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Career Profile: Environmental Engineers

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.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 52,300 people employed as environmental engineers in the United States. The median annual salary is $92,100. Entry level employees earn approximately $55,450 per year and senior employees earn approximately $144,670 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
52,300
Annual Openings:
4,000
Increase in Openings by 2030:
4%
Annual Salary Range:
$55,450 - $144,670
Education Requirements:
Bachelor's degree