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Environmental Analyst: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an environmental analyst. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about job duties, degree programs and employment outlook.

Environmental analysts examine and study the interaction of the environment and people, as we live, pollute and change the earth. Environmental analysts may work in the public or private sector, analyzing data about different topics such as soil, water, or air pollution, geology, or hydrology. A bachelor's degree in environmental science or a related major is typical for entry-level positions, although some employers or specialties may prefer a higher level degree.

Essential Information

Environmental analysts help governments, companies and the public understand the human impact on the natural world. They collect, study and analyze data to propose actions and policies to create less harmful and cleaner interactions with the environment. A bachelor's degree in environmental science or a related field is usually necessary, though some positions may require graduate-level education.

Required Education Bachelor's degree, typically in environmental science
Program Concentrations Biology, geology, hydrology
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 11% (for environmental specialists & scientists ) *
Median Salary (2015) $67,460 annually (for environmental specialists & scientists) *

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Environmental Analyst Job Description

The complex and delicate balance of the natural world combined with pollutants and destruction produced by development and population growth necessitates the need for scientific study to understand the impact humans have on the Earth. Environmental scientists and analysts work in many different capacities to perform a wide range of duties centered on designing the most supportive, interdependent relationship between people and their natural environment.

Environmental analysts work for federal, state or local government agencies to determine appropriate land uses, monitor chemical or biological levels in the environment and create and regulate policy changes. Private companies also employ analysts to determine the environmental impact of corporate practices and ensure regulatory compliance. Environmental analysts may specialize in specific fields, such as soil analysis, hydrology, geology, biology, air pollution analysis or mineralogy.

Duties of an Environmental Analyst

Environmental analysts focus on data collection and interpretation, using the information to create solutions to environmental problems. They typically divide their time between fieldwork and laboratory testing. Scientists examine surveys and samples collected on-site and perform historical research to determine the extent and causes of environmental changes.

After evaluation and interpretation of data is complete, analysts report recommendations and solutions for policy creation, expansion or procedure modification. An environmental analyst's job includes a working knowledge of several types of tools, instruments and equipment used to evaluate and advocate preferred and possible solutions to a particular issue.

Requirements of an Environmental Analyst

The educational requirements of environmental analysts vary depending on their specialization, the duties expected of them and their employer. Typically, analysts qualify for entry-level positions with a bachelor's degree in environmental science. Several schools offer the programs with concentrations in a number of disciplines, such as biology, geology or hydrology. Preparation for a career in environmental analysis includes proficiency in mathematics, chemistry, physics and statistics.

Private companies and some government grade levels may require a master's degree in a specific discipline. Many employers prefer scientists with adequate experience in the field and may substitute graduate education for practical work requirements. Analysts working in high-level research positions, those making policy decisions and those teaching at the university level typically need a doctoral degree.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes environmental analysts in the broader group of environmental specialists and scientists. Between 2014 and 2024, these professionals were expected to see employment opportunities increase by 11% according to the BLS. Its May 2015 salary report found a median salary of $67,460 for environmental specialists and scientists.

Environmental analysts study data and come to conclusions about the environment and how to solve environmental issues. They may advise private companies, or work for government agencies. Environmental analysts can specialize in certain areas, and different specialties may need a higher level of education.


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