Environmental scientists will have an important role to play in the coming years, as the recent spate of catastrophes have once again highlighted the need of maintaining a balanced relationship with the environment.
With increased awareness about the environment, the demand for environmental scientists has increased. Environmental scientists study the relationship between humans and the environment, and focus on developing ways to control environmental decay and damage. There are various job roles in the field of environmental science ranging from consulting desk jobs to field research. Individuals working in this field should be passionate about the betterment of the environment so as to make the world a better place to live.
While a bachelor’s degree in natural science can get you started in this field, most of the employers nowadays are looking for people who have certifications and advanced course degree from reputed institutions. Environmental scientists need to have sound knowledge of geography, environmental science, chemistry, biology, but their job role also requires them to study mathematics and statistics, as they have to take measurements and collate data from various sources. Some of the best colleges to study environmental science are:
- The School of Life Sciences, Stanford University
- The College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois
- The Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley
- The Yale University of Forestry and Environmental Studies
- The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, MIT
- School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
- The Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, University of Texas, Austin
- School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
- School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University
- Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
These were some of the best places to study environmental science. To advance in this field, you either need a Master’s degree or a PhD in environmental science. A bachelor’s degree in environmental science takes about four years to complete and a Master’s degree takes another two to three years depending on the University.
Environmental scientists continuously research to develop methods to prevent damage to the environment. They monitor the levels of pollutants by studying the data collated by the environmental technicians. They predict potential environmental problems and carry out research to come up with the best possible solution to environmental issues. Environmental scientists study the effects of global warming and submit their reports to government agencies so that effective measures can be taken. Private organizations hire environmental scientists to ensure that their organizations comply with the environmental laws and regulations.
Employment Outlook and Salary
The employment of environmental scientists is expected to grow faster than other professions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment levels of environmental scientists will see an increase of 28% till 2018. Environmental scientists would be presented with numerous opportunities as they would be sought after by both state and local governments. Environmental scientists will play an important role in the coming years, as they will be studying the effects of population growth on environment and their recommendations can call for many new legislations.
The average salary of environmental scientists is about $67,000. Environmental scientists are also entitled to bonus and profit sharing. Washington, Houston and Sacramento are the cities which offer the best employment opportunities to environmental scientists. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is one of the biggest employers of environmental scientists. Like other professions, environmental scientists too get hikes and benefits with experience and environmental scientists with more than ten years of experience can make close to around $90,000 per year.
Today, environmental safety is of paramount importance to every nation and various non-government organizations are creating awareness among the masses about the importance of maintaining harmonious relationships with our environment. If you are someone who feels strongly about this issue and want to do something for the betterment of the environment, then a career as an environmental scientist can be the ideal career for you.