Environmental Protection Jobs

Environmental scientists and specialists use knowledge of various scientific disciplines to protect human health and the environment.

Environmental Scientist Jobs and Green Career Profile

Environmental scientists are working to keep our environment safe for future generations by conducting research and investigations to identify and eliminate the sources of hazards or pollution that damage either the human and animal health or the environment. They work on the issues involved in protecting and preserving the environment such as degradation, recycling, cleaning, replenishment and conservation.

Understanding Environmental Scientist Jobs

Environmental scientists and specialists’ general responsibility is to provide technical and scientific support, guidance, and coordination to environmental programs, governmental agencies, industry, and the public. They review and implement environmental policies, guidelines, technical standards, and formal regulations that meet all applicable requirements. Those with environmental scientist jobs also synthesize, collect, manage, analyze, and report environmental data, such as soil or water samples, atmospheric monitoring measurements, pollution emission measurements, mineralogical and meteorological information. They use the collected data samples to prepare charts or graphs, and provide summary information on the environmental importance of the data.

Learn about Environmental Scientist Jobs Environmental scientists and specialists communicate technical and scientific information to organizations, the public, and internal audiences through written documents, briefings, conferences, workshops, public hearings, and training sessions. They provide advice on regulations, standards and the development of strategies, policies, or codes of practice for environmental management. Environmental scientists and specialists also conduct environmental inspections, audits or investigations of violations. They monitor effects of land degradation or pollution and recommend methods of control and prevention.

Holders of the environmental scientist jobs direct and design studies to obtain technical environmental information regarding planned projects. They analyze data to determine and scientific significance, quality and validity to interpret environmental effects resulting from human activities. Environmental scientists and specialists also develop the technical parts of administrative orders, legal documents, and consent decrees. They evaluate problems discovered during inspections and violations to provide advice on the development and prosecution of regulatory cases or to determine applicable regulatory actions.

Environmental scientists and specialists develop procedures to minimize the impact of production processes on the environment, based on the assessment and study of industrial production, physical, biological, and social environments, and environmental legislation. They also determine data collection techniques to be employed in surveys and research projects. Environmental scientists and specialists review and process environmental licenses, permits, and related materials. They train and supervise technicians, environmental technologists, students and other related staff. Environmental scientists and specialists also develop research prototypes and models, using of statistical and mathematical knowledge.

With the increased needs in environmental protection, environmental scientists and specialists need to investigate and report on accidents that are affecting the environment. They monitor the environmental impacts of different development activities. Environmental scientists and specialists also find sources of pollution to determine their environment effects and to develop methods and concepts to control and reduce pollution. They develop programs that are designed to obtain the most non-damaging and valuable use of land.

To perform their job, environmental scientists and specialists use a variety of tools and technologies. To perform their analyses, they use analytical or scientific software such as ADMS pollution modeling software, Lakes Environmental EcoRisk View, TANKS, and Wolfel IMMI. To make sure projects are compliance with environmental standards, they use compliance software such as Ecotech WinAQMS, Emissions tracking software, Material safety data sheet MSDS software, and MIRS Compliance. For software development, they use C++, Java, and Microsoft Visual Basic. For research and data management, they use software such as EarthSoft EQuIS Geology, Smart Data Solutions RS Solutions, Tucows ChemBase, and Waters eLab Notebook. For map creation, they use map creation software such as ESRI ArcView, Geographic information system GIS software, Golden Software Surfer, and RockWare ArcMap.

Environmental Scientists and Specialists Green Job Summary

  • Environmental scientists and specialists use knowledge of the natural sciences to protect human health and the environment. They collect and study data from measurements or observations of air, soil, food, water, and other sources to recommend ways to preserve the environment.
  • Environmental scientists and specialists jobs have a bright outlook and will continue to growth. The demand for environmental scientists and specialists is projected to rise due to the increased public interest in the environmental hazards, as well as the increasing demands placed on the environment by population growth.
  • Environmental scientists and specialists jobs are expected a growth between 15% and 21% with 39,700 new jobs filled by 2022

Work Environment for Environmental Scientists and Specialists

Entry-level environmental scientists and specialists often spend a large amount of time in the field. Experienced environmental scientists and specialists perform most of their jobs in the offices or laboratories. Other environmental scientists, such as environmental chemists and environmental ecologists often take field trips that include physical activity. Environmental scientists and specialists may work in in all kinds of weather – warm or cold climates. They often need to travel to meet with potential clients. Most environmental scientists and specialists work a typical 40-hour workweek with regular business hours. Some work outside of business hours due to traveling.

Environmental Scientists and Specialists Education, Training and Licensing

To enter an entry-level green job as an environmental scientists and specialists, a bachelor’s degree in an earth science is required. Many companies prefer to hire environmental scientists and specialists with a graduate degree in natural science or environmental science. A Ph.D. degree usually is required for research positions or college teaching. Some environmental scientists and specialists have a degree in environmental science; others have degrees in chemistry, biology, geosciences, or physics and use their education to the environment study. Research or work experience related to environmental science is often required to enter the job.

A bachelor’s degree in environmental science with an emphasis on chemistry, biology, and geology offers an interdisciplinary approach to the natural sciences. Undergraduate environmental science majors typically focus on physical geography and data analysis, which are particularly useful in studying water resources, pollution abatement, ecosystem protection, management and restoration. Understanding the geochemistry of inorganic compounds is becoming very important in developing remediation goals. Students interested in working in the environmental or regulatory fields, either in federal or state governments or environmental consulting firms should take courses in hazardous-waste management, hydrology, chemistry, environmental legislation, fluid mechanics, and geologic logging. It is also good to have an understanding of government permit issues and environmental regulations.

For environmental scientists and specialists who work in consulting firms, it is useful to take courses in marketing, business, finance, or economics. In addition, combining environmental science training with other disciplines such as business or engineering helps qualify these scientists for a wider range of jobs. Computer skills are also necessary for potential environmental scientists. Students who have experience with data analysis and integration, computer modeling, remote sensing, digital mapping, and geographic information systems will be the most equipped to enter the job market.

Employment Figures, Projections, Outlook and Earnings

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates a bright outlook for environmental scientists and specialists and expects employment of this field to growth between 15% and 21% from 2012 until 2022, faster than the average for all green jobs. The BLS projected 39,700 climate change analyst job openings between 2012 and 2022, and noted 90,000 jobs are currently filled. Titles include Environmental Analyst, Environmental Health and Safety Specialist, Environmental Programs Specialist, Environmental Protection Specialist, Environmental Scientist, Environmental Specialist, Hazardous Substances Scientist, Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS), Research Environmental Scientist, and Senior Environmental Scientist. The BLS further reports that the median annual wage for salaried Environmental scientists and specialists was $65,090 in 2012 with median hourly wage of $31.29. Across the US job market, he lowest 10 percent earned less than $38,570, and the top 10 percent earned more than $109,970. Environmental scientists and specialists can receive the best compensation in District of Columbia, where they earn compensation, on average, of about $104,880. People in this job function are compensated at the highest average salary in Utilities, where they get average pay levels of $81,540.


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