An environmental science career is concerned with identifying issues with the environment and coming up with remedies. Scientists must be cognizant of how alterations to the planet’s environment influence all of the species that call it home because the world is always changing. In this post, we examine the most prevalent environmental science occupations and how they might influence critical planetary change.
What is the work of a professional in environmental science?
The main responsibility of an environmental scientist is to gather data on the condition of the environment and utilize that information to develop remedies to environmental disturbances. There is a wide range of environmental science careers. The formulation and implementation of an environmental strategic approach depend heavily on these scientists. They can assist government officials in comprehending how new construction can affect a region’s ecosystems. Despite having the option to work as consultants for private businesses, environmental scientists typically work for governmental organizations.
Jobs in environmental science
If you have a degree in environmental science and are considering your career options, the following are some of the most popular environmental science careers in the field:
- A conservation officer
- Expert in geographic information systems (GIS)
- Aquatic biologist
- Ecological geologist
- Ecological biologist
- Environmental expert
- Environmental attorney
- Geodetic officer
1. A conservation officer
National average hourly salary: $14.19
A conservation officer’s main responsibilities in environmental science career include managing, safeguarding, and improving the local environment. Their working surroundings might range from temperate woodlands to coastal areas. The profession must play important roles in both educating the public and influencing environmental policy. Conservation officers must educate locals about biodiversity and act to protect it.
Qualifications: The minimal educational need to work as a conservation officer is an associate degree, however, many professionals have bachelor’s degrees in environmental sciences, criminal justice, or ecology.
2. An expert in geographic information systems (GIS)
National Average Hourly Wage: $24.44
GIS experts in environmental science careers are in charge of building and managing spatial databases that link places to amassed data sets. The majority of experts in environmental science base their analyses and data collection on GIS systems. GIS experts collaborate with stakeholders and environmental advisers to support data-driven decision-making.
Qualifications: An understanding of both IT and geographic information systems is necessary for a GIS specialist. Typically, they have a degree in geomatics or a closely related subject. Many of them complete professional training courses offered by for-profit organizations to become certified.
3. Marine scientist
National Average Hourly Wage: $47,443
Marine science is the primary environmental science career that studies all aspects of marine life. The numerous kinds of species that live in the world’s seas and oceans are well-known to marine biologists. Maritime biologists work to advance knowledge and comprehension of the marine environment. Additionally, they deduce from data analysis the possible harm that human activities might do to the marine species in a certain location.
Qualifications: Marine biologist often begins their profession with a bachelor’s degree in zoology or biology. They’ll probably require a Ph.D. in the area if they wish to perform an independent study.
4. A microbiologist
National Average yearly Wage: $64,642
The science of the tiniest living things that humanity is aware of is called microbiology. The vanguard of efforts to combat climate change and promote conservation is held by microbiologists in environmental science careers who specialize in environmental science. The goal of several microbiologists in this discipline is to create organisms that can benefit people, either by consuming garbage or by producing energy in an environmentally beneficial way.
Qualifications: Microbiologists must possess a Bachelor of Science in the subject. Many continue to earn a master’s or doctoral degree in the field.
5. A geologist of the environment
National Average yearly Wage: $65,064
Geologists in environmental science career devote their careers to the study of soil types, groundwater flow, and rock structure. Environmental geologists use GIS and the gathered data to assess the presence and frequency of natural hazards in a region. They make sure that areas are secure enough for construction or habitation.
Qualifications: An environmental geologist must possess at least a bachelor’s degree in geology or a related field.
6. An environmental biologist
National Average yearly Wage: $68,740
A primary responsibility of an environmental biologist in environmental science career is to investigate the biological side of ecosystems. To assess the environmental effects of construction projects, they perform field studies. The impact of urban runoff, fertilizer runoff, and municipal wastewater on the local fauna and flora is measured and determined by environmental geologists using data gathering and analysis techniques.
Qualifications: An environmental biologist must possess a Bachelor of Science in biology, environmental studies, or natural science. Additionally required are skills in statistics and math.
7. An environmental expert
National Average yearly Wage: $69,256
The main responsibilities of an environmental consultant are to support other companies in data collecting, processing, and solutions formulation. Consulting companies provide assistance and guidance to both private and public sector organizations. Environmental consultants utilize their expertise and knowledge to handle potential environmental problems and to give clients guidance on adhering to relevant legislation.
Qualifications: The baseline requirement is a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental management or ecology. The environmental consultant then uses internships to establish professional connections.
8. Environmental attorney
National Average yearly Wage: $70,007
The main responsibility of environmental attorneys in environmental science careers is to advance or defend the rights of those who care about the environment. The field necessitates both a thorough knowledge of the law and a grasp of how people interact with their environment. Environmental attorneys examine and analyze data to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to persuade a court to punish a firm for environmental breaches in particular areas.
Qualifications: Environmental lawyers must hold a Juris Doctor (JD) degree and pass the state bar examination to practice.
National Average yearly Wage: $80,828
The primary task of a hydrologist in environmental science career is to research water. A hydrologist uses their knowledge of water to assess how the environment might affect the quality and quantity of water that is accessible to people. A hydrologist’s duties include collecting data and analyzing it to look into water quality. They can serve as consultants for major industrial projects to reduce the influence on the local water system by sampling various places for pollution and other environmental effects.
Qualifications: Candidates must hold a Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in water science in hydrology, earth sciences, geology, or engineering. For hydrologists, several states require licensure. The American Institute of Hydrology offers voluntary certification as well (AIH).
10. A zoologist
National Average yearly Wage: $83,771
Zoology is the study of animals, including their entire life cycle and habitats. To assess the impact of human activities on animal life, zoologists in environmental science careers use their in-depth understanding of animal habits and environments. They are in charge of gathering and quantifying animal data using software, and then mapping behavioral changes using GIS technologies. The data produced can assist stakeholders in creating policies that support conservation initiatives.
Qualifications: Zoologists must possess at least a Bachelor of Science in either zoology or ecology.
11. A geodesist
National Average yearly Wage: $85,814
The main responsibilities of a geodesist in environmental science career are to calculate the distance and areas using sensor networks and other techniques. Geodesists track significant environmental changes, such as magnetic flux or shifting coastlines. Data they provide that may be utilized to make GIS base maps is how they connect with environmental science.
Qualifications: The majority of geodesists begin with a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Some continue to earn their master’s or doctorate.
12. Environmental officer
National Average yearly Wage: $90,515
Environmental protection officers’ main responsibilities in environmental science careers include lowering waste and pollution output to protect the environment. They also make an effort to remediate an area’s environment to improve it. Environmental officers work to prevent further occurrences of issues by containing, resolving, and fixing current ones.
Qualifications: The typical educational requirement for an environmental officer is a master’s degree in environmental science or a closely related discipline.
13. Agricultural scientist
National Average yearly Wage: 120,000 GBP
You’ll spend most of your working hours interacting closely with farmers and industrial plants. As an agricultural scientist in an environmental science career, you must develop a strong trust with each of your clients to conduct various experiments to enhance food processes and quality. In this line of work, honesty and effective communication are crucial. The formation of healthy and advantageous techniques to improve food would benefit a large number of citizens, but many significant measures must be made.
Typical job duties include:
- Creating methods for performing affordable experiments
- Keep track of and document experiment results
- Processes for enhancing food quality research
- Present research findings and summaries to local community members, business executives, and agriculture organizations.
14. Environmental advisor
National Average yearly Wage: £22,000 to £25,000
As a professional in an environmental science career, you will advise customers on issues about environmental management issues. It’s going to be your duty to see that laws governing the environment are reflected in policy. With regular updates to clients, you may demonstrate your strong interpersonal skills and forge connections that will bring you exceptional customer happiness, recommendations, and environmental stewardship.
Typical job duties include:
- Keep clients informed and in the loop about initiatives.
- The control of systems for environmental management
- Process of environmental audit completion
- Describe the sources of contamination.
15. Air pollution expert
National Average yearly Wage: £47,029 to £82,538
Your objective is to establish lasting connections between people and nature through extensive knowledge of environmental issues and air quality. As an air pollution researcher in an environmental science career, you must stay current on the causes of and solutions to air pollution.
Typical job duties include:
- Gather and analyze data
- Carry out a study to gather historical information
- Look into surveys
- Perform laboratory studies to develop remedies for air pollution
16. Manager of natural resources
National Average yearly Wage: £46,735
There is a great deal of effort that goes into lowering the amount of environmental damage. The responsibility for much of this work falls to the natural resource managers in an environmental science career. Making sustainability strategies, executing practical work, and involving officers are just a few examples of possible tasks.
- Typical job duties include:
- Overseeing workers’ work
- Plant programs’ seeds
- Keep track of wildlife populations
- Participate in nature-care initiatives
17. Officer for Recycling
National Average yearly Wage: £25,000 and £40,000
As a recycling officer in an environmental science career, you will create and put into practice regulations and assist individuals who already recycle in inspiring others to do the same. You’ll plan displays at various events to inform attendees of recycling’s many advantages. Your responsibilities will also include working with other institutions and local leaders to plan events for the community. Being enthusiastic is crucial for this position because it will pique the interest of others.
Typical job duties include:
- Visit neighborhood recycling facilities
- Supervise contractors
- Maintain records in a database.
- Observe public spaces
18. Environmental educator
National Average yearly Wage: £17,000 to £20,000
Your environmental science career will involve educating the public about environmental problems and issues daily. You will instruct and explain the natural world in your role as an environmental educator. You will have the chance to train residents and teams associated with environmental organizations in addition to instructing pupils.
Typical job duties include:
- Study and create environmental education initiatives
- Conduct a risk analysis.
- Plan community gatherings to discuss environmental issues
- Managing finances
19. Environmental protection officer
National Average yearly Wage: £19,000 to £24,000
Wildlife conservation officers in environmental science careers are highly respected in the profession because they have the reputation of being “the law enforcement of the vast outdoors.” Along with managing and defending water and wildfire supplies, leadership abilities are also required.
Typical job duties include:
- Examine crimes committed in places with wildlife
- Park patrol
- Enforce the law on fishing and animals
- Provide information on the habitats and species of nature.
20. Environmental engineer
National Average yearly Wage: £28,000 to £45,000
You’ll serve as a mentor quite a bit as an environmental engineer in an environmental science career. You’ll spend a lot of time encouraging people to conduct environmentally friendly behaviors and advising governments to do the same. This position necessitates extensive knowledge of environmental safety, a grasp of how human behavior affects the environment, and methods for minimizing problems.
Typical job duties include:
- Research and analysis of how humans affect the environment
- Report writing for environmental investigation
- Gathering and analyzing environmental data designing technology to assist the environment being preserved
National Average yearly Wage: £20,500
Although it may sound challenging, becoming a meteorologist in environmental science career will provide you the chance to learn about weather patterns, how they affect the climate, and the specifics of how extreme weather could affect our daily life. Due to the potential for severe weather alerts, those in this profession must be able to perform well under pressure. You will conduct research and weather observations with a team to protect individuals. Your composure and optimistic outlook will build a solid foundation of public trust.
Job duties may include:
- Forecasting climate patterns and climate change
- Study to enhance weather forecasting models
- Examine and keep records of information from other weather stations.
- Interpret diverse weather fronts based on land, marine, and atmospheric geography.
National Average yearly Wage: £18,000
If you have the desire to learn, you’ll undoubtedly appreciate studying how animals live in their natural environments. As a zoologist in an environmental science career, you’ll carry out experiments including animal management while also forging remote relationships with them. Additionally, you’ll contribute to finding ways to strengthen the bond between people and animals and ensure that animals are secure in their natural surroundings.
Typical job duties include:
- Carry out several animal habitat studies
- Create conservation strategies.
- Gather information on species for research using geographic systems and other software platforms.
A placement year is an option for several environmental science degrees, giving you the chance to obtain real-world business experience, hone your abilities, and expand your network of connections. Additionally, you might be able to participate in brief placements and school trips throughout your program. Larger businesses and organizations frequently offer summer internships. Apply early because there will be a lot of competition for spots.
While attending university, joining relevant organizations and societies can help you build your resume and get experience. Search for opportunities to volunteer with environmental organizations or become involved with supporting advocacy groups in your neighborhood.
Certain students travel, read relevant publications and journals, or participate in conferences and discussions on environmental issues. You will become more appealing to an employer as a result of all these encounters.
Volunteer labor is needed by many environmental organizations and charities, and you can get useful expertise that is challenging to acquire elsewhere. It also shows how dedicated you are to a certain line of employment. In certain circumstances, volunteer work might result in employment.
Graduates in environmental science can find employment opportunities in both the environmental science and larger biology fields. Typical companies are:
- Local government
- Environmental protection organizations like the Scottish Environment Protection Agency(SEPA) and the Environment Agency (EA)
- Departments of the British government like the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
- Organizations for environmental surveillance
- Environmental consulting services
- Organizations for nature preservation
- Philanthropic trusts, like Scottish Natural Heritage and Natural England.
Additionally, there are chances in the water and waste management industries, planning and surveys, the media, as well as environmental research and education.
Skills for your resume
You can gain a comprehensive awareness of contemporary environmental issues and difficulties on a local, national, and international basis by obtaining an environmental science degree. You get knowledge about how to maintain the environment and the effects that humans have on it.
Environmental biology, geography, geology, chemistry, earth science, soil science, and resource management are some of the topics that may be covered.
You can build specialized knowledge in fields like wildlife management, sustainable development policy, and geohazards, based on the course(s) or courses you study.
Employers are also curious about your larger skill sets, like:
- Creative and problem-solving abilities
- Proficiency in creating arguments from positions that are scientific, ethical, and philosophical
- Talents in research and the capacity to compile, examine, and report on complicated environmental data
- Proficiency in the lab for analyzing environmental data
- Communication skills in writing and speaking, as well as presenting abilities
- Math and IT skills obtained through the use of statistics and measuring techniques versatility to work in a variety of contexts, acquired through fieldwork
- Talents in project management, time management, and planning
- The capacity to work both individually and in teams on tasks.
Graduates in environmental science may decide to pursue postgraduate education to concentrate on a specific topic of interest. Others pursue additional education to work in a specific field, like environmental health, which calls for a graduate degree in environmental health or a degree apprenticeship.
Some graduates receive support from their companies to continue their education and earn professionally applicable degrees.
It’s also conceivable to pursue additional education to earn a teaching credential or to begin a profession in academic research or speaking.
Why Get an Environmental Science Degree?
An aptitude for science and mathematics is necessary for jobs requiring an environmental science degree. To conduct and analyze studies on environmental challenges, these experts must comprehend scientific data.
Some environmental scientists perform their research in both the field and a lab, depending on their job. Others spend most of their time indoors, either instructing students, developing policies, or providing advice on how a company’s efforts will affect the environment.
People who are passionate about working and learning with the environment and who also embrace the technical complexity of a STEM career are needed for jobs in environmental science.
Career Outlook in Environmental Science
The career prospects for environmental science occupations vary according to education, expertise, and region. To discover more about the prospects for salaries, readers need to also look into employment patterns in their area or state.
For instance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts that between 2019 and 2029, employment for civil engineers would only increase by 2%. Environmental scientists and professionals are expected to experience job growth of 8% during the same period, which is significantly higher than the national average.
Since environmental science careers are so diverse, it is challenging to classify them as a single group. You can find yourself working primarily from home or taking yearly trips across the globe. You can be working outdoors, at a desk, or in a blend of both. Your area of interest can be textual, physical, or mathematical. Of course, the majority of jobs in the field of environmental science fall somewhere in the middle.
People who work in climate policy, management, and administration typically are employed by local governments and frequently perform work that requires extensive research. Environmental lawyers may be allowed to leave the office and go to court, or they may work long hours behind a desk.
You can work in conservation, sustainability, environmental research, and teaching with an environmental science degree.
Frequently Asked Questions about environmental science careers
- Is an environmental science career worthwhile?
You may anticipate a varied and demanding career whether you specialize in environmental research for the government or private businesses. Solving difficulties is a key component of any profession in environmental science, and individuals who work in the subject frequently find themselves doing just that!
- What does someone with a degree in environmental science do?
You get knowledge about how to manage the environment and the effects that humans have on it. Included in the topics studied are ecological biology, geology, geography, soil science, earth science, chemistry, and resource management.
- Are jobs in environmental science difficult to come by?
Careers in the environmental field can be extremely competitive, necessitate specialized training, and require extensive job experience.
- Environmental scientists work in what locations?
Laboratories and offices are where environmental scientists and professionals work. Protection technicians and environmental scientists are far more likely to perform this work than fieldworkers who may spend time collecting data and directly observing environmental conditions.