An environmental scientist identifies, researches, and carries out strategies to improve the environment by reducing pollutants and hazards. Most of an environmental scientist's job takes place in a laboratory setting where he or she logs samples, runs scientific tests, and analyzes results. These professionals also spend time in the field to collect samples and to evaluate the environmental conditions in a particular area.
Some of these professionals, just like other scientists, are responsible for administrative duties, as well. They might create and track budgets, for instance, and manage the employees who report to them. Some environmental scientists also work at universities and might have professorship duties. They often work closely with data scientists to process the data they collect.
A research scientist needs a minimum of a bachelor's degree, usually in earth science or a related field. However, to increase one's job opportunities and salary potential, a master's degree in one of the natural sciences is recommended. Some of these professionals pursue cross-training in related areas, such as data analytics and computer science. While obtaining their education, they might participate in internships, externships, or other mentoring programs to gain on-the-job training.
Environmental Scientist Job Market
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for environmental scientists are expected to grow at a rate of 15 percent through 2022, which is faster than average. Numerous industries, from automotive to real estate, are focusing on environmental alternatives to traditional products and strategies. Environmental scientists can help other professionals to further that goal.
Environmental Scientist Job Salary Information
The BLS reports that environmental scientists make a median wage of $63,570 per year or $30.56 per hour. Top professionals in this industry can earn more than $100,000, though the highest earners typically have advanced education and experience.