Environmental engineers apply engineering skills to enhancing, restoring, or protecting natural environments. The typical path to obtaining an environmental engineering job begins with the completion of an undergraduate degree in engineering. This would be likely followed by an internship in the field, or a continuation of academic preparation in a graduate level program.
Obtaining an environmental engineering job may involve moving from an internship directly into a career position. Other ways of entering the field include networking through professional associations, or obtaining certifications. Using the services of employment agencies that specialize in career placement in the engineering sector is another avenue. Internships are popular in engineering programs, as they offer valuable hands-on experience.
An internship is a common way to obtain an environmental engineering job. Generally speaking, engineering programs offered through colleges also give engineering candidates or graduates some level of assistance in obtaining an internship. In some engineering programs, an internship is required to complete the degree program.
Professional networking is an activity in which those seeking job opportunities use a social venue to meet other business or professional associates. Engineering associations offer opportunities for aspiring engineers to meet others who are working in the profession. The American Academy of Environmental Engineers holds conferences often helpful in professional networking.
Another opportunity for enhancing credentials is participation in environmental engineering competitions. Industry associations conduct these competitions. Even those who currently work in the field may use these events and competitions to move up the career ladder into higher-paying, more prestigious positions in the industry. The Certified Business Energy Professional Program, offered through the Association of Energy Engineers, is another example of the potential career enhancement opportunities that come through industry association networking.
The willingness to be flexible in considering a particular environmental engineering job will likely prove helpful to job seekers. Those who are willing to relocate for an environmental engineering job can increase potential job opportunities. Since environmental engineers often work with people and not just procedures and machines, completing courses in the social sciences while still in college may also prove helpful.
Environmental engineering jobs encompass a diverse assortment of jobs from which to choose. There are many career options within this industry sector. These include working for a government agency, working as a consultant, doing field research, working for an institution of higher learning, and developing new products or assessments for corporations.