Individuals in an environmental engineering graduate certificate program can choose a specific area of focus, such as the effective capture and treatment of the water supply to deliver sanitary water or methods of dealing with hazardous waste disposal. In all specialties, students learn to perform their jobs in an environmentally friendly way, ensuring that there is minimal impact on the surrounding environment.
Requirements for applicants include a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering or a similar field. Some programs also require prior coursework in math and science or previous work experience.
Graduate Certificate Programs in Environmental Engineering
The number of credit hours needed to complete the certificate program varies and may range from 12-21 credit hours completed within a specified timeframe, usually three years. Some programs have core course requirements, but the remainder of the coursework is in elective topics. Because there are no additional requirements, such as residency or a thesis, many of the programs are offered entirely online. Class topics may include:
- Hydrology (water studies)
- Renewable resources
- Solid, industrial and hazardous waste management
- Environmental biotechnology
- Global warming and ozone depletion
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that the need for environmental engineers would grow as fast as the average rate of 5% from 2018-2028, in response to the need for safe water treatment (www.bls.gov). As of May 2018, the BLS reported that environmental engineers had a median annual salary of $87,620.
Most states have licensing requirements for engineers that usually include completing continuing education credits on a yearly basis. This helps ensure engineers are keeping up with the rapidly changing technology of the field. In some cases, completing a graduate certificate program may count toward those education requirements. The credits earned through a certificate program can usually be transferred towards a master's or Ph.D.
Bachelor's degree program graduates interested in continuing their education without enrolling in a master's degree program may be interested in a graduate certificate program for environmental engineering. These programs often allow student to choose a specific concentration area and consist of courses including hydrology, ecology, and environmental biotechnology.