What are the Different Environmental Engineering Jobs?

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  • Written By: Karyn Maier
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  • Last Modified Date: 04 November 2019
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As concerns over global warming and the impact of environmental toxins on human health continues to grow, solutions continue to be sought through advances in environmental engineering. In fact, the demand and scope of various environmental engineering jobs has significantly increased over several decades. At its core, environmental engineering is focused on maintaining public health and safety by addressing issues related to the handling of hazardous wastes, recycling, air, and water pollution. Of course, all jobs in environmental engineering also address the environmental impact of these issues, as well as the preservation of wildlife.

Many types of environmental engineering jobs offer an opportunity to specialize in different areas. For instance, a large number of environmental engineers work in the public sector and are engaged in designing new measures and evaluating existing systems to contain and treat industrial and municipal wastewater. However, a number of positions in environmental engineering afford the opportunity to work in an advisory or consultant capacity. For instance, some engineers specialize in determining the environmental consequences of new construction projects by conducting impact studies and quality control analysis. These kinds of environmental engineering jobs are closely aligned with the aspects of civil engineering, while the separation and treatment of wastewater integrates the principals of chemical engineering.


While many environmental engineering jobs concentrate on a specific locale or region, others strive to meet the environmental challenges faced on a global scale. For example, many engineers direct their skills toward analyzing the impact of global warming and developing innovative ways to minimize its effects. Engineers focused on worldwide implications of this issue often specialize in problem solving specific environmental hazards, such as acid rain, deforestation, or industrial pollution. In addition, they may assist in the remediation of soil and waterways to improve the potential for human habitation and the restoration of wildlife.

Some environmental engineers are involved in helping to develop and enforce environmental preservation regulations. In fact, some individuals expand their expertise in engineering and chemistry to include a formal education in law. These engineers possess a law degree as well as a degree in engineering. In addition, these kinds of environmental engineering jobs require admittance to a legal bar as well as an engineering license.

Regardless of the area of specialization, all aspects of environmental engineering involves the application of a broad range of disciplines. Certainly, it’s necessary to possess knowledge of the principles of chemistry and civil or mechanical engineering. However, some environmental engineering jobs require additional training and proficiency in the fundamentals of biology, geology, ecology, geography, and agricultural engineering. In addition, most environmental engineers are required to be familiar with current public health laws and regulations.


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Post 3

@ Babalaas- All the different types of engineers you have mentioned are in fact different disciplines, but they could all be called in to help with an oil spill like the one in the Gulf of Mexico.

Geological engineers are very similar to mining engineers; mostly aiding in the development of mining practices and extraction of minerals. Their immense knowledge of geological materials and processes may help in developing new ways to shut down the well.

Marine engineers work with naval architects to design and build ships, rigs, and ocean apparatus. They may be useful in developing the strategies and structures for repairing the blow out preventer and containment domes.

Petroleum engineers will most likely be involved in developing strategies

to shut down the well and drill relief wells. Lastly, environmental engineers would work to coordinate the cleanup efforts at the site and along the coastline. There may be other engineering disciplines involved, but the ones you listed are the most likely to be involved.

Post 2

What kind of engineers are working in the Gulf to stop the oil spill? This article makes it sound like this would be the task of environmental engineers, but I also know that there are petroleum, marine, and geological engineers. Are all these engineering disciplines the same, or are they completely different fields of engineering?

One would think that petroleum and marine engineers would be the same since most petroleum reserves are found in the ocean. One would also assume that geological and environmental engineers are the same. What is the difference, and who would be tasked to clean-up a disaster like the BP spill?

Post 1

Environmental Engineering is projected to be the fastest growing engineering field in the next decade. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the number of environmental engineers is expected to grow by 31%. Most of this growth is due to population growth, diminishing resources, and riskier extraction of resources.

Many cities, states, and the federal government will be looking to hire more environmental engineers to mitigate public health problems that arise from changing populations. Environmental engineers will also be needed to develop environmental regulations, create public works systems that are safer, and consult on hazardous waste clean-up.

Many companies will also need to hire environmental engineering consultants to ensure that their processes comply with regulation, and will not cause environmental damage. Anyone who is going to school to become an environmental health or environmental civil engineer will surely have options when it comes time to find work.

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