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Environmental Scientists Overview
Environmental scientists are responsible for using their knowledge to help protect the environment and maintain public health. They are generally expected to monitor and study environmental conditions in the field and in the lab to analyze the impact of humans on the environment. Some scientists work on cleaning up pollution while others may help advise companies and governments in creating policies and reducing industrial waste. Sample job tasks include taking samples from air, water, soil and food for testing, developing plans to limit pollution for new developments or creating reports and presentations detailing findings on environmental topics. Other potential careers for environmental scientists include that of environmental analyst and environmental planner.
Environmental Scientist Education Requirements
Generally, environmental scientists must have at least a bachelor's degree in some form of science, preferably with an emphasis in environmental science. A post-graduate degree is recommended for obtaining positions beyond entry level. While finishing a degree, students interested in environmental science should also consider classes in environmental policy and regulations, especially if the applicant is interested in working in government roles in policy creation. Other subjects of interest for these scientists include geographic information systems, computer software modeling and research data analysis.
Environmental Scientist Job Market
The job outlook for environmental scientist jobs is expected to rise approximately 15 percent through 2022, which is faster than average for all occupations. Employment opportunities are projected to grow because of increased awareness and publicity of the environmental impacts of population growth and industry. As population growth places greater strain on the environment, both within the United States and the rest of the world, demand will only continue to grow for qualified scientists with the skills to monitor human effects on the environment and to plan methods to protect the environment while still allowing populations and industry to thrive.
Environmental Scientist Salary
The median annual salary of environmental scientists is $63,570 per year with salaries higher or lower depending on years of experience, educational background and location of the job.