Specializing in the
Environmental Sector

Find the Right Specialization for You

The environmental sector is broken down into three sectors containing 14 diverse sub-sectors, which professionals specialize within to guide their careers effectively. EP members must meet a minimum standard of environmental skills and knowledge by validating their work within one of those sub-sectors as part of the application process.

Environmental Work Spans Across All Industries

The environmental workforce plays a role in all Canadian industries. We’ve mapped the areas of competency specialization, based on the National Occupational Standards.

Whether you work in transportation or retail, there is a set of specializations that is relevant to your industry.

Identify the Right Specializations for You or Your Team

In your self-assessment you will be presented with a series of competency statements according to the area(s) of specialization in which you have applied. You will rate your level of experience with each competency as one of the following: no experience, learning level experience, guidance level experience, or independent or lead levels experience.

All EP applicants have the option to specialize, which requires a minimum level of competence to succeed, whereas EPt applicants are only developing their skills and the self-assessment is used to document any experience gained to date. Peer references will then validate the level of experience identified by the applicant via the self-assessment.

Note: You may choose not to specialize and start with a general designation if your experience doesn’t quite align with the sub-sector model.

Understanding the Core Sub-Sectors

Select from the four sub-sectors of environmental practice, which include 14 areas of specialization.

Environmental Protection

Your desire to protect our home here on Earth is stronger than most, protecting the environment means your work makes a difference to lessening the disturbance of the land, air, water, and ecosystems that we inhabit.

This could mean working on projects that contribute to healthy living, the overall temperature of our atmosphere, or support biodiversity.

Natural Resource Management

You understand the importance natural resources, including forestry, mining, and renewable energy, bring to your community and your passion is working to conserve these valuable assets without sacrificing the natural world.


Environmental Sustainability

You have decided to take steps to reduce the impact of our society on the planet. You gravitate towards projects that contribute to sustainable living and protecting ecosystems, while improving biodiversity.

You are dedicated to educating and shedding light on the best ways to preserve nature for future generations.

Environmental Management

Although not technically its own sector, the Environmental Management role is found at the centre of each of the three previous categories.

You are experienced and have a varied knowledge and understanding of the three core sectors. You are a well-rounded Environmental Professional with a strong grasp of all major competencies.


Download the Specializations Guide

Which of these three areas of practice align best with your interests and expertise?


National Occupation Standards (NOS)

The above breakdown of sub-sectors and specializations is based on a comprehensive framework of over 300 competencies that break down core areas of technical skill requirement that are necessary knowledge for environmental practitioners to possess.

The National Occupational Standards serve as the foundation for Environmental Professional (EP) designations. This ensures that those certified are validated as qualified practitioners that contribute to the Canadian environmental workforce.