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
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.
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 2018
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of an Environmental Scientist & Specialist in 2018 was $71,130.
Want to know more?
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- British Ecological Society
- Bureau of Labor Statistics-Environmental Scientists & Specialists
- Explore Health Careers-Environmental Health Specialists
- Environmental Compliance Inspector
- American Chemical Society Careers in Chemistry
- American Geosciences Institute
- Board of Certified Safety Professionals
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
- 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
- Job Search Sites Related to Your Major
Information retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics: Environmental Scientists and Specialists and O*NET Online: Environmental Scientists and Specialists.
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