Environmental engineering master's degree programs focus on preparing qualified individuals to participate in the planning, design and construction of environmental projects, including waste water and potable water treatment plants, site remediation procedures, emission control measures and solid waste disposal systems. Although degree programs do not require a large research component, engineering students are encouraged to participate in research alongside faculty members during their course of study. Some programs allow students to choose a concentration such as treatment and infrastructure, water treatment or integrated site remediation. Prerequisites include a bachelor's degree in engineering or a closely related field, as well as college-level courses in chemistry, upper-level mathematics, physics and engineering.
Master's Degree in Environmental Engineering
A Master of Science in Environmental Engineering program is comprised of classes which emphasize the research process and practical implementation of learned tactics and information. Core and specialized courses are combined for a cohesive curriculum, and students are often able to tailor curriculum to suit their interests via electives. Depending on the school, a master's thesis or project may be required. Topics typically include:
- Air quality and water chemistry
- Environmental microbiology
- Fluid mechanics
- Solid waste engineering
- Water resource management
- Environmental law and policy
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Environmental engineers are employed by a wide variety of organizations, including construction firms, government agencies, major corporations, private consulting firms and major research universities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), demand for environmental engineers will grow by 12% from 2014 through 2024, due to continued legislation and policy changes that require compliance with environmental regulations. In May 2015, the BLS reported the average salary for environmental engineers as $88,040.
Continuing Education Information
Although there are no pre-determined continuing education requirements for environmental engineers, those working in the field often attend seminars, conferences and other scholastic opportunities to stay up-to-date on environmental conditions, current issues and technological advances. Graduates who are interested in environmental research or in becoming active in the field of academia may consider pursuing a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering.
Master's programs in environmental engineering will provide students with comprehensive education on key areas of in this field, as well as research opportunities with experienced faculty. Students interested in this degree should look into electives and areas of specialization offered in specific programs.