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Environmental Training Specialist
Environmental training specialists design and deliver environmentally focused training to a wide variety of clientele in both the public and private sectors. They develop specific courses to enhance environmental skills and knowledge using a number of formats and delivery techniques. They often collaborate with other qualified individuals to deliver training that requires a specific skill set and expertise. Environmental training specialists combine technical knowledge and research ability with strong communication skills and a talent for working with many kinds of people in order to convey information and teach others.
At a glanceImagine you are standing in an international airport watching a Boeing 747 take off and thinking to yourself, «The pilots and flight attendants on board that plane were in my classroom last week.” You are an environmental training specialist that has been hired by one of the nation’s largest airlines to conduct a series of training courses. Your courses have been designed to instruct personnel from a number of the airline’s departments about the basic principles of environmental awareness and what each employee can do to minimize the impact commercial air traffic has on the environment. As an environmental training specialist, you have years of experience developing training courses on a number of topics using a number of formats. In this case, you needed to develop a short training module that could be delivered on-site to vastly different audiences and accommodate many learning styles. When the airline first approached you several months ago, you began researching the aviation industry and consulting experts to determine which environmental issues were most relevant to the airline’s personnel. This helped you determine objectives and content for the training sessions. Once these were established, you could begin building the modules. For each module, you had to decide on length, class size, audiovisual requirements, and what sorts of resources to use, for example handouts and textbooks. This was a huge job because many departments required different course content. The module for pilots, for example, focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and noise pollution. After presenting the basics of the greenhouse effect, you brought in an aviation expert to demonstrate more effective takeoff, landing, and taxiing techniques that minimize fuel consumption and lower emissions. On the other hand, the modules for office personnel and flight attendants focused on reducing waste and the benefits of recycling. Baggage handlers were instructed in proper techniques for dealing with spills and the benefits of minimizing the amount of time carts and vehicles are left to idle. Once they are finished with your course, the airline’s employees will be much more environmentally aware and motivated to take action and implement your recommendations.
Job dutiesDuties vary significantly from job to job, but the following list includes typical job duties one might encounter as an environmental training specialist:
- Assess client needs to design an appropriate training program or modify an existing program.
- Establish training objectives that support skill development, proactive learning, personal growth, and teamwork.
- Plan program delivery methods based on client needs, preferences, and resources.
- Coordinate and teach courses or seminars at educational institutions or on-site.
- Adjust course content or instruction methods based on feedback from clients.
- Design course materials using multimedia and other learning tools, including preparing handouts, guidebooks, and activities.
- Evaluate students and training results.
- Regularly update training courses to keep current with changing technology, practices, and legislation.
Work environmentEnvironmental training specialists work in a variety of locations, including: In the field:
- Delivering training courses and seminars
- Visiting work sites to assess needs and evaluate practices
- Giving presentations and facilitating workshops
- Administering exams
- Researching training topics and industry needs
- Developing courses and resource material
- Communicating on the phone and in meetings with clients, stakeholders, government departments, colleagues, and experts in the field
- Evaluating course results and updating material
Where to workThere are a number of places environmental training specialists can find employment. They include:
- Federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal government departments
- Private training firms
- Colleges and universities
- Self-employed consultant
- Firms in other industries, for example mining, forestry, transportation, and oil and gas
- Not-for-profit and non-governmental environmental organizations
Education & requirementsIf you are a high school student considering a career as an environmental training specialist, you should have strong marks or an interest in:
- Computer Science
- Environmental Science
- Environmental Studies
- Natural Science