Environmental Remediation Specialist

Over two thirds of South Africans live in cities with a steady increase in the rate of urbanisation. This spatial concentration of people, economic and social activities in cities increases the need for better planning, housing, green open spaces, economic activity, transport and waste processing amongst others to minimise environmental challenges and risks. Environmental remediation supports urban planning by using engineering strategies and processes to assist in the rehabilitation and prevention of environmental degradation.

Environmental remediation specialists analyse and modify new and existing environmental engineering technologies and apply them in the prevention, control and remediation of environmental challenges. In the development of sites, they conduct pre-assessment studies and recommend measures to prevent environmental impact. If environmental damage has occurred, they monitor and evaluate the site, provide feedback reports and design and implement remedial action plans. Some might develop systems for hazardous waste sites and water treatment facilities.

Environmental remediation specialists regularly collaborate with environmental scientists, hazardous waste specialists, engineers and experts in law and business. They work between an office environment and often travel to sites of investigation to conduct analyses.


Environmental remediation specialists need extensive knowledge and experience with environmental management and impact assessment techniques and processes and an understanding of engineering principles, along with:

  • Understanding of environmental legislation and standards
  • Ability to practically apply engineering and mapping principles
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving ability
  • Good report writing and communication skills


Monitor and evaluate programmes for operational effectiveness and compliance

Design and oversee the development of systems, processes and equipment

Provide engineering support for environmental remediation and litigation

Advise on rehabilitation and preventive programmes


B.Sc.Eng. in Civil Engineering at UCT, UKZN and Wits

B.Eng. in Civil Engineering at SU, UJ and UP

Diploma, Advanced Diploma, M.Tech in Civil Engineering at CPUT, CUT, DUT, NMU, TUT, UJ, UNISA, VUT and WSU


National, provincial and local government.

Engineering and environmental consultancies.

Industrial processing and mining companies.

Property development and construction companies.

Waste management companies.

Related career paths