Environmental Engineers

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$96,530 Median Wage (2022)
3,400 Projected job openings (2022-2032)
6.10% Projected growth (2022-2032)

Research, design, plan, or perform engineering duties in the prevention, control, and remediation of environmental hazards using various engineering disciplines. Work may include waste treatment, site remediation, or pollution control technology.

Experience Requirements Overview

  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
  • A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
  • Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
  • Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Education, Training and Experience

Required Level of Education: Bachelor's Degree

Related Work Experience: Over 6 months, up to and including 1 year

On-Site or In-Plant Training: Up to and including 1 month

On-the-Job Training: Over 1 month, up to and including 3 months

Detailed Work Activities

  • Prepare technical or operational reports.
  • Maintain operational records or records systems.
  • Advise others regarding green practices or environmental concerns.
  • Monitor activities affecting environmental quality.
  • Inspect facilities or sites to determine if they meet specifications or standards.
  • Train personnel on proper operational procedures.
  • Determine operational criteria or specifications.
  • Prepare operational reports.
  • Investigate the environmental impact of projects.
  • Prepare project budgets.
  • Develop technical methods or processes.
  • Direct environmental development activities.
  • Confer with technical personnel to prepare designs or operational plans.
  • Teach safety standards or environmental compliance methods.
  • Prepare detailed work plans.
  • Test characteristics of materials or structures.
  • Package materials for transport.
  • Purchase materials, equipment, or other resources.
  • Assist engineers or scientists with research.
  • Design environmental control systems.
  • Explain project details to the general public.
  • Write reports or evaluations.
  • Prepare research or technical reports on environmental issues.
  • Confer with other personnel to resolve design or operational problems.
  • Prepare procedural documents.

Work Values

Achievement

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Recognition

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Relationships

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Support

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Independence

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Tasks

  • Provide technical support for environmental remediation or litigation projects, including remediation system design or determination of regulatory applicability.
  • Collaborate with environmental scientists, planners, hazardous waste technicians, engineers, experts in law or business, or other specialists to address environmental problems.
  • Assess the existing or potential environmental impact of land use projects on air, water, or land.
  • Advise corporations or government agencies of procedures to follow in cleaning up contaminated sites to protect people and the environment.
  • Inspect industrial or municipal facilities or programs to evaluate operational effectiveness or ensure compliance with environmental regulations.
  • Design, or supervise the design of, systems, processes, or equipment for control, management, or remediation of water, air, or soil quality.
  • Direct installation or operation of environmental monitoring devices or supervise related data collection programs.
  • Prepare, review, or update environmental investigation or recommendation reports.
  • Develop site-specific health and safety protocols, such as spill contingency plans or methods for loading or transporting waste.
  • Obtain, update, or maintain plans, permits, or standard operating procedures.
  • Prepare or present public briefings on the status of environmental engineering projects.
  • Provide administrative support for projects by collecting data, providing project documentation, training staff, or performing other general administrative duties.
  • Coordinate or manage environmental protection programs or projects, assigning or evaluating work.
  • Request bids from suppliers or consultants.
  • Monitor progress of environmental improvement programs.
  • Serve as liaison with federal, state, or local agencies or officials on issues pertaining to solid or hazardous waste program requirements.
  • Provide assistance with planning, quality assurance, safety inspection protocols, or sampling as part of a team conducting multimedia inspections at complex facilities.
  • Develop, implement, or manage plans or programs related to conservation or management of natural resources.
  • Inform company employees or other interested parties of environmental issues.
  • Advise industries or government agencies about environmental policies and standards.
  • Provide environmental engineering assistance in network analysis, regulatory analysis, or planning or reviewing database development.
  • Assist in budget implementation, forecasts, or administration.
  • Prepare, maintain, or revise quality assurance documentation or procedures.
  • Develop proposed project objectives and targets and report to management on progress in attaining them.
  • Prepare hazardous waste manifests or land disposal restriction notifications.
  • Develop or present environmental compliance training or orientation sessions.
  • Assess, sort, characterize, or pack known or unknown materials.
  • Write reports or articles for Web sites or newsletters related to environmental engineering issues.

Work Styles

Achievement/Effort

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Persistence

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Initiative

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Leadership

Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Cooperation

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Concern for Others

Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Social Orientation

Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Self-Control

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Stress Tolerance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

Adaptability/Flexibility

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Dependability

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Attention to Detail

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Integrity

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Independence

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Innovation

Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Analytical Thinking

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Data Source: This page includes information from the O*NET 28.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. This page includes Employment Projections program, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.