Finding extraordinary engineers for exceptional clients

How to Become an Environmental Engineer

May 19th, 2015

As the human race prepares to deal with the specter of climate change, the role of the environmental engineer increases in importance. Innovations in this engineering discipline offer the potential to mitigate the effects of carbon-based pollutants, and more brainpower is a definitely need.

Now is a great time to consider a career in environmental engineering. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of environmental engineering jobs will increase by 15 percent from 2012 to 2022. The average salary for environmental engineers is around $80,000 per year.

If this is an area of engineering of great interest to you, here are a few ideas to put you on a path to becoming an environmental engineer.

What Are the Typical Job Duties of an Environmental Engineer?

Knowing the standard duties of an environmental engineer is a must before considering a career in that field. Making an important life-altering decision, like the choice of a profession, without all the details is never a wise idea.

Environmental engineering normally involves developing solutions to solve a myriad of environmental problems. These include designing systems to manage pollution control, waste disposal, recycling, and more. A typical day also involves interaction with clients, site surveys, and a host of data analysis duties – which are also standard tasks of many engineers regardless of their specific discipline.

Environmental Engineering Educational Requirements are Stringent

Like other engineering fields, the educational requirements of an environmental engineer are robust. A Bachelor’s degree in an engineering field is definitely a must. While there may be a chance to earn an engineer job title with only an Associate’s degree and a significant amount of work experience, this remains an exception to the rule.

While some schools offer specific environmental engineering programs, it is somewhat of a specialty, so you might need to earn a degree in another engineering discipline. Most engineering schools offer classes focused on environmental topics if not an actual degree program, so definitely plan on taking these courses if an environmental engineering degree isn’t an option at your college.

Do you like math? A typical engineering program includes classes in calculus, data analytics, as well as other relevant science subjects like physics, biology, and chemistry. Depending on your specific program, a variety of design and general engineering coursework remains a requirement.

Experienced Engineers need a Professional Engineering License

Once you’ve earned your engineering degree, acquiring a professional engineering license is another must to fully develop your career. Requirements for licensure vary by state, so do some research once your graduation date approaches.

If you are interested in learning more about career opportunities in engineering, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing agencies in Washington State and a great source of Seattle engineering jobs, we can help you build a rewarding career. Meet with us soon!

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