Environmental Protection Jobs

Environmental engineers address important issues, such as unsafe drinking water, climate change, and environmental sustainability.

Environmental Engineer Jobs and Green Career Profile

Environmental engineers perform duties such as researching, designing and planning projects for the city or state to ensure the environmental standards are met. Environmental engineers work to improve the water systems, recycling centers, landfills, or sanitation facilities. They also work to minimize the impact of human developments or activities such as new roads or gas drilling on the environment and habitats. Their main goal is to improve the overall quality of water, air and land.

Understanding Environmental Engineer Jobs

Environmental engineers’ main responsibility is to design or supervise the design of processes, systems, or equipment for management, control, and remediation of water, air, or soil quality. Using the environmental standards, they advise government agencies and corporations of specific procedures to follow in cleaning up contaminated sites to protect the environment and people. Environmental engineers collaborate with environmental scientists, hazardous waste technicians, planners, engineers, experts in business or law, and other specialists to address and solve environmental issues. They also obtain, maintain and update standard operating procedures, plans, and permits, for projects.

Learn About Environmental Engineer JobsEnvironmental engineers often serve as liaison with local, state, federal officials or agencies on issues pertaining to hazardous or solid waste program requirements. They provide technical support for litigation projects and environmental remediation, including determination of regulatory applicability or remediation system design. Environmental engineers develop health and safety protocols for different sites, including methods for loading or transporting waste or spill contingency plans. They also prepare, update and review recommendation reports and environmental investigation.

Environmental engineers work to ensure compliance with environmental regulations by inspecting municipal and industrial facilities or programs and evaluate their operational effectiveness. They provide assistance with quality assurance, planning, safety inspection protocols, and sampling while performing multimedia inspections at complex facilities. Environmental engineers advise government agencies or industries about environmental policies and standards. They also prepare or present public briefings on the status of environmental engineering projects.

As part of their job, environmental engineers develop proposed project objectives and targets and report to management on progress in attaining them. They coordinate or manage environmental protection programs or projects, assigning or evaluating work. Environmental engineers direct installation or operation of environmental monitoring devices or supervise related data collection programs. They also monitor progress of environmental improvement programs.

Environmental engineers also need to prepare hazardous waste manifests or land disposal restriction notifications. They assess the existing or potential environmental impact of land use projects on air, water, or land. Environmental engineers develop, implement, or manage plans or programs related to conservation or management of natural resources. They also provide environmental engineering assistance in network analysis, regulatory analysis, planning or reviewing database development.

Environmental engineers prepare, maintain, or revise quality assurance documentation or procedures. They inform company employees or other interested parties of environmental issues. Environmental engineers also develop or present environmental compliance training or orientation sessions. They also provide support for projects by collecting data, providing project documentation, and training staff. Environmental engineers also inform the public by writing reports or articles for Web sites or newsletters related to environmental engineering issues.

To perform their job, environmental engineers use a variety of tools and technologies. To perform their analyses, they use analytical or scientific software such as DHI Water and Environment MIKE SHE, RockWare MODFLOW, The MathWorks MATLAB, and XP Software XPSWMM. To make sure projects are compliance with environmental standards, they use compliance software such as Continuous emission management software, Hazardous materials management software, Material safety data sheet MSDS software, and Regulatory compliance management software. For software development, they use C++ and Python. For design, they use software such as Autodesk AutoCAD software, Bentley Microstation, Kubotek CADKEY software, and SofTech CADRA. For graphics and images, they use Photogrammetric software and Slam software.

Environmental engineers Green Job Summary

  • Environmental engineers use the principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems. Environmental engineers are involved in efforts to improve recycling, waste disposal, public health, and water and air pollution control.
  • Environmental engineers jobs have a bright outlook and will continue to growth. The demand for environmental engineers is projected to rise due to the efforts to increase the water conservation and efficiency use of water, wastewater treatment in the areas where gas drilling is occurring, and cleaning up of contaminated sites.
  • Environmental engineers jobs are expected a growth between 15% and 21% with 21,100 new jobs filled by 2022

Work Environment for Environmental engineers

Environmental engineers work in different settings such as office buildings, laboratories, or industrial plants depending on the nature of their tasks. They work in the offices with other engineers, urban and regional planners. Sometimes, they spend time in seminars, where they present information and answer questions to business people and lawyers. Others environmental engineers may spend time outdoors at specific sites, where they monitor or direct operations, or solve on-site problems while working with hazardous waste technicians and environmental scientists. Some environmental engineers need to travel to industrial plants or work sites for specific tasks.

Environmental engineers Education, Training and Licensing

To enter a green job as an environmental engineer, one must have a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering or a related field, such as civil, chemical, or general engineering. Practical experience is also valuable to employers; therefore, prospective environmental engineers should consider enrolling in cooperative engineering programs, in which college credit is awarded for structured job experience. Getting a license improves the chances for employment. Environmental engineers who offer their services directly to the public must be licensed. It is also important for environmental engineers to continue education to keep current with rapidly changing technology.

If you are interested in becoming an environmental engineer, you should take courses in chemistry, biology, physics, and math, including algebra, trigonometry, and calculus. A bachelor’s programs in environmental engineering usually last 4 years and include classroom, lab work, and field studies. Some colleges and universities offer cooperative programs in which students gain practical experience while completing their education. Several colleges and universities offer a 5-year program that leads to both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. Some research and development or instructor positions require a graduate degree.

Many environmental engineering programs are accredited by ABET. Some employers prefer to hire candidates who have graduated from an accredited program. A degree from an ABET-accredited program is usually necessary to become a licensed professional environmental engineer.

Employment Figures, Projections, Outlook and Earnings

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates a bright outlook for environmental engineers 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 21,100 environmental engineer job openings between 2012 and 2022, and noted 53,000 jobs are currently filled. Titles include Air Pollution Control Engineer, Chief, Pesticides and Toxic Substances Branch, Environmental Analyst, Environmental Engineer, Environmental Remediation Specialist, Global Director Air and Climate Change, Hazardous Substances Engineer, Marine Engineer CPVEC (Marine Engineer Commercial Passenger Vessel Environmental Compliance), Regulatory Environmental Compliance Manager, and Sanitary Engineer. The BLS further reports that the median annual wage for salaried Environmental engineers was $82,220 in 2012 with median hourly wage of $39.53. Across the US job market, the lowest 10 percent earned less than $49,510, and the top 10 percent earned more than $122,290. Environmental engineers can receive the best compensation in New Mexico, where they earn compensation, on average, of about $95,910. People in this job function are compensated at the highest average salary in Transportation and Warehousing, where they get average pay levels of $101,980.

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