Environmental Engineering Careers for Veterans

Mar 09, 2018

Many veterans may find that their experience and training is suitable for a career in environmental engineering. Discover careers in engineering fields that offer opportunities to specialize in sustainability and environmental protection.

Environmental engineering focuses on environmental quality, renewable energy, and sustainable development. Below are a number of positions that may be a good fit for veterans.

Career Comparison

Job Title Median Wage Job Growth (2016-2026)* Applicable Military Skills/Traits
Environmental Engineers $84,890 (2016)* 8% Experience with mapping, land surveying, and preparing plans
Environmental Engineering Technicians $49,170 (2016)* 13% Background in field/laboratory tests, surveys, and drafts
Agricultural Engineers $73,640 (2016)* 8% Experience with mapping of land and water resources, as well as construction of infrastructure
Water/Wastewater Engineers $60,175 (2018)** 8% Background in water resource mapping, planning water resource use, and disposal
Energy Engineers $97,300 (2016)* 6% Experience with power generation and development, including portable devices

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; **PayScale.com

Environmental Engineering Jobs for Veterans

For veterans who want to participate in the 'green' future, a career in environmental engineering may be a good choice. Hands-on experience with planning and development of projects may give veterans an advantage in these careers.

Environmental Engineers

Veterans with an interest in environmental issues may find this a good choice. Those who have worked with water quality issues, health, or planning and building various projects such as transportation, energy or power systems may have an advantage in this career choice.

Environmental engineers develop solutions to environmental problems. They work with scientific knowledge of soil science, biology, and chemistry to address real world issues. These may include recycling, water quality, land use, public health, and air quality. A bachelor's degree is required.

Environmental Engineering Technicians

Laboratory experience, including testing of water and air, can be good experience for this career choice. Training with decontamination and clean-up equipment can also give veterans an advantage over other job seekers.

Environmental engineering technicians support and assist environmental engineers. They perform testing to help develop appropriate solutions. In addition they may operate equipment for environmental clean-up. This career is open to those with associate's degrees.

Agricultural Engineers

For veterans who would like to work in an engineering field that allows them to explore many interlocking issues, agricultural engineering may be a good choice. Veterans with experience in land surveying, building facilities, energy production, and water resources, may find many opportunities in this field.

Agricultural engineers have a number of issues on their plate. They help to organize and design agricultural systems to make them not only more profitable, but less energy and resource intensive as well. One large issue in agriculture is pollution, and this is a major concern addressed by agricultural engineers. They also try to reduce water use and prevent contamination and pollution. This field requires a bachelor's degree.

Water/Wastewater Engineers

Many veterans have experience managing, monitoring, and building water systems, either for military installations or as part of disaster recovery efforts. This experience may be a benefit to veterans seeking positions in this field.

Water and wastewater engineers generally work closely with local governments and regulatory agencies. They compile data and issue reports on water quality as it relates to both public health and the environment. They also prepare models for hydraulics and pipeline design in order to provide adequate clean water while also protecting habitat. Most engineers in this field have a bachelor's degree.

Energy Engineers

Veterans with experience in power generation, design, and installation of power systems in buildings and temporary facilities, as well as a background with remote power generation, may find that this is a good career choice. Their specialized military training as well as real world experience may be an advantage over other graduates.

Energy engineers work in a wide number of fields, some having to do with power generation, while others focus on energy efficiency and conservation. They may consult on designing green buildings, or the use of renewable energy resources. With concern over energy usage growing in North America and Europe, energy engineers with an understanding of 'green' best practices may enter a growing field. Energy engineers are required to have at least a bachelor's degree.

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