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Certifications and Licensure for Environmental Engineers: What You Need to Know

March 18th, 2015

For most engineers looking to fully develop their career, acquiring the right certifications and licenses is a must, and the environmental engineering discipline offers no exception to this rule. Certifications and licensure remain an important part of the engineering profession. Basically, they are a requirement if you want to reach your full potential as an engineer.

So, how do you go about earning the right certifications and licenses for environmental engineering? Here’s a closer look at what it takes.

Becoming Licensed Is a Must for the Working Engineer

In most cases, you’ll need to be licensed to work as an environmental engineer. If you aren’t, then you must work under the supervision of a previously licensed P.E., which is typical at the beginning of your career. In the United States, environmental engineering licensure is handled by each individual state in which you plan to work. The varying requirements by state can be found at the NCEES Licensing Board website.

In general, there are four steps to earning your P.E. license.

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from an accredited educational institution.
  2. Pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (F.E.) exam.
  3. Gain at least four years (the actual amount varies by state) of professional experience working under the supervision of a P.E.
  4. Pass the P.E. exam in environmental engineering.

Many states also require continuing education once you become licensed.

The BCEE Certification for Experienced Environmental Engineers

If you are a licensed environmental engineer with at least eight years of professional experience, becoming a Board Certified Environmental Engineer (BCEE) is the next logical step in your career development. The title is considered a premium credential, and puts you on the fast track to a managerial or executive position in the industry.

Acquiring a BCEE certification is a rigorous process involving peer review and a written exam as well a significant professional experience in the field. Its tangible career benefits make it worth consideration for senior level environmental engineers.

If you want additional advice on career development, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing agencies in Washington State, we are also a great source for Seattle engineering jobs. Make it a point to contact us today!

Environmental Engineering Processes to limit Pollution in 2015

January 22nd, 2015

Whatever your opinion on global warming or climate change, there’s no denying that limiting pollution is a good thing for the environment. One of main reasons talented engineers move into the world of environmental engineering is the hope that their innovative work benefits humankind as a whole.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some new initiatives aimed at reducing pollution over the next year and beyond.

MIT’s Mission 2015 to limit Industrial Pollution

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) continues to be one of this country’s leading educational institutions focused on science and engineering. MIT’s Mission 2015 hopes to develop solutions to meet the many challenges affecting the planet’s biodiversity including the reduction of industrial pollution. Mission 2015 recognizes that solutions to this complex problem involve a multi-faceted approach.

According to MIT, “any action plan to reduce industrial pollution will need to be tailored toward specific pollutants to work well and not pose undue risks on either the economy or the environment.” MIT’s plan focuses on the reduction of multiple types of industrial pollution at their source, while leveraging the U.S. Superfund model to clean up sites that are severely polluted.

Bloomberg launches 2015 Campaign for Clean Energy

The private sector is also hopping on this green energy bandwagon. Bloomberg Philanthropies is launching a plan to start green energy initiatives helping local, state, and national stakeholders implement the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

“With the price of clean power falling, and the potential costs of inaction on climate change steadily rising, the work of modernizing America’s power grid is both more feasible and urgent than ever. Pollution from power plants takes a terrible toll on public health, and it’s the biggest contributor to our carbon footprint. But smart investments can reduce it while also strengthening local economies,” said Michael R. Bloomberg.

Hopefully, these efforts from MIT and Bloomberg improve the environment while also spawning the economic development that helps the green energy movement expand.

If this work in environmental engineering inspires you to take your career to the next level, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing agencies in Washington State, we are a great source for Seattle engineering jobs. Schedule some time with us today!

Different Ways Engineers utilize Green Energy, from Civil to Environmental

October 28th, 2014

As the specter of climate change continues to cause controversy among politicians but minimal action, this nation’s engineers remain ahead of the game through the innovative use of green energy sources. All engineering disciplines have shown increased use of earth friendly power, but obviously the world of environmental engineering is home to leveraging many new energy innovations.

Let’s take a closer look at few different ways engineers are able to use environmentally friendly energy.

Renewable Energy seeing Widespread Use throughout Industry

Sure, renewable energy sources are good for the planet, but they are also becoming good for a company’s bottom line. Government incentives are helping to “fuel” the growth of green energy at the industry level. Organizations are able to gain cost savings through a variety of “green” programs.

Facilities engineers leverage biomass technology to help heat homes and commercial offices. Solar technology continues to improve in efficiency, making it more cost effective to implement on a house by house basis, let alone in larger scale installations.

Civil engineers increasingly are taking advantage of green energy options for power generation. Solar, biomass, wind, and water energy solutions are all becoming less cost prohibitive. Even something as simple as incandescent light bulb replacement is making a difference in a small way, as illustrated in a project taking place at Atlantic City Air National Guard Base.

Environmental Engineers grow in Importance

Clean energy also helps environmental engineers perform their jobs while saving money in a green-friendly manner. As this engineering discipline is close to the environmental impacts caused by human activity, they are able to directly observe the positive impacts through innovative use of new techniques to manage adverse environmental events, like oil spills.

As humans continue to battle climate change, environmental engineers and their innovations will become more important as the 21st Century matures.

If the innovative use of renewable energy inspires you to further your engineering career, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing agencies in Washington State, they employ top notch recruiters that are also a great source of Seattle engineering jobs. Make it a point to schedule a meeting with The Talley Group today!

Will Your Company Start Recycling Water?

August 26th, 2014

Access to fresh water is a growing environmental issue, and supplies of this resource are expected to become scarcer as the effects of climate change continue to be felt in the 21st Century. Thankfully, engineers and other talented scientists are working on desalination and other water recycling technologies ensuring humanity gets the water it needs for life.

With a variety of techniques for water reuse in development, how long will it be before companies — including your own — take steps to manage their own usage by recycling water? This new, environmentally-friendly future isn’t that far away.

Desalination with Less Energy Required

One new technology currently in development at Trevi Systems, a Bay Area startup, increases the efficiency of the water desalination process. Early test results are promising; showing the use of only 25 percent of the energy required as with traditional desalination. The company is engaged in a large scale trial project in the United Arab Emirates involving a solar-powered plant used for processing seawater.

Energy efficient desalination gives hope that oceans and other salt water sources can be used in the future for drinking water. More importantly, Trevi Systems’ technology also works with the recycling of wastewater — another potential source of human-potable H20.

A Three-Pronged Solution for Water Shortages

Desalination, wastewater recycling, and the capture of rainwater combine to make a three-pronged solution for managing water shortages in the future. David Sedlak, a University of California-Berkeley professor of civil and environmental engineering, feels these are the three pillars of future access to water sources. “Eventually, we’ll have to develop new sources of water to replace water supplies that are going to become less reliable and less available in the future,” said Sedlak.

The new desalination technologies combined with other methods gives companies the ability to improve their environmental footprint when this new water tech becomes commercially available.

If the innovations in water desalination are inspiring you to advance your engineering career, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. They are a great source of Seattle engineering jobs, and remain one of the top staffing agencies in the region. Schedule a meeting with Talley today!

Firm Salaries Continue to Rise in the U.S.

March 20th, 2014

Salaries at engineering firms are seeing a nice recovery from the Great Recession so far in 2014. An industry study from ZweigWhite, made in a partnership with the American Council of Engineering Companies, looks at salary data by U.S. region, the firm’s specific industry specialty, and the job role. There is no doubt that this year is a good time to be either getting started, or already an experienced worker, in the engineering industry.

Let’s take a closer look at the survey data.

All Experience Levels seeing Engineering Salaries go Higher

A rising tide lifts all boats is the time-honored saying, and it appears to ring true for salary levels in engineering. The ZweigWhite study shows that everyone, from entry-level engineers to firm principals, is earning more so far this year. Project engineers, project managers, and departmental heads also see an increase earning rate.

The Northeast and South Atlantic, as well as the Central regions in the survey both show salary increases. The Mountain and Pacific combined region held steady, probably because engineering salaries in those regions already rank among the highest in the United States. Wherever your location in the United States — it pays well to be an engineer!

Environmental Engineering Jobs remain Lucrative

The environmental engineering discipline garnered special attention for salary growth in the ZweigWhite survey. The Central region noted an increase of 17 percent in the median base salary for environmental engineers for 2014 compared to the previous year. Firm principals for environmental engineering companies saw a 2014 salary increase of 12.7 percent compared to 2013’s numbers.

Project managers involved in the structural engineering discipline saw a median salary increase of more than 10 percent — from $81,640 in 2013 to $90,000 in the current year. Hopefully, the still improving economy bodes well for engineering salaries in 2015 and beyond.

If you are an environmental engineer fresh out of a college, or an experienced worker looking for career advancement, talk to the engineering staffing experts at The Talley Group. They are one of the top engineering recruiting firms in the Seattle area, with the unique capabilities to help you and your career no matter your specific discipline — environmental, structural, and more. Schedule some time with them today!

How Do I become Board-Certified in Environmental Engineering?

February 21st, 2014

Earning a certification is a one of the best things you can do to further your career in environmental engineering. The American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES) certifies qualified environmental engineers, and if you already hold a professional engineering license in your current state, the process for a full BCEE certification becomes easier. If not, attaining the Board Certified Environmental Engineering Member (BCEEM) certification is possible. Minimum Requirements for a BCEE Certification The basic requirements for your BCEE essentially include the following: A degree in environmental engineering or equivalent.

  • Be registered as a PE in your current state or country.
  • Currently hold a full-time position as an environmental engineer.
  • Have good moral character with a professional standing known for high integrity.

If you are considered a practice leader in your field, you can become certified through a nominating process called “Board Certification by Eminence” which also requires significant professional or academic experience (over 20 years) in the area of environmental engineering, with 10 of those years in leadership role. A record of service to the industry as well as honors and awards along combined with presentations and published work are also required. At least eight years of progressive work experience is required after you received either a Bachelors degree or a professional license. Some of that experience requirement can be waived if you’ve earned a Masters or PhD in a relevant discipline. Candidates with 16 years of progressive experience — or 12 years in a leadership role — can get their written exam requirement waived. The Process of Certification After submitting your application to the AAEES, their admission committee reviews the materials, verifying that the minimum requirements are met. Written and oral exams follow that must specify competence in one of eight areas of specialization within the environmental engineering field. The oral examination lasts one hour with parts covering professional practice issues in addition to technical problems in your specialty. If interested in attaining your certification, you should download a sample application package from the AAEES website. If you need further advice in furthering your career, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the top engineering staffing agencies in the Northwest, they can help you find environmental engineering job opportunities in Seattle. Schedule some time with them today! JobBoard_CTA[2]

Automotive Engineering – Pays to be Green

September 14th, 2012

When an economy suffers, sometimes car purchases are the first thing to go off of the budget. For the first time since 1950, Toyota will be reporting its first major operating loss. And as a whole, North American auto production dropped 62.2% in January, the lowest monthly total in 18 years.

So what is an automotive engineer to do? What industries should they be keeping on their radar?

Go green.

While automotive sales as a whole dropped 3%, the hybrid market sales continue to increase. New hybrid vehicle registrations rose 38% in 2007 according to data released by R.L. Polk & Co., an automotive marketing research company. And that was five years ago.

With gas prices climbing steadily over the past few years, more car buyers are looking for more miles per gallon for their buck. Long gone are the days of carefree gas-chugging Hummer driving and production. Today consumers are looking for safe, reliable gas sipping vehicles.

Terry Woychowski, a General Motors executive, believes that the car needs to be reinvented through green design, removing automobiles out of any environmental equation. Instead of traditional internal combustion systems, vehicles are being moved by electricity, through highly technological and economic systems.

For those looking into the engineering field, this could be another golden era of invention, changing the automotive culture. Companies will be looking for engineers with strong backgrounds in electronic control systems, battery technologies and lightweight materials.

For many potential automotive and environmental engineers, this could be considered their dream job. Not only is it a great engineering challenge, but it’s also providing a better outlook for the future of the environment and economy. Designing a car that lowers family gas prices can truly help those struggling to make ends meet.

General Motor’s E-Flex Performance Engineer, Nina Tortosa, deals with a lot of pressure in her emerging field. But she knows the benefits outweigh the stressors. Tortosa is focused on developing the next plug-in car, which will run 40 miles without using any gas. She is working on perfecting the Chevy Volt, a car released this fall, which is getting a huge buzz. The Volt is powered by an electric motor, which draws power from batteries. The batteries are recharged by a very small internal combustion engine.

Tortosa acknowledges the importance of the engine, but also reminds engineers to take another look at aerodynamic design. She spends up to eight hours a day in a wind tunnel, trying out different concepts to reduce drag on a vehicle. The reduction in drag results in a better fuel economy.

Contact The Talley Group for the best positions in new green technology, and you may be able to be a part of the next great automobile invention.

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