How do I Choose the Best Environmental Science Employment?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Images By: Carballo, Andres Rodriguez, Lunar And Planetary Institute
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2018
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The opportunities for environmental science employment have increased dramatically in the past five to 10 years. Although this field has been an accepted scientific discipline for more than 50 years, the popularity and public understanding has only increased as the impact of climate change has become more obvious to the general public. The media has played a large role in this shift, as it has publicized the impact of human decisions on the overall global environment.

There are a wide range of opportunities available in this field, but they can be organized into three broad categories: analysis, sales, and research. Employment in this field typically requires formal post-secondary education, either at the university or college level. Within these programs, students can focus on different industries, but all three categories are available within these industries.

There are several different types of analysis in environmental science, ranging from financial to environmental. For example, an oil company may require a formal environmental analysis of the impact of a new plant or method of extracting oil. A law firm may require an analysis of the long term impact of a proposed plant or process change.


The opportunities for environmental science employment require a combination of environmental training, communication, and interpersonal skills. Working as part of a team, the ability to accurately share relevant information without preaching or lecturing is very important. The environmental movement in North America lost a great deal of creditability in the 1980s and 1990s with over-hyped and militant approaches to environmental issues.

The use of computers in environmental science employment opportunities is expanding and forecast to continue for at least the next five to eight years. Analysts may be required to learn statistical or modeling programs to determine long-term impact and financial forecasting. Other positions may require the use of more specialized tools, based on the type of analysis being completed.

Another popular type of environmental science employment is sales. People with excellent interpersonal skills who enjoys meeting and working with a wide range of people can find success in a career in sales. There are opportunities in the sale of environmentally friendly product development, environmental chemicals, special equipment, and software.

Candidates with master's or doctoral degrees in environmental science can find a range of opportunities in research. The type of work completed in this type of environmental science employment ranges from evaluating the direct impact of current polluting activities to forecasting the impact of current global trends. This type of work requires years of dedication and focus, but often has far-reaching impact. For example, research into the melting global ice caps impacts the planning for cities located along coastal lines, the development of housing, and emergency preparedness planning.



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