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What are the Different Jobs in Environmental Science?

Deanna Baranyi
Updated May 17, 2024
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People looking for jobs in environmental science will find a wide range of options. One of the broadest and most common jobs in environmental science is that of the environmental scientist. This professional can be employed by local, state, or federal governments, aiding them in the regulation of activities that degrade the environment. Government employers can also use an environmental scientist to help with toxic clean up or remediation of waste sites.

Other jobs in environmental science can be found through larger industrial companies. Those companies typically employ scientists to help them comply with government regulations and to help them prevent industrial accidents. The scientists can develop remediation plans or supervise an environmental clean-up project. Smaller industrial companies may not have the funds to employ in-house environmental scientists. Instead, they may use an environmental consulting firm to handle specific issues on a contract basis.

Non-profit organizations also provide jobs in environmental science. They may decide to take on an environmental clean-up project or a conservation effort. These groups typically find problems in environmental regulations or laws and lobby until the regulations or laws are fixed to their liking. They also make sure that various sectors of the government, industrial firms, and consulting groups adhere to the environmental regulations and laws that are in place.

There are countless specific jobs in environmental science. Some jobs require a deeper level of education and training than others. It is up to each individual to find where her interest lies and where her training and skills fall. A few specific jobs in environmental science can be found below.

Hazardous waste management is one of the many jobs in environmental science available to those with the proper training. A wide range of chemicals, such as chlorine, mercury, and paints, are used across the globe in everyday life and in manufacturing. After they are produced, they are often transported via train or truck to a disposal area. Consequently, a huge job market has been created for individuals to manage the removal, transportation, and disposal of the chemicals.

Large and small environmental consulting firms need individuals to provide a general environmental analysis or an impact statement to government agencies or even to industrial companies. For example, some government agencies will not allow a building to be constructed until a statement has been preparing that indicates how the area will be impacted on an environmental level. Those preparing the statement will research whether endangered species live in the area, if there is a wetland, or if there are archeological treasures on the site. Environmental scientists who engage in environmental analysis can have a wide range of backgrounds, such as in archaeology, zoology, botany, or geography.

Petroleum contamination management, compliance auditing, development of databases, industrial hygiene, industrial compliance audits, wastewater treatment, design of landfills, and even expert witnesses are all important environmental science services, as well. Some are more technical and some require advance training. People looking for jobs in environmental science must remember to fully research the employer and make sure that there are aligned with the employer’s goals before applying for the job.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Deanna Baranyi
By Deanna Baranyi
Deanna Baranyi, a freelance writer and editor with a passion for the written word, brings a diverse skill set to her work. With degrees in relevant fields and a keen ability to understand and connect with target audiences, she crafts compelling copy, articles, and content that inform and engage readers.
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Deanna Baranyi
Deanna Baranyi
Deanna Baranyi, a freelance writer and editor with a passion for the written word, brings a diverse skill set to her...
Learn more
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