Waste Management Master's Programs

Apr 30, 2018

Waste management is offered as a concentration through environmental science and engineering master's programs. Courses stress the infrastructure and sustainability issues facing the field.

A master's degree with a specialization in waste management provides students with the skills needed to manage, organize, and respond to issues related to waste production and reduction. By focusing on sustainability and paths forward to address waste produced on a local, national, and international scale, programs provide students with the practical tools and policy-based information necessary to pursue waste management jobs in administrative, scientific, or engineering fields.

Degrees Related To Waste Management

Master of Science in Earth Resources Engineering, Sustainable Waste Management Concentration

A master's degree in earth resources engineering with a concentration in sustainable waste management incorporates coursework on the technology and science related to recycling, composting, landfills, and waste-to-energy practices. Students also study different types of pollution and how to prevent it, waste-based data processing and analysis, and waste infrastructure management. To earn a graduate degree in earth resources engineering with a concentration in waste management, students need to have a strong science background, usually with a bachelor's in physics, chemistry, or a related engineering field.

Master of Science in Civil Engineering, Water and Waste Management

A master's degree in civil engineering with an emphasis on water and waste management can provide students with methods, tools, and design skills needed to develop and implement efficient infrastructures for waste management as well as how to work within social, environmental, and policy confines. Coursework includes water treatment design, water quality science and engineering, and sustainable design and construction. Students should have a strong background in science and fluid mechanics and need to submit a purpose statement, letters of recommendation, a formal application, GRE scores, and a curriculum vitae.

Master of Science in Environmental Management

A master's degree in environmental management is designed to provide students with industrial waste management skills, knowledge of environmental policy, and executive decision-making skills related to environmental science and technology. Students complete coursework that trains them to use software, risk assessment, and management tools while learning about working with communities, government agencies, and within teams to solve environmental problems. Students are encouraged to have a background in the field as they apply to this type of graduate degree.

What Careers Do Waste Management Programs Lead To?

Environmental Engineer

An environmental engineer designs solutions to environmental problems by collecting and analyzing data then creating and implementing engineering projects such as waste disposal, water reclamation, and recycling. Some environmental engineers may work to combat pollution and other environmental issues that are already problematic in specific areas. Environmental engineers may work within a corporation or government agency that is designing or influencing some aspect of environmental design or policy. A master's degree in engineering with a specialization in waste management would be particularly relevant to these professionals; some employers prefer engineering candidates with master's degrees.

Environmental Scientist/Specialist

An environmental scientist or environmental specialist collects and studies data related to water, air, land, and other types of pollution to provide guidance and feedback to businesses, organizations, or government agencies. This usually involves preparing reports and presenting their findings. A master's degree with an emphasis in waste management would provide environmental scientists and specialists with the skills needed to lead pollution clean-ups and tackle waste issues. A master's degree is often required for advancement in this career.

Natural Sciences Manager

A natural sciences manager oversees scientists that work within a lab or on a specific project, such as one related to waste management. Natural sciences managers are responsible for the budget and administration of a lab or a project and are tasked with reporting findings or other information to appropriate groups, agencies, or corporate entities. These professionals usually have a graduate degree; in waste management master's programs, future natural science managers can acquire the engineering, scientific, and management techniques and tools needed to effectively develop goals and supervise labs conducting waste management research.

Administrative Services Manager

Administrative services managers are in charge of different types of facilities, including waste management and wastewater facilities. These managers supervise administrative personnel, such as waste management collectors, and monitor work practices, productivity, and policies. An administrative services manager may be in charge of waste collection for a corporation, keeping track of consumption and resource usage as well as recycling and conservation efforts. A master's degree in a field related to waste management may help candidates stand out or advance since it signals high-level industry specific knowledge and management/leadership skills.

A master's program in waste management offers numerous paths for students that wish to pursue a career in environmental/civil engineering, science and service management, public policy, and facility management. Degrees that include the study of waste management emphasize how to mitigate the negative effects of consumption, assess risks for waste concerns, and engineer solutions for waste management issues.

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