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Career in Environmental Engineering

Update on 2024-04-15

Career in Environmental Engineering - Scope & Role of Environmental Engineers

What is Environmental Engineering

From the disposal of various kinds of wastage to mining and manufacturing scraps, every human activity has an impact on the environment which is posing a great challenge to their existence. Though legislative regulations have been applied to cancel down the degrading effect, more key roles have to be addressed to survive the potential hazards.

With this peak increase in environmental pollution across different countries, various development initiatives are been taken to balance out the drastic global situation. Every effort that is been made by a human along with the help of technological advancements has been streamlined under a new discipline called environment engineering which is giving rise to career opportunities for aspirants.

Engineers who can contribute to solving the world's environmental problems including researching, developing, designing, and proposing solutions for different environmental issues, from air pollution and water contamination to fuel consumption and waste recycling, what we refer to as Environmental engineers.

Who are Environmental Engineers

Well, it is quite obvious that environmental engineers are problem solvers but who can solve environmental problems caused due to detrimental human activities. Without environmental engineers, the world is a polluted space with no fossil fuels, wind farms, hydroelectric dams, hybrid cars, etc.

They figure out intuitive technology designs and processes that can control pollution discharges and clean up existing contamination.

Career in Environmental Engineering

What is the Role of Environmental Engineering

With the growing environmental concerns, the role of environmental engineers has become prevalent and significant. Though their responsibilities vary from project to project, their basic role includes the following activities:

  • Plan, prepare, review and update reports of environmental investigation
  • Design sample environment protection systems such as water recycling facilities or air pollution control systems
  • Maintain and update meetings, plans, permissions, and other operating procedures
  • Providing support and taking legal actions for environmental remediation projects.
  • Analyze scientific data and perform quality control checks on active projects
  • Monitor progress of different environment development programs
  • Conduct industrial and municipal inspections to ensure program compliance with environmental regulations
  • Work on cleaning contaminated regions with advice to corporations and government agencies
  • Evaluating the significance of dealing with hazardous waste management.
  • Research the impacts of proposed construction projects to prevent mishaps
  • Study and implement techniques to minimize the effects of acid rain, climate change, automobile emissions, and ozone depletion.
  • Address the importance of environmental sustainability.

What are the Sub-areas Under Environmental Engineering

Environmental engineering is a broad term that covers various engineering disciplines to devise environmentally friendly practices for society. This includes mechanical engineering, civil engineering, Chemical engineering, automotive engineering, Aeronautical engineering, and others. Like, students pursuing chemical engineering can research environmentally-friendly fuel for companies such as Shell and ExxonMobil causing low or no air pollution.

What is the Basic Education Required

To pursue a career in Environmental Engineering, one must have a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering or any other related field, such as civil, chemical, or mechanical engineering. Employers should give preference to practical experience earned by the students through different cooperative engineering programs for which credits are awarded by the college. For entry-level engineers, these structured job experiences are valuable.

To complete both bachelor's and a master's degree, students can enroll in a 5-year program leading to which they can become an instructor at some college and university or can work in research and development.

Skill Prerequisites for Environmental Engineers

  • Should know how to propose feasible designs for large machines and systems contributing to the environment.
  • Should have interpersonal skills to interact and coordinate with other engineers and scientists while putting the designs into practice.
  • Should know how to identify problems to prevent future losses for their employers, safeguard workers' health, and reduce environmental damage.
  • Should be capable to read and understand documents dealing with topics outside their scope of training.
  • Should have writing skills to clearly define plans, proposals, specifications, and findings to other team professionals.

Profiles to Advance a Career in Environmental Engineering

  1. Water Project Manager: Ensures clean and adequate delivery of water in residential locations around the world. A degree in Civil Engineering is helpful in job roles like stormwater manager, wastewater project manager, and flood risk manager.
  2. Senior Environmental Engineer: This is a popular job profile among those who have completed a master’s in environmental engineering including tasks like mentoring and leading projects, working cooperatively with management, and ensuring that budgets and deadlines are met. This requires a minimum of 10 years of experience.
  3. Environmental Health and Safety Director: Responsible for backend work to ensure that foreign companies remain in compliance with regulations that protect the environment and promote sustainable development practices.
  4. Environmental Engineering Consultant: This job profile is about using your professional expertise to import environment-friendly designs and practices to the existing risk system.
  5. Green building engineer: Creating resource-efficient models to minimize the diverse effects and protect people from nature's extremes.
Outlook to Environmental Engineer Salary

The median annual wage for environmental engineers reaches up to $84,890. This median wage is the salary where half the workers in an occupation earned more than the fixed amount while the other half earn less. Generally, the lowest 10% earned is less than $49,830, and the highest 10% earned is more than $130,120. These engineers have full-time employment. Near 1 out of 5 manage to work more than 40 hours per week to monitor the project's progress and meet its deadlines along with corrective actions.

So, if you are planning to consider a career in environmental engineering, you would be saving the planet from the black death.

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