Associate's, bachelor's and master's in environmental studies or a science-related degree program are available. Students may need certain science classes on their high school transcript or may need to complete remedial science courses before entering a program. Many science classes require hands-on work in the laboratory, while some degree programs may also provide research opportunities in water treatment systems, wetlands and ecological systems.
Fully online programs are rare, but some classes may be available online.
Associate of Science in Environmental Engineering Technology
Environmental remediation programs are commonly offered as environmental engineering technology programs. An Associate of Science in Environmental Engineering Technology degree prepares students to analyze soil and water samples, perform air sampling and site assessments, treat waste and choose the appropriate treatment or cleanup process. The program is science-intensive and provides students with relevant skills in chemistry, geology and other relevant sciences. Common courses include:
- Water resources engineering
- Environmental regulations and permits
- Hazardous materials
- Waste management and cleanup
- Environmental geology
Bachelor of Science in Biology
A Bachelor of Science in Biology degree prepares students for entry-level opportunities in environmental remediation, agriculture and other science-based fields. Some programs offer a concentration in environmental remediation, which focuses on environmental health, ecology and chemistry. Students learn a range of concepts related to the functioning of organisms and their environments. The following courses may be offered:
- Microbial ecology
- Environmental health
- Organic chemistry
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Environmental Sciences
- Environmental Studies
Master of Science in Applied Geosciences
The Master of Science in Applied Geosciences program offers students the chance to focus on topics such as waste disposal, human-induced disasters and contamination. Graduates are prepared to apply their skills to the remediation of toxic sites, the development of restoration plans and the evaluation of sites for future construction. If prospective students do not have an undergraduate degree in a related field, they may have the option to enter the program conditionally and complete the required prerequisites. Students may choose from courses including:
- Environmental hydrology
- Research methods in geosciences
- Groundwater contamination
Popular Career Options
Graduates of associate's degree programs have several career options in consulting, government agencies, labs and restoration sites. Career opportunities are not limited to environmental remediation specialist jobs. Some popular career options include the following:
- Hazardous waste technician
- Environmental compliance specialist
- Air sampling technician
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Graduates of a bachelor's program in biology can work in many positions relating to environmental remediation, including environmental engineering technicians or environmental scientists. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that environmental engineering technicians could expect a faster-than-average job growth of 10% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). Environmental engineering technicians reported median annual earnings of $48,650 as of 2015. The BLS further reports that environmental scientists and specialists earned a median annual wage of $67,460 as of 2015. This occupation was expected to grow by 11% from 2014-2024.
In summary, although programs dedicated entirely to environmental remediation are not common, some schools offer environmental remediation as a concentration within a broader environmental studies program. Other science-related degree programs such as environmental engineering technology, biology and applied geoscience also offer classes.