An environmental engineer uses principles of science and math to develop environmentally friendly systems and services to serve the public. For example, this kind of engineer might develop water filtration systems and optimize waste management procedures. To get into environmental engineering, you should start by getting a background in mathematics and science, which are commonly used in the engineering field. It also is important that you take courses in fields such as public health and urban studies. An environmental engineering professional needs to understand the needs of communities on human levels.
For most aspiring environmental engineering professionals, it is necessary to earn an undergraduate degree. If your school does not offer a concentration specifically in environmental engineering, you might want to choose a major such as civil engineering. In this context, it is best to also take courses in environmental science, so that you can learn about issues related directly to environmental concerns.
Most environmental engineers do have graduate degrees. When you pursue postgraduate study, you are often expected to choose an area of specialization. For example, you might choose to concentrate on reducing water pollution in communities. While it may not be essential that you earn a doctorate degree, a degree at this level can certainly help you to earn better positions with higher pay and with more responsibility.
As you study for your academic degrees, you should perform environmental engineering internships. An internship is often an unpaid position that allows you to network with established environmental engineers. It also gives you valuable real world experience. An internship can do much to strengthen your resume. Many people later find full time positions at firms and government agencies where they trained as interns.
To go into environmental engineering, you should also have excellent communication skills. You should be able to write clearly and to explain complicated ideas in ways that are easy for people who are not engineers to understand. For example, as an environmental engineer, you might be required to compose documents that explain processes and effects related to initiatives that affect a community.
Environmental engineering is field that is heavily dependent on technology. Engineers use sophisticated computer software to design solutions and perform calculations. For this reason, environmental engineers participate in continuing education and training. They might attend seminars and trade shows where they learn about and test new programs. Environmental engineers also engage in professional training conducted at their places of work.