What Does an Environmental Protection Specialist Do?

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  • Written By: YaShekia King
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 21 February 2020
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Environmental protection specialists are individuals who oversee efforts to preserve natural resources and make sure that the environment remains available for future generations. They participate in activities such as making sure that drinking water is safe and responding to spills of hazardous materials, for example. An environmental protection specialist typically has to complete at least a four-year bachelor’s degree in the area of environmental science or physical science. Earning a two-year master’s degree or a four- or five-year doctoral degree in this field further increases his or her chances of being employed. These types of individuals develop environmentally-friendly programs and produce related reports in addition to reaching out to the public and keeping their projects current.

An environmental protection specialist is responsible for supporting programs that aim to address issues in this industry. For example, he or she uses his or her technical expertise to help to facilitate agency projects on air pollution control, wastewater treatment, and the discarding of hazardous wastes. This type of professional has to develop protocols for the correct ways to carry out these environmental initiatives when planning, designing, and implementing them. Understanding budgeting principles is also necessary to exceed in this job role.


Solid written and verbal communication skills are extremely valuable in this field. Specialists who strive to preserve the environment often have to write letters and reports regarding topics related to following environmental laws. An environmental protection specialist also gives presentations at conferences in the industry or facilitates briefings on these subject matters. In addition, he or she must train and mentor employees on organizational standards and schedule appointments during which he or she orally evaluates staff members’ performance.

Getting the community involved in agency efforts is a chief focus of professionals in this career area. An environmental protection specialist distributes information to the public on how to take part in activities that aim to preserve both people’s health and the environment. Some of this data is also shared with city developers so that builders produce real estate in ways that are not detrimental to the ecosystem — the interaction between living organisms and the environment.

A person in the environmental sector also strives to make sure that his or her company’s programs remain effective and up-to-date. An environmental protection specialist studies his or her organization’s current initiatives to gauge their levels of effectiveness and determines whether any of them need to be altered to better achieve results. These types of professionals additionally attend conferences to stay current on industry legislations so that their projects comply with these rules.


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