Environmental Engineer Career

environmental-engineer-500Environmental engineers identify and develop solutions related to the challenge of a fast-growing population, increased use of technology and strengthening global government regulations. They are tasked with improving or maintaining environmental conditions, and protecting public health by advancing recycling efforts and protecting public health.

They might be employed by government agencies, manufacturing companies or other companies with large-scale operations that can have an impact on land, water and air quality.

Environmental Engineer Career Snapshot

Environmental engineers tend to work mostly in office or laboratory settings among other engineers whose focus may be more mechanical or civil engineering, versus the environmental aspects. To be successful, engineers of all areas of focus must work in collaboration to identify the best possible solutions to the challenge at hand. At times, environmental engineers, who typically work a 40-hour work week but may put in longer hours during an emergency, will work outside, testing soil or sampling air quality.

Further details on a career as an environmental engineer are listed below (statistics from the May 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average yearly salary for environmental engineers.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a Master’s degree while 41% have a Bachelor’s degree.

Environmental Engineer Education

Environmental engineers degree, at a minimum, although about half had a master’s degree, according to 2015 O*NET OnLine reports. To be an environmental engineer, individuals must first pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam, which can be taken while they are still in school. After four years of work experience, to become a licensed professional engineer, individuals can take the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam.

Environmental Engineer Job Outlook

According to the U.S. department of Labor Statistics, job growth for environmental engineers is expected to be about 12 percent to 2024, due largely to increased government regulations. That’s a higher job growth percentage than the national average.

Environmental Engineer Salaries

Environmental engineers earned an average of about $88,000 in May 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The lowest 10% earned under $50,230 while the highest 10% earned over $128,440 per year.

Environmental Engineer Job Duties

On a day-to-day basis, environmental engineers monitor progress of environmental improvement programs, prepare improvement recommendation reports, and provide technical support for environmental remediation projects. They also collaborate with company or government officials and scientists to address environmental problems. And, they obtain and maintain permits and regulatory requirements.

Environmental Skills & Traits

Environmental Engineer Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Environmental Engineers:Typical Work Activities:
• Reading Comprehension
• Critical Thinking
• Active Learning
• Active Listening
• Complex Problem Solving
• Written Comprehension
• Oral Comprehension
• Problem Sensitivity
• Deductive Reasoning
• Oral Expression
• Air velocity
• Flowmeters
• Mass spectrometers
• Photometers
• Spectrophotometers
• Analyzing information
• Evaluating information
• Getting information
• Decision making
• Working with computers

Related Careers

Environmental Engineering Technician

Associate’s Degree

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