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Environmental Science Career Guide

Environmental science is a hot field right now, with more and more companies going green and attempting to develop more eco-friendly products. With an education in environmental science, you can take a number of different career paths.

The information below is your guide to learning about environmental science careers so you can find the path that is right for you.

Educational Specialties

Your career options depend on the exact specialty within the environmental science field that you’d like to pursue. Every college has different education options available, but some common topics include ecology, chemistry, and biology.

Some education programs also allow you to double-major. For example, you double major in environmental science and communications if you’re interested in doing advertising for a green company or you could double major in environmental science and engineering if you’re interested in designing green buildings or communities.

There are many areas of specialization to choose from. Here are just of few to consider when researching schools:

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Law and Policy
  • Ecology
  • Conservation
  • Environmental Management
  • Energy and Air Pollution Control
  • Environmental Education

Each school is different and not every school offers the same programs. If you’re interested in one particular area of environmental science, make sure your school of interest offers the right training to secure a job in your field. If you’re not sure what area of environmental science is your passion, you might want to take a variety of classes to explore your options and widen your search parameters or secure an internship to gain work experience and industry knowledge.

Specific Environmental Science Jobs

Now let’s talk about some of the specific jobs you could take with a degree in environmental science. This is a field where you can allow your specific passions to lead you! Here are just a few options:

  • Field Research: Study habitats, species, and more out in the field, working with live plants and animals.
  • Restoration Ecologist: Work with the government and research teams to restore habitats and relocate animals.
  • Natural Resource Scientist: Study the use and protection of natural resources.
  • Environmental Chemist: Work to understand and develop the use of natural products.
  • Marine Biologist: Study sea creatures and the environment they inhabit.
  • Sustainable Farmer: Grow food and raise livestock, but in an environmentally-friendly or organic way.
  • Renewable Power Researcher: Develop new ways to power our planet through resources like wind and solar energy.
  • Forest Ranger: Work to protect our nation’s forests and help people enjoy them safely.
  • Environmental Protection Worker: Help create new legislation and raise awareness through work with an environmental nonprofit or government department like the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Environmental Engineer: Build new structures, plan communities, develop materials, or do other engineering tasks, all with the environment in mind.

Many students who earn a bachelor’s degree in environmental science later go on to pursue a master’s degree in order to specialize and gain more knowledge of the specific career they hope to pursue. Lots of government programs and employers are willing to help financially in order to have employees with a higher skill level. Further, the best way to remain competitive is to acquire certification in your specific field. This can help prove your knowledge and dedication to The National Registry of Environmental Professionals is an accredited organization that offers certification in a variety of specified fields. Some of these can include:

  • Certified Environmental Scientist (CES)
  • Certified Industrial Environmental Toxicologist (CIET)
  • Sustainable Initiative Manager (CSIM)
  • Certified Environmental and Safety Compliance Officer (CESCO)
  • Mold Awareness Specialist (MAS)

Check out our degree guide, Choosing an Environmental Science Degree, to find out what you need to do to start your career in environmental science.

Featured Online Programs

Ashford University — The Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies at Ashford University explores cultural, social, and environmental issues at the local and global level. The Environmental Management MBA program features a greater emphasis on business management of environmental organizations. Ashford University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501, 510-748-9001,
Johns Hopkins University — Johns Hopkins University offers numerous degrees in the environmental science field. The school's MS in Environmental Sciences and Policy degree features an interdisciplinary curriculum in the basic sciences, humanities, and social sciences. Courses review the ozone layer, greenhouse gases, nuclear waste, and acid rain.
Liberty University — The Bachelor of Science in Green & Sustainable Management from Liberty University features a curriculum that reviews federal EPA and state environmental rules and regulations, explores environmental principles, and examines environmental protections. Courses study industrial waste, solid waste and hazardous waste management along with solutions for minimizing air, soil and water pollution.
Purdue University — The Purdue University Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy and Management degree program provides for an interdisciplinary approach to environmental science. Courses study environmental issues and policies and examine relationships between public and private sectors. The MS in Environmental Policy dives deeper into the field, by questioning current trends in the industry.
Rochester Institute of Technology — The MS in Environmental Science from Rochester Institute of Technology is a great degree for those venturing out into the green industry. Upon graduation, students will be able to utilize project management skills to achieve performance objectives, demonstrate a working knowledge and leadership of an array of renewable energy sources, and prepare sample bids and sample project development plans.
Southern New Hampshire University — The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science degree from the Southern New Hampshire University helps students prepare for a teaching career in secondary schools, colleges, and universities. Courses include Principles of Biology, Introductory Chemistry, Principles of Environmental Science, Physical Geology, and Conservation Biology.
Colorado Technical University — "CTU’s Doctor of Management - Environmental and Social Sustainability degree program is designed for professionals passionate about making a positive difference in the world. As more organizations recognize the need to conserve energy and other resources, this doctorate degree can help you acquire the credentials to guide organizational policy and action in a direction that shows concern for profits, people and the planet."
Stockton University — "The PSM is built around a solid core of required technical and non-technical courses that provide common baseline knowledge. This core is supplemented by a broad selection of electives tailored to an individual’s specialty area. In combination, the core and associated electives form a curriculum that can easily adapt to the needs of individual students."

Click here to see more online environmental science degrees

search for a degree is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.