According to national statistics the average environmental salary figures range between USD 40,000 to USD 60,000 per year. These figures can be affected by factors like job location and experience of the candidate.
Environmental scientists are hired by the government or private companies who tap natural resources like oil and coal. Environmental scientists work in an advisory capacity in the organization, studying environmental impact of the project and conducting studies to gauge the feasibility of projects. The work environment is a combination of working under laboratory settings and field work. These scientists are responsible for protecting the environment and the employers from financial losses and lawsuits.
They are compensated well for the work they undertake, with annual salaries that average at around $60,000. If you’re planning to become an environmental scientist you need to at least have a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science degree. Some employers however, prefer candidates who have a Master’s degree in environmental science. The course work for these programs consist of topics like geochemistry, biology, soil science, environmental measurements, etc.
The recent economic downturn has made an impact on the pay packets of several professions and the environmental scientist is no exception. If you’re wondering how much do environmental scientists make, well for entry-level jobs the estimated environmental scientist salary is around $45,000 per year. However, reports indicate that individuals with experience can get packages that cross the $80,000 mark. The educational qualification of candidates also play a factor in these salary figures, with employers preferring candidates with a higher degree.
Like most professions the job location also influences the salary figures of environmental scientists. Statistics for states like California indicate that the average salary range is $62,000 to $65,000 per year. One of the highest paying locations for environmental scientists is Washington D.C with reports indicating annual salary figures ranging $55,000 to $90,000. Even in a state like Alaska the wages range from $50,000 to $75,000 per year. Unconfirmed reports for the state of New Mexico indicate that environmental scientists earn packages that go as high as $110,000.
Employer type and the work profile are some of the other deciding factors when it comes to environmental scientist salary. Individuals working with engineering consulting firms can expect to earn wages from $45,000 to $70,000. Scientists working in the environmental health and safety sector can expect $42,000 to $75,000. Government and private companies also hire environmental scientists with a Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Science degree for research projects. Research jobs tend to pay high salaries and candidates with experience can expect to earn wages that touch the $90,000 mark per year.
They generally specialize in one aspect of the environment, such as dealing with toxic waste, marine ecosystems, forest conservation, soil, groundwater contamination, etc. Environmental scientists spend a lot of time studying samples under laboratory conditions. They generate reports regarding their findings and give presentation regarding environmental issues. Most of them also spend considerable time in the field collecting samples of soil, water, plants, etc. Traveling and staying in remote locations is also a part of their job profile.
Making sure that the organization they work for adheres to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations is also an important part of their job. Conducting research to identify environment hazards and suggesting measures to avoid them is the mainstay of this work profile. They design and manage systems that help attain a balance between the economic aspect of a business and the protecting the environment.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the number of jobs for environmental scientists is expected to grow through 2018. The government is also taking several measures to revive the economy making it a good time to get into this profession.