Global warming, pollution, excessive waste and clean water scarcity are huge global concerns. With today’s push toward STEAM-related studies and a widespread eco-conscious effort to protect the earth and our natural resources, environmental science is becoming a more popular, important field. If you’re considering pursuing an environmental science degree but are wondering what type of job you’ll land with it, check out three awesome options below.
Environmental engineers work to solve environmental problems using engineering, biology, chemistry and soil science principles. Areas addressed include the ones listed above, as well as seek ways to improve public health, recycling efforts, and sustainability, to name a few.
Per the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, common environmental engineering duties may include analyzing scientific data and the effectiveness of environmental improvement programs; designing environmental protection programs such as air pollution control programs; developing and conducting studies to assess or minimize the effects of acid rain; improving global clean water supplies and more.
Environmental engineers can work in a variety of indoor and outdoor settings such as schools and hospitals, and with urban and regional planners. The job outlook for this position is expected to grow eight percent from now through 2026. The Department of Labor Statistics reports a median wage for environmental engineers was $86,800 as of May 2017. Most candidates entering the field need a bachelor’s degree, but may also need practical experience.
Hydrologists work to combat water quality and scarcity issues. They also study water movement across the earth, how rain and snow impact groundwater levels and river flow, and analyze how water and the environment impact each other.
Per the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, hydrologist duties can include measuring stream flow and volume in specific bodies of water, analyze data regarding the environmental impacts of pollution and drought, research ways to curb the effects of pollution and erosion on the environment, and much more.
Hydrologists can work in the field or in the office. They may have to wade into lakes and other bodies of water to collect samples and read monitoring equipment. They can act as consultants in state, federal and local governments and might also have to travel internationally. The job outlook is good and is projected to grow by 10 percent by 2026. Median pay for the position was reported as $79,990 per year or $38.46 per hour in 2017.
Zoologist and Wildlife Biologist
Zoologists and wildlife biologists study animals and wildlife and the ways they interact with their natural ecosystems. Other areas of focus include animal behavior and how humans impact animals, wildlife and their natural habitats.
Per the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, zoologists and wildlife biologists’ duties may include conducting controlled studies of animals in their natural environment; monitoring and managing wildlife populations and the impacts of invasive animals and plants; implementing programs to minimize wildlife and animal impact on crops, livestock and other sectors of human and commercial operations; and more.
Many zoologists and wildlife biologists work in the field (including in the water in the case of a marine biologist) to study various species of animals in their natural habitats. They can also work in offices, laboratories and travel all over the world to conduct studies and research. The job outlook for this position is expected to increase by eight percent by 2026. As of 2017, the median pay for the position was $62,290.