Environmental scientists aim to bolster both the health of the planet and the health of the planet's human population. They conduct research, either in a lab or out in the field. They may also help clean contaminated areas, share advice with policy makers and consult with companies on how to be as green as possible. Some who work in environmental science have other duties as well, including:
Preparing reports and presentations to share their findings and convince others to take positive action for the environment.
Assessing potential threats to the environment by analyzing data and samples.
Studying the way chemicals affect ecosystems.
Researching how climate changes impact ecosystems.
Seeking funding for research by networking and presenting persuasive data.
Environmental scientists enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that they are helping the planet and humankind. It is a rewarding career that is ideal for people with keen observation skills and a curious nature.
Environmental Science Job Education Requirements
Most people who work in environmental science, whether they work for an environmental charity or a for-profit company, must have at least a bachelor's degree. The degree may be in environmental science or a related field, such as biology, chemistry, geoscience or engineering.
Those who wish to advance beyond entry-level positions may require further college education in the form of a master's degree. Some environmental scientists choose to pursue a doctorate, but that is usually only necessary if one wishes to become an environmental education teacher.
Aspiring environmental scientists should also cultivate good communication skills, since helping others become more eco-aware is often a big part of the job.
Environmental Science Job Market
The Bureau of Labor Statistics paints a bright outlook for job growth in the environmental science arena. Jobs in the field are projected to increase by about 15 percent between 2012 and 2022, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Most of this growth is likely to happen within private consulting firms as they seek environmentally savvy people who can help their clients craft green and efficient policies.
Environmental Science Job Salary Information
The median annual wage for those who work in the environmental science field is around $63,000. However, the top 10 percent earn more than $109,000 annually; the bottom 10 percent takes in less than $40,000. Experienced people with a high level of education who show passion and skill in their work often have the greatest potential for advancement and increased earnings.