Environmental Certifications and Certificate Programs

Explore graduate certificate programs in environmental management and environmental policy. After learning about common coursework and prerequisites, review continuing education opportunities and BLS data on job outlook and median salary.

Essential Information

Certificate programs in environmental management and environmental policy are offered at the graduate level for workers interested in leadership roles in the environmental field. Admission requirements for these graduate certificate 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.

Certificate in Environmental Management

Students in this program enhance skills applicable to environmental management activities, such as regulatory compliance, site assessment, health and safety assessment, or pollution control operations. 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. 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 and specialists, including those who work in policy and management, are expected to experience an 11% increase between 2014 and 2024, 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 and specialists in May 2015 was $67,460, as stated by the BLS.

Continuing Education Information

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.

A career as an environmental scientist can be advanced by obtaining a graduate certificate in environmental management or environmental policy after earning a bachelor's degree. In addition, many students elect to pursue professional certification through organizations like the ABCEP.

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