Environmental science is an expansive field that encompasses biology, chemistry, engineering, and physics. Environmental scientists apply their understanding of nature to safeguard both public health and the earth’s ecosystems.
Are you passionate about protecting the planet, conserving resources, or leading the charge in renewable energy? A degree in environmental science could be just what you’re looking for! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities within this field will grow 11% between 2016 and 2026.
Careers in the Environmental Sciences
Environmental scientists often have rewarding careers both within nonprofit and private sectors, working to protect our planet. To accomplish their objectives, these groups require researchers with relevant skills and expertise to conduct research, write policies and take advantage of government incentives.
Someone who enjoys working outdoors and discovering new places may find a career in the environmental sciences to be ideal. Positions within this field range from field worker to community volunteer or administrator for state/federal agencies or nonprofit organizations.
An environmental studies major can give you the background necessary to pursue other career paths that support environmental causes, such as communications specialist or fundraiser. These jobs necessitate strong writing and interpersonal abilities in order to effectively convey an organization’s mission or message.
A great career option for someone with a bachelor’s in environmental science is sustainability, where you collaborate with organizations to improve their environmental footprint and reduce carbon emissions. In this role, your knowledge of scientific methods combined with communication and technical abilities allow you to assess an organization’s current practices and suggest sustainable alternatives.
The great thing about this career is its flexibility; you get to set your own hours. Many environmental science specialists work for consulting firms or freelancers, helping clients improve their environmental practices.
If you are interested in a career in environmental sciences, consider applying to an accredited degree-granting program with a placement year option. This will give you valuable practical experience within the industry and enable you to build a network of contacts.
You can find internship and volunteer opportunities near you through organizations like AmeriCorps, which provides financial aid to students who commit to service. Furthermore, AmeriCorps teaches students the fundamentals of effective volunteerism and connects them with environmental organizations in their area.
In addition to the above careers, environmental science graduates can find a range of other possibilities with a degree. Consulting jobs and research-focused career paths are just two examples; while a bachelor’s degree is sufficient for most of these positions, earning your master’s will give you an even greater competitive edge and boost your earning potential.
There are many reasons to pursue an environmental science degree, but most students do so with one purpose in mind: the desire to make a difference in the world. Although some careers in environmental science may not offer lucrative salaries, the satisfaction of making a positive contribution to our environment makes every penny worth it.