Environmental Engineering Bachelor's Degree Programs

Find out what environmental engineers do and how you can become one. Explore the curriculum for an environmental engineering bachelor's degree program, and check the availability of online programs in this field. Review the employment outlook and salary potential for environmental engineers. Schools offering Energy Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Environmental Engineer?

Environmental engineers use skills from different engineering disciplines to tackle environmental issues. Professionals in this field might be trained in biology, chemistry or civil engineering, or a related field of study. As an environmental engineer, it could be your job to solve problems in areas such as public health, waste management, recycling or pollution. You could be responsible for designing water treatment and sewer systems, ameliorating the effects of acid rain, combating global warming or managing automobile pollution. Your daily activities could include the following:

  • Developing governmental procedures
  • Evaluating the environmental effect of materials
  • Conferring with engineers, scientists and officials
  • Developing conservation plans
  • Keeping track of improvements to the environment
  • Writing hazardous waste reports
  • Supporting administrative staff
  • Developing safety procedures

Key Skills Critical thinking, attention to detail, keen observation, analytical thinking, clear verbal and written communication
Learning Environment Traditional classroom and online options are available
Common Courses Physics, mechanics, biology, chemistry, nuclear radiation
Median Salary (2018)$87,620* (for environmental engineers)
Job Outlook (2016-26)8% growth* (for all environmental engineers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Types of Degrees Are There in this Field?

Many colleges and universities offer a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Environmental Engineering degree program. Master of Science (M.S.) degree programs in environmental engineering are also widely available. If you wish to pursue a master's degree, you may want to complete a bachelor's degree program in a related field, including civil, chemical or biological engineering, before applying to a graduate program.

Online programs in environmental engineering are also available, especially master's degree and graduate certificate programs. Students who are interested in an online bachelor's degree program in this field may need to enroll in an online bachelor's degree program in engineering or civil engineering with environmental engineering electives.

What's in the Curriculum?

Coursework in this field commonly includes training in environmental principles, as well as training in scientific disciplines like biology, chemistry, physics and mechanics. A bachelor's degree curriculum might include classes such as:

  • Engineering mechanics
  • Civil engineering systems
  • Solid waste engineering
  • Geological information systems
  • Mathematical methods
  • Analytical mechanics
  • Nuclear radiation
  • Quantum mechanics

How's the Job Market?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for environmental engineers is expected to grow 8% between 2016 and 2026 (www.bls.gov). The BLS reported environmental engineers earned a median annual salary of $87,620 in May 2018.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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