Credentials in environmental management are available at the bachelor's and master's degree levels. A Bachelor of Science (BS) in Environmental Management program prepares students for entry-level career opportunities related to the environment, public policy and conservation. A high school diploma or GED must be first be earned to enroll in a bachelor's degree program.
Master's degrees programs are open to those who have a bachelor's degree in environmental management or a related field. Students often study at the master's level in order to pursue advanced positions in policy management and research.
Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management
Students earning a BS in environmental management apply their knowledge to the management of air, land, and water resources, toxicology reporting, hazardous materials management and conservation efforts.
Curricula combine the scientific concepts of environmental management with issues in policy and health. Students learn the fundamentals associated with ecosystems, sustainability and environmental conservation. Topics also include issues surrounding politics and environmental health. Common course topics may include the following:
- Environmental policy and laws
- Preventing pollution
- Air quality
- Hazardous materials
- Industrial hygiene
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Master of Environmental Management
Master of Environmental Management programs prepare students for management and leadership roles related to environmental policy, education, green design or conservation. Programs have a well-rounded approach to environmental concerns and offer students the flexibility of tailoring the program to meet their specific career goals. Students can choose concentrations in multiple areas, such as coastal management, ecosystems or energy.
Core courses for all graduate environmental management students may cover project management, professional communication, economics and environmental sciences. Additional courses often vary depending on the area of concentration. Master's degree students may study the following course topics:
- Environmental program management
- Environmental politics
- Land use principles and policy
- Political ecology
- Climate systems
Popular Career Choices
Environmental management graduates can pursue a number of job opportunities in government or private organizations. Some possible job titles include the following:
- Sustainability coordinator
- Environmental planner
- Environmental information specialist
- Environmental policy advisor
- Wilderness manager
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Graduates of master's degree programs pursue of number of job opportunities, including conservation specialist, environmental specialist, policy manager or environmental manager. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that conservation scientists earned a median annual wage of $60,220 as of 2015 and could expect average job growth of 7% from 2014 through 2024. Environmental specialists and scientists earned median annual wages of $67,460 as of May 2015 and could expect faster than average job growth at 11% from 2014-2024.
Some schools offer post baccalaureate certificate programs in environmental management. These programs are designed for those aspiring to work in environmental management who hold degrees in other fields and for those who may have previously earned their bachelor's degree and wish to update their skills and knowledge. Such programs may require applicants to be enrolled in graduate school or to have completed prerequisite courses in chemistry or other subjects.
Graduates of a master's degree program may wish to continue their education and pursue a doctoral program in environmental management. These graduates can then pursue opportunities in research, teaching, or public policy.
Students of environmental management may choose to enter the workforce with a bachelor's degree to gain immediate experience, or pursue graduate studies to focus on research. These degrees will teach the multidisciplinary content, like conservation and public policy, needed to work in environmental management.