Environmental Scientists and Specialists

Environmental scientists use their knowledge of the natural sciences to protect the environment.

 

Sample of Reported Job Titles

Environmental Scientist, Environmental Specialist, Environmental Analyst, Environmental Protection Specialist, Hazardous Substances Scientist, Environmental Health and Safety Specialist, Environmental Manager, Research Environmental Scientist, Environmental Affairs Specialist, Environmental Health Specialist

 

Summary

Environmental scientists and specialists analyze environmental problems and develop solutions. For example, many environmental scientists and specialists work to reclaim lands and waters that have been contaminated by pollution. Others assess the risks new construction projects pose to the environment and make recommendations to governments and businesses on how to minimize the environmental impact of these projects. They also identify ways that human behavior can be changed to avoid problems such as the depletion of the ozone layer.

Some environmental scientists and specialists focus on environmental regulations that are designed to protect people’s health, while others focus on regulations designed to minimize society’s impact on the ecosystem. The following are examples of types of specialists:

Environmental health specialists study how environmental factors impact human health. They investigate potential health risks, such as unsafe drinking water, disease, and food safety. They also educate the public about potential health risks present in the environment.

Environmental protection specialists monitor the effect human activity has on the environment. They investigate sources of pollution and develop prevention, control, and remediation plans.

Other environmental scientists do work and receive training that is similar to that of other physical or life scientists, but they focus on environmental issues. Environmental chemists are an example.

Environmental chemists study the effects that various chemicals have on ecosystems. For example, they look at how acids affect plants, animals, and people. Some areas in which they work include waste management and the remediation of contaminated soils, water, and air.

 

Educational Requirements

For most entry-level jobs, environmental scientists and specialists must have a bachelor’s degree in environmental science or another natural science, such as biology, chemistry, or geosciences. However, a master’s degree may be needed for advancement. Classes in environmental policy and regulation are also beneficial.

 

Median Salary 2012

$63,570

 

Want to know more?

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American Chemical Society Careers in Chemistry

American Geosciences Institute

Board of Certified Safety Professionals

 

Get Connected

Belonging to professional organizations & LinkedIn groups can provide you with networking, informational interviewing, & job shadowing opportunities, as well as assist you with finding internships and jobs.

National Environmental Health Association

National Association of Environmental Professionals

Ecological Society of America

List of Professional Organizations

The Career Connector for Purdue College of Science Students & Alumni

 

Get Experience

Student Conservation Association

Natural Resources Summer Jobs & Internships

National Wildlife Foundation

Research & Internship Listings

 

Find a Job

National Environmental Health Association Career Center

Environmental Career Job Board

Natural Resources Job Search

Eco.org

National Association of Environmental Professionals Job Board

Job Search Sites Related to Your Major

 

Information retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/environmental-scientists-and-specialists.htm, http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/19-2041.00 

 

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