How to Become an Environmental Auditor


If you want to become an environmental auditor, you first need to determine if this career is well suited for you. Are you committed to conserving and protecting the environment? Are you interested in a lucrative career that allows you to apply your extensive knowledge of environmental regulations to ensure companies reduce their impact on the environment? If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to these questions, you may be well suited for it!


Below we've outlined what you'll need to succeed in a career as an environmental auditor. We've also included helpful information for getting started in this profession, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!



Education Needed to Become an Environmental Auditor

To qualify for jobs in this field, you'll likely need at least a bachelor’s degree in one of the following areas:


• Environmental Science

• Environmental Management

• Natural Resource Management

• Environmental Engineering

• Environmental Assessment


Some employers may require environmental auditor candidates to have a master’s degree in one of these fields in order to be considered for a position. A master’s degree can also help when trying to advance for senior level or management positions.


In a career as an environmental auditor, it is beneficial to have working knowledge of environmental management systems (such as ISO 14001), occupational health and safety systems, waste & wastewater legislation, statistics, and accounting procedures. This knowledge is either gained through coursework, or as a result of work experience in the field.


Success Tip: Even if a master’s degree is not required, having one may help put you ahead of the competition when applying for a job, and may entitle you to higher pay.





General Job Description

Environmental auditors are responsible for assessing the environmental performance of operations in business and industry. They must ensure corporate and government standards relating to environmental control are being met. The main objective of environmental auditors is to detect any existing or potential environmental compliance problems or management system deficiencies, and make recommendations as to their correction.


Environmental auditors can conduct two different types of audits: a compliance audit, which measures if a business is meeting internal and external environmental guidelines and legislation, and a management performance audit, which measures if a business is meeting the appropriate criteria for management systems.



Typical Job Duties

• Review the overall operations of the business that’s being assessed

• Select and manage members of the audit team

• Gather data related to business operations, using such methods as on-site inspections, document reviews and staff interviews

• Examine clients' records for appropriate government permits and requirements, safety standards, maintenance and inventory control measures

• Review management systems, emergency preparedness and response procedures, employee training (for compliance with corporate and government standards), environmental monitoring programs and waste management efforts

• Prepare final audit reports, which includes results of audit and recommendations for improvement

• Present findings to the managers and directors of the business

• Assist the business in developing an environmental management plan

• Follow up with the business to ensure process improvements have been successfully implemented



Who Employs Environmental Auditors?

Environmental auditors may be employed by or work on a contract basis for such organizations as:


• Engineering and environmental consulting firms

• Federal, provincial/state and municipal government departments

• Utility companies

• Manufacturing firms

• Resource-based companies (agriculture, forestry, mining, oil and gas)





Work Experience Needed

You'll need to be certified in order to work as an environmental auditor (which in Canada involves becoming a member of the Canadian Environmental Auditing Association). To become certified as an environmental auditor, you'll need to demonstrate that you have experience in the field.


This may seem like a classic catch-22, but there are several methods you can use to gain experience. Working as an intern during school, volunteering, or working as an assistant or in an entry-level position for an environmental auditing company are all effective ways to gain the skills and experience you'll need. 



Skills Needed to Be Successful

In order to be an effective environmental auditor, you need to have a certain set of skills, including:


• Need to be able to adapt to keep up with the issue of the day

• Must be a self-managed learner in order to stay informed and continuously hone skills

• Must enjoy having clear rules and guidelines for their work

• Must be observant and pay close attention to details

• Must be able to critically analyze information and make logical decisions

• Must have excellent oral and written communication skills



Current Job Opportunities

Our job board below has "environmental auditor" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, when available:




Average Salary Level

The salary of an environmental auditor can vary greatly depending on many factors, such as their level of experience and certification, their level of education, where they work, and many others.


Environmental Auditor Salary - United States: According to O*NET OnLine, the average salary for environmental compliance inspectors (who perform the same duties as environmental auditors) is $60,740 per year.


Salary - Canada: According to the 2018 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Inspectors in Public and Environmental Health and Occupational Health and Safety occupational group, which includes environmental auditors, earn an average of $80,949 per year. Unfortunately, no similar statistics were available from reliable sources for other Canadian provinces or territories at the time of writing (July 4, 2019).



Similar Careers in Our Database

Listed below are occupational guides in our database that are similar in nature to this one, as they represent careers that involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.


Environmental Consultant

Environmental Impact Assessment Specialist

Environmental Policy Officer

Environmental Scientist

ISO Auditor




Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as an environmental auditor.


Occupations in Alberta: Environmental Auditor.” (December 19, 2016). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved November 14, 2019.

Summary Report:Environmental Compliance Inspectors.” (October 15, 2019). ONE*Net OnLine website. Retrieved November 14, 2019.

Career Profiles:Environmental Auditor.” (n.d.). ECO Canada website. Retrieved November 14, 2019.



Scholarships for Becoming an Environmental Auditor

Scholarships listed for majors that apply to becoming an environmental auditor can be found on the following page:


• Environmental Engineering Scholarships

• Environmental Science Scholarships

• Urban Planning Scholarships


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming an environmental auditor. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


Top Banner Image: