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What is an Environmental Coordinator?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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An environmental coordinator is someone who is responsible for formulating, researching, and enforcing environmental policies. Environmental coordinators can work in a wide variety of settings, depending on their area of interest. Most have at least a bachelor's degree in environmental science or a related topic, along with work experience in the environmental field. Some may also have more extensive experience in areas such as environmental engineering, education, technical writing, or other areas, depending on where they work and the kind of work that they do.

One common setting for an environmental coordinator is a government office. Environmental coordinators can work for local and regional governments, helping set environmental goals and making sure that those goals are met. For government workers, the goal is to generate improvements and to work on preserving the environment for future generations. A government environmental coordinator may be involved with issues as far ranging as pollution, littering, water management, city planning, energy usage, protection of natural resources, invasive species eradication, and public education.

Environmental health may also be a concern for an environmental coordinator. He or she may monitor ongoing construction projects, work with the public health department to address health issues such as unclean water, and protect the environment by inspecting businesses to confirm that they are not releasing harmful materials into the environment. Land use may also be an issue of concern, whether land is being organically farmed or developed into condominiums.

Some companies also hire environmental coordinators. These staffers work on college campuses, in big office buildings, and for organizations such as zoological parks and environmental groups. In this case, the environmental coordinator works to keep the organization environmentally friendly, and may develop a variety of protocols to assist with this. These environmental coordinators are often heavily involved with outreach and education, teaching people in the organization about issues like increasing energy efficiency, minimizing waste, and so forth.

Working as an environmental coordinator generally requires excellent people skills, and the ability to work with diverse people and organizations. Environmental coordinators regularly communicate with other offices and organizations to further their goal, and as the public face of environmental policy, they regularly interact with members of the public. Communications skills are also critical, whether a coordinator is preparing a written memorandum for members of an office about a new policy, or holding a press conference to discuss environmental trends being monitored by his or her office by request of the government.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By Amphibious54 — On Jun 14, 2011

@Glasshouse- I am an Environmental Engineer, and I work for an energy development and consulting firm doing environmental and social impact assessments. I travel constantly, visiting various sites to perform analysis and study project proposals. The thing I love most about the job is the fact that I get to be in the field. I was never one for parking it behind a desk for forty hours a week, and this job allows me to be out in the elements. I also enjoy the fact that my company compensates me well for the work that I do, but I definitely work for it.

The thing I like the least about the job is the fact that I spend so much time away from my family. My son and my wife miss me, and sometimes the job requires that I be gone for a while. They do come with me on trips sometimes, but most of the time they stay behind. The travel is probably what causes the most stress in my job. I also hate being up in the air. Airport commuting has become worse and worse in the last decade. Good luck with your studies!

By Comparables — On Jun 12, 2011

@glasshouse- Hey buddy, I work as an environmental health and safety coordinator for an industrial manufacturing company. The job is not for everyone, but I love it. It is fast paced, requires travel, and allows me to utilize my management skills.

I am responsible for quite a number of duties for both our domestic and international sites, so I must travel frequently. I implement training requirements for EPA and OSHA requirements, administer environmental health and safety audits, oversee the emergency response team, and perform legal compliance audits. The job requires a number of skills and years of work experience, but it pays great and I have great benefits.

I have a bachelor's in industrial engineering and a graduate degree in environmental health management. I also have various ISO and OSHA certification. My work also requires that I stay current on changing EPA and OSHA regulations, so I keep a keen eye on current events. From what I have seen, there are a number of positions open in my field. The field seems to be growing faster than most fields as environmental and health related issues are an increasing part of a company's liability.

By aplenty — On Jun 11, 2011

@glasshouse- I work as an environmental research writer while I am going to school for environmental sciences. My focus in my degree program is energy and resource management. I love my current environment job because it allows me the flexibility to work anywhere, and it keeps me current on changing trends in different environmental science related fields. The jobs pay is based on my productivity and the development of my knowledge base, so it is not the best to start. Writing is also very competitive and takes enough discipline to meet publishing deadlines. The freelance nature of the work is great though because it allows me to work on multiple projects at once, keeping me busy.

The biggest benefit though, is it has greatly improved my writing and research skills. I ace all of my essays and research projects, even though I am taking a rigorous course load (15-17 credit hours per semester and the toughest course options).

The biggest downside is that it can be hard to stay focused on my work sometimes. Writing is mentally taxing, so it can be difficult when there are other stressful things going on in your life. If you are going to write, I believe it is important to learn how to manage stress. You should also develop a routine and read a lot to keep motivated. I spend about as much, if not more time reading than I do writing. For this reason, learning to speed read can be useful.

By Glasshouse — On Jun 10, 2011

I have a general question that I would like anyone to answer. What do you think is the best environmental job and why? I want to know what people think based on all aspects of the career. I am a junior in high school and I want to make a living in an environmental career. What that career will be is still very vague to me. I would just like to hear opinions from other people who work in an environmental field. What do you like about your jobs? What do you hate about your jobs? Thanks for the feedback wiseGEEKS.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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