Career as an Environmental Engineer


Summary

An Environmental Engineer is someone who uses the principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems. They are involved in efforts to improve recycling, waste disposal, public health, and control of water and air pollution.

Environmental Engineers conduct hazardous-waste management studies in which they evaluate the significance of the hazard and advise on treating and containing it. They also design municipal water supply and industrial wastewater treatment systems and research the environmental impact of proposed construction projects. Environmental Engineer prepare, review, and update environmental investigation reports and design projects that lead to environmental protection, such as water reclamation facilities, air pollution control systems, and operations that convert waste to energy. They obtain, update, and maintain plans, permits, and standard operating procedures and provide technical support for environmental remediation projects and for legal actions. They also analyze scientific data and do quality-control checks and monitor the progress of environmental improvement program.

As beginning engineers gain knowledge and experience, they move on to more difficult projects, and they have greater independence to develop designs, solve problems, and make decisions. Eventually, environmental engineers may advance to become technical specialists or to supervise a team of engineers and technicians. Some may even become engineering managers or move into executive positions, such as program managers. However, before assuming a managerial position, an engineer usually works under the supervision of a more experienced engineer.

Work Environment

Environmental Engineers work in a variety of settings because of the nature of the tasks they do. When they are working with other engineers and urban and regional planners, environmental engineers are likely to be in offices. When they are carrying out solutions through construction projects, they are likely to be at construction sites. When they work with hazardous waste technicians and environmental scientists, they work at specific sites outdoors. When they are working with business people and lawyers, they are likely to be at seminars where they present information and answer questions.

Entry Level Education

A Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Engineering or a related field, such as Civil, Chemical, or General Engineering.

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