Environmental scientists and specialists essential career information:
- 2011 median pay: $63,570
- 2011, number of jobs: 84,240
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 19 percent
- Entry-level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
Environmental scientists and specialists; what they do:
Environmental scientists and environmental specialists valiantly work toward protecting and preserving the environment. Their work minimizes health hazards to human health and the environment.
Environmental scientist careers and environmental specialist careers include collecting environmental data through air, soil, water, food, and other material samples. The samples are analyzed to determine if they contain any hazardous material and if so, to what degree.
An environmental scientist career and an environmental specialist career may involve advising government officials, businesses, and the general public about environmental hazards. They also create a plan to correct the damage or to restore land.
Environmental scientists and environmental specialists meticulously record their research, data and findings to create a report or presentation explaining their conclusions and suggested resolution.
Some environmental scientists and environmental specialists work with governments developing laws and regulations for environmental protection, while other environmental scientists and specialists work with businesses, helping them comply with government environmental regulations.
Some examples of environmental specialists include: environmental health specialists, environmental protection specialists, and environmental chemists.
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Environmental scientists and specialists job titles:
- Certified Environmental Specialist
- Environmental Protection Specialist
- Environmental Management Specialist
- Environmental Compliance Specialist
- Environmental Scientist
- Environmental Analyst
- Hazardous Substances Scientist
- Environmental Health and Safety Specialist
Environmental Scientists and Specialists Education, Certification and License Requirements
An environmental specialist career or an environmental scientist career may begin with a Bachelor of Environmental Science, a Bachelor in Environmental Studies or a Bachelor of Natural Science degree. A Bachelor degree in biology, chemistry, or geosciences may also apply.
Some colleges and universities offer a Master in Environmental Studies degree or a Master in Environmental Science degree.
Students studying to become an environmental scientist or environmental specialist greatly benefit from internships and classes that teach them to work with computer modeling, data analysis, and geographic information systems.
Environmental scientist and specialist programs cover subjects such as:
- Waste management
- Fluid mechanics
- Environmental policy and regulation
Environmental scientists and environmental specialists don’t need specific certifications or licenses.
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Career Advancement Opportunities
After acquiring work experience, environmental scientists and environmental specialists may advance from a field analyst, research assistant, or technician position in laboratories to a supervising technician or other scientist position. They can also advance in their career to a project leader, program manager or another type of management or research position. Some environmental scientists and environmental specialists may advance to working as faculty at a college or university.
Environmental Scientists and Specialists Job Outlook
Forecast: 19 percent employment growth from 2010 to 2020 for environmental scientists and environmental specialists, faster than the average for all occupations.
The public increasingly aware and concerned about environmental hazards as well as the stress on the environment from a rapidly increasing population increases the demand for environmental scientists and environmental specialists.
Businesses increasingly consult with environmental scientists and environmental specialists in order to keep their environmental impact to a minimum.
Employment demand for environmental scientists and environmental specialists is expected to be highest among private consulting firms that businesses hire to help them keep in compliance with the increasingly strict and complex environmental regulations.
Environmental Scientists and Specialists Salary
- 2011 median annual wage: $63,570
- 2011, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $84,690
- 2011, workers at the 25th percentile annual wage: $47,840
Environmental Scientists and Specialists Major Employers
- State government
- Management, scientific, and technical consulting services
- Architectural, engineering, and related services
- Local government
- Federal government
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B.A. Environmental Studies Degree
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M.S. in Environmental Policy Degree