Career Information for a Degree in Environmental Health Engineering

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an environmental health engineer. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and licensure to find out if this is the career for you.

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Environmental health engineering focuses on safety in workplaces or other environments. Career options in this field include being an environmental engineer, a health and safety engineer, or a biomedical engineer. A bachelor's degree is required to enter these professions.

Essential Information

Degrees in environmental health engineering prepare students to use engineering, mathematics, and design systems to address challenges in workplace safety or the environment. Students learn about public health laws and inspection methods as well as environmental and biomedical studies. Those who receive this degree can work as an environmental, safety or biomedical engineer.

Career Environmental Engineers Health and Safety Engineers Biomedical Engineers
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 12% 6% 23%
Median Salary (2015)* $84,560 $84,600 $86,220

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Environmental Engineers

Environmental engineers use their knowledge of engineering and environmental systems to help businesses and governments reduce the negative effects of industry, population growth and other human activities on the environment. They might specialize in waste disposal systems, topsoil protection, wildlife protection or air pollution controls. Many work for governments, while others work as consultants, advising private companies on strategies for adhering to environmental regulations and reducing environmental impact. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that, from 2014 to 2024, environmental engineers will see a 12% increase in employment, which is faster than the national average. As of May 2015, the BLS stated that environmental engineers earned a median annual salary of $84,560.

Safety Engineers

Safety engineers are primarily employed by production companies to provide solutions to safety problems in the workplace. They might analyze production processes for possible dangers to employees and others, measure the air in a factory for unhealthy levels of particulates or other irritants, and alter production schedules to increase workplace safety or evaluate products for potential dangers to consumers. According to the BLS, health and safety engineers are expected to see a 6% growth in employment from 2014 to 2024, which is about as fast as the national average. In May 2015, the BLS stated that these professionals earned a median annual salary of $84,600.

Biomedical Engineers

Biomedical engineers help research, plan and develop the procedures and devices implemented within the health care system, from information storage and retrieval systems to patient care technology. They may assist in the creation of test instruments, medicine delivery systems, prostheses, artificial organs, rehabilitation equipment and imaging devices. Most biomedical engineers are trained in another engineering field, such as environmental health engineering. In May 2015, the BLS stated that biomedical engineers earn a median annual salary of $86,220. Additionally, the BLS stated that these professionals are expected to see a 23% growth in employment from 2014 to 2024, which is much faster than the national average for all occupations.

Environmental engineers focus on helping businesses and organizations minimize environmental damage, while biomedical engineers focus on ensuring that the processes and systems used in health care work effectively. Safety engineers work to eliminate safety threats within workplace environments. All of these professionals perform tasks relevant to ensuring the health and safety of individuals or the environment.

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