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Environmental Certifications and Certificate Programs

Certificate programs in environmental management and environmental policy are offered at the graduate level for workers interested in leadership roles in the environmental field. Environmental graduate certificate programs teach students to solve environmental issues by drawing from multiple disciplines like social sciences and business.

Essential Information

Admission requirements for these programs include a bachelor's degree, and prerequisite coursework in the sciences. A background in environmental science may be recommended. Some programs are only available to students currently enrolled in graduate programs. Experienced environmental professionals can receive certification from the Academy of Board Certified Environmental Professionals.

  • Program Levels: Graduate Certificate Program
  • Fields of Study: Environmental Management, Environmental Policy
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree, science courses are recommended but not required, may need to be enrolled in a graduate program

Certificate in Environmental Management

Students enhance skills applicable to environmental management activities, such as regulatory compliance, site assessment, health and safety assessment, or pollution control operations. Students are expected to hold a bachelor's degree before enrolling in graduate-level certificate programs, and may need previous coursework in chemistry. The environmental management certificate curriculum pulls from environmental policy, business, and science. Topics might include:

  • Processes in environmental policy
  • Business strategy and the environment
  • Sustainability and design
  • Risk assessment
  • Environmental health management

Certificate in Environmental Policy

Graduate certificate programs in environmental policy draw from social science disciplines to teach students to address environmental planning and issues through policy. Students study public policy and are introduced to environmental issues at the local, state, national, and global levels. A bachelor's degree is required for admission to graduate-level certificate programs in environmental policy. Students explore existing environmental policy as well as social dimensions, development issues, and use of natural resources. Courses might include:

  • Policy process
  • Environmental law
  • Sustainable development
  • Globalization
  • Population issues, problems, and policies

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Environmental scientists, including those who work in policy and management, are expected to experience a 15% increase 2012-2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), stemming from increasing stresses put on our environment by the growing population, coupled with a growing awareness of environmental concerns. The median annual salary for environmental scientists in May 2014 was $66,250, stated the BLS.

Certification and Continuing Education

The Academy of Board Certified Environmental Professionals (www.abcep.org) provides certification to environmental professionals. Recent graduates can apply to the ABCEP's Certified Professional Environmentalist in Training programs. After completing a total of nine years of experience, which may include time in educational programs, applicants can apply for the Certified Professional Environmentalist designation. Continuing education is required for certification maintenance. Professional organizations, such as the National Association of Environmental Professionals (www.naep.org), provide opportunities for continued education.

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