Find Grad Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Environmental Scientist or Specialist

Find Schools Near

All About Environmental Scientists and Specialists

Environmental Scientist or Specialist Example Conduct research or perform investigation for the purpose of identifying, abating, or eliminating sources of pollutants or hazards that affect either the environment or the health of the population. Using knowledge of various scientific disciplines, may collect, synthesize, study, report, and recommend action based on data derived from measurements or observations of air, food, soil, water, and other sources.

Life As an Environmental Scientist or Specialist

  • Communicate scientific or technical information to the public, organizations, or internal audiences through oral briefings, written documents, workshops, conferences, training sessions, or public hearings.
  • Monitor effects of pollution or land degradation and recommend means of prevention or control.
  • Collect, synthesize, analyze, manage, and report environmental data, such as pollution emission measurements, atmospheric monitoring measurements, meteorological or mineralogical information, or soil or water samples.
  • Research sources of pollution to determine their effects on the environment and to develop theories or methods of pollution abatement or control.
  • Monitor environmental impacts of development activities.
  • Develop methods to minimize the impact of production processes on the environment, based on the study and assessment of industrial production, environmental legislation, and physical, biological, and social environments.

Environmental Scientist or Specialist Skills

Below is a list of the skills most Environmental Scientists and Specialists say are important on the job.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

  • Environmental Systems Coordinator
  • Environmental Protection Specialist
  • Environmental Designer
  • Environmental Planner
  • Water Pollution Specialist

What Kind of Environmental Scientist or Specialist Job Opportunities Are There?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 89,500 jobs in the United States for Environmental Scientist or Specialist. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 11.1% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 9,900 new jobs for Environmental Scientist or Specialist by 2026. The BLS estimates 9,500 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Environmental Scientists and Specialists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Environmental Scientist or Specialist are Utah, Nevada, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Alaska, or Maryland. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of an Environmental Scientist or Specialist

Environmental Scientists and Specialists make between $42,520 and $124,620 a year.

Salary Ranges for Environmental Scientists and Specialists

Environmental Scientists and Specialists who work in District of Columbia, California, or Colorado, make the highest salaries.

How much do Environmental Scientists and Specialists make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $67,630
Alaska $80,220
Arizona $72,150
Arkansas $58,540
California $91,890
Colorado $93,010
Connecticut $83,220
Delaware $59,890
District of Columbia $115,190
Florida $58,790
Georgia $72,860
Hawaii $69,780
Idaho $60,470
Illinois $78,640
Indiana $62,590
Iowa $74,140
Kansas $76,780
Kentucky $51,740
Louisiana $68,570
Maine $67,390
Maryland $77,300
Massachusetts $82,580
Michigan $69,430
Minnesota $74,880
Missouri $53,820
Montana $68,660
Nebraska $61,020
Nevada $63,920
New Hampshire $75,520
New Jersey $80,350
New Mexico $87,200
New York $79,340
North Carolina $64,850
North Dakota $72,860
Ohio $74,750
Oklahoma $65,490
Oregon $77,980
Pennsylvania $74,430
Rhode Island $82,160
South Dakota $61,250
Tennessee $72,470
Texas $80,880
Utah $68,480
Vermont $66,440
Virginia $85,550
Washington $85,090
West Virginia $56,380
Wisconsin $61,030
Wyoming $68,940

What Tools & Technology do Environmental Scientists and Specialists Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Environmental Scientists and Specialists:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Word processing software
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Project
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Structured query language SQL
  • Database software
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • IBM SPSS Statistics
  • Geographic information system GIS software
  • Graphics software

Becoming an Environmental Scientist or Specialist

Education needed to be an Environmental Scientist or Specialist:

Environmental Scientist or Specialist Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become an Environmental Scientist or Specialist?

Environmental Scientist or Specialist Work Experience

Where Environmental Scientists and Specialists Work

Environmental Scientist or Specialist Sectors

Environmental Scientists and Specialists work in the following industries:

Environmental Scientist or Specialist Industries

You May Also Be Interested In…

Those interested in being an Environmental Scientist or Specialist may also be interested in:

Are you already one of the many Environmental Scientist or Specialist in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

References:

Image Credit: Lynn Betts via Photo by Lynn Betts, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

More about our data sources and methodologies.

Find Graduate Schools Near You

Our free school finder matches students with accredited graduate schools across the U.S.