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Industrial Ecologist

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All About Industrial Ecologists

Career Description Apply principles and processes of natural ecosystems to develop models for efficient industrial systems. Use knowledge from the physical and social sciences to maximize effective use of natural resources in the production and use of goods and services. Examine societal issues and their relationship with both technical systems and the environment.

Daily Life Of an Industrial Ecologist

  • Translate the theories of industrial ecology into eco-industrial practices.
  • Plan or conduct studies of the ecological implications of historic or projected changes in industrial processes or development.
  • Research sources of pollution to determine environmental impact or to develop methods of pollution abatement or control.
  • Research environmental effects of land and water used to determine methods of improving environmental conditions or increasing outputs such as crop yields.
  • Review research literature to maintain knowledge on topics related to industrial ecology, such as physical science, technology, economy, and public policy.
  • Review industrial practices, such as the methods and materials used in construction or production, to identify potential liabilities and environmental hazards.

Qualities of an Industrial Ecologist

When polled, Industrial Ecologists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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

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

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

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.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Types of Industrial Ecologist Jobs

  • Environmental Protection Specialist
  • Sustainable Systems Analyst
  • Environmental Protection Agency Counselor
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Environmental Programs Manager

Job Outlook for Industrial Ecologists

There were about 89,500 jobs for Industrial Ecologist in 2016 (in the United States). 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 Industrial Ecologist by 2026. There will be an estimated 9,500 positions for Industrial Ecologist per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Industrial Ecologists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Industrial Ecologist 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.

Average Industrial Ecologists Salary

The salary for Industrial Ecologists ranges between about $42,520 and $124,620 a year.

Salary Ranges for Industrial Ecologists

Industrial Ecologists who work in District of Columbia, California, or Colorado, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Industrial Ecologists 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 Industrial Ecologists Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Industrial Ecologists may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Web browser software
  • Python
  • Email software
  • SAP
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • SAS
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • StataCorp Stata
  • Wolfram Research Mathematica
  • STATISTICA
  • ESRI ArcGIS software
  • Online databases

How to Become an Industrial Ecologist

Individuals working as an Industrial Ecologist have obtained the following education levels:

Industrial Ecologist Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Industrial Ecologist Work Experience

Who Employs Industrial Ecologists?

Industrial Ecologist Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Industrial Ecologists employed by various industries.

Industrial Ecologist Industries

References:

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

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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