What Do Environmental Engineers Do?
Environmental engineers help to advise and designs systems that support environmental safety of soil, air, water, and the general environment. In many settings, they act in a team of professionals that help to evaluate environmental conditions, make recommendations for changes, and then implement needed changes to improve the ecosystem. Especially in states where there are significant natural resources or large industrial complexes, environmental engineers help to control and help clean industrial pollutants and products that could potentially affect the environment.In the upcoming years, there is a predicted 15% increase in the projected job openings for environmental engineers. The demand for these positions relates to the important role they play in either public or private sector jobs.
Environmental Engineers Skills and Abilities
In an environmental engineering position, you need to first have a strong background in engineering. This foundation will help you to be able to design and help implement needed changes to environmental systems. In addition, you will need to be able to critically analyze problems like industrial air and water pollution and identify practical solutions. Because of the need for an environmental engineer to work in a dedicated team, it is important for you to have good communication skills both in writing and in speaking. In many jobs, you will act as a specialist that consults with management to identify consistent methods to keep industrial processes in compliance with state regulations. For this reason, you should be able to generate concise and clear reports that communicate your recommendations to management.
Environmental Engineers Duties
In an industrial setting, the main duties of environmental engineers are to create complete processes that protect the environment by helping to handle dangerous waste products. This means that the engineer will read and interpret results of tests run by environmental scientists to measure pollution levels that will identify compliance with regulations. If non-compliance is identified, an engineer will create methods to improve waste collection or handling. Environmental engineers will consult with management to design training methods to help staff learn new techniques and methods to prevent non-compliance. You should be comfortable writing reports and documents that outline proposals for environmental engineering projects that will support the goals of the company in maintaining the environment.
Environmental Engineers Tools and Technology
As an environmental engineer, you will have access to highly sophisticated scientific equipment. This technology will help you to keep track of chemicals or pollutants. Included in this equipment list are mass spectrometers, chemical analyzers, and air particulate detectors. Each of these tools will be able to show a quantitative level of contaminates in an environmental sample. Because an environmental engineer deals with quality control and compliance, you will need to understand how to utilize compliance software packages that will help you document and monitor environmental quality.
Education and Training for Environmental Engineers
The typical education level for environmental engineers is a bachelor’s degree. This training should be either a degree in environmental engineering, geo-environmental engineering, or a related specialty. Taking advantage of internships or completing independent research projects will help make you more competitive for jobs.
Environmental Engineers Salary
The median salary for environmental engineers is about $83,000, but the expect salary can range on average from $50,000 up to $125,000 and beyond. Increased experience and a higher degree can aid in higher pay.
Environmental Engineers Jobs by Geography
Especially in states with a strong commitment to the environment, there is a large demand for environmental engineers. The cities with the largest numbers of environmental engineering jobs are California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania. Colorado shows the largest increase in projected employment for environmental engineers in the future.