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Careers Involving Environmental Science

The field of environmental science is part of a large number of careers in a variety of different ways. Read more about some of the career options that involve environmental science, as well as the education requirements for each position.

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Career Options Involving Environmental Science

There are many career options that involve environmental science in some way, whether these jobs focus on protecting the environment, solving environmental issues or educating the public about the environment. Below we list a few of the options that closely involve environmental science.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Environmental Scientists and Specialists $68,910 11%
Environmental Engineers $84,890 12%
Environmental Science and Protection Technicians $44,190 9%
Natural Science Managers $119,850 3%
Postsecondary Environmental Science Teachers $78,340 9%
Conservation Scientists $61,810 7%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Information for Careers Involving Environmental Science

Environmental Scientists and Specialists

The work of environmental scientists and specialists very directly involves environmental science, since these professionals monitor and protect the environment. Their work also helps improve human health. Environmental scientists and specialists are often called upon to report their findings to the public and government officials after they analyze environmental samples for pollution or contamination. Their work therefore usually requires extensive fieldwork as they collect samples of water, air and soil from particular locations. These professionals need a bachelor's degree in the natural sciences.

Environmental Engineers

Environmental engineers work to solve a wide variety of environmental problems by using engineering principles and the natural sciences, including environmental science. They may design projects for environmental protection, analyze scientific data to monitor environmental improvements and make sure all projects comply with government regulations. Some of these professionals may specialize in particular environmental issues, such as air pollution, climate change and more. Environmental engineers require a bachelor's degree, which is usually in the field of environmental engineering, but it may be in a related field of engineering.

Environmental Science and Protection Technicians

Environmental science and protection technicians are somewhat similar to environmental scientists and specialists. They use environmental science to monitor the environment for contamination and pollution, as well as trying to prevent any future or further environmental violations. They may work for clients to monitor businesses or public places to protect human health. They report their findings in detailed reports that are often available to their clients, the public and government officials. Some environmental science and protection technicians may have a bachelor's degree, but they need at least an associate's degree.

Natural Science Managers

Natural science managers oversee and manage different projects that involve multiple scientists, like biologists and chemists. Therefore, they may not be working directly with environmental science, but they may incorporate the science through projects concerning quality control and more. These managers primarily monitor daily activities in the lab to ensure that a project meets the set goals, budget and deadlines. They may also help present findings and communicate the progress of a particular project to clients. Natural science managers must first have a bachelor's, master's or Ph.D. in science or engineering. They usually move into management after working as a scientist, but some hold an advanced management degree, like a Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Postsecondary Environmental Science Teachers

Environmental science teachers at the postsecondary level teach various concepts of environmental science. Their position often requires them to also conduct their own research for the institution that they work for. Depending on the size of the institution, they may also oversee the work of graduate students. As a postsecondary teacher, they must develop their curriculum, design examinations and assignments and possibly advise students on what courses to take. Environmental science teachers at this level must hold at least a master's degree, but most have a Ph.D.

Conservation Scientists

Conservation scientists manage and protect natural resources through activities that comply with current government regulations. They may oversee forests, parks, rangelands and more. This often involves working closely with farmers, landowners and the government to choose the correct forestry and conservation activities for a certain area. Environmental science is usually involved in this decision-making process. Conservation scientists must obtain a bachelor's degree.

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