In England

L2 Dip in Countryside & Environment FT 1yr MM

  • Provider: Warwickshire College Group
  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: Moreton Morrell

DIPLOMA / CERT IN COUNTRYSIDE MANAGEMENT LEVEL 3 (C&G)

  • Provider: CRAVEN COLLEGE
  • Start date: 03 September 2019
  • Location: SKIPTON

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