Environmental Protection Degree Programs
While you may not be able to find degree programs specifically in environmental protection, you can earn a bachelor's degree in environmental science or engineering. If you want to enhance your career opportunities, you might choose to enroll in an interdisciplinary master's program. Learn more about these degree options and their corresponding curricula. Explore career paths and salary information for the environmental protection field.
What Kind of Programs Award Degrees in Environmental Protection?
You can take courses in environmental protection while pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering or Environmental Science. If you want to continue your studies, you can earn a Master of Science in Environmental Science, Environmental Protection and Safety Management or Environmental Studies.
|Degree Options||BS in Environmental Engineering or Environmental Science, MS in Environmental Science, Environmental Protection and Safety Management, or Environmental Studies|
|Common Courses||Chemistry, microbiology, engineering principles, environmental science, public policy|
|Career Options||Environmental engineer, environmental scientist, conservation scientist, occupational health and safety specialist, public policy|
|Median Salary (2018)||$87,620 for environmental engineers and $71,130 for environmental scientists and specialists|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||Expected job growth of 8% for environmental engineers and 11% growth for environmental scientists|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Can I Learn About?
Environmental engineering programs can teach you to test air, water, soil and other types of samples for pollution or biological effects. You'll also learn about organic and inorganic chemistry, waste water control, air quality, microbiology, industrial processes and engineering principles.
Environmental science programs also teach you to test air, water and soil for environmental contaminants or pollution. In addition, you'll likely learn to design environmental cleanup projects. Undergraduate programs often provide you the opportunity to work on environmental cleanup projects while you earn a degree. You also might participate in projects focused on environmental analysis.
Master's degree programs can provide you the opportunity to complete interdisciplinary coursework that explores public policy, the physical sciences, biology and environmental science. You also might be able to complete fieldwork with government or nonprofit agencies working on environmental issues. Graduate coursework might cover occupational safety issues, natural disaster preparation, disaster planning, environmental waste or behavioral analysis.
Why Should I Earn a Degree?
After you earn a bachelor's degree, you can work as an environmental engineer, occupational health and safety specialist, conservation scientist or environmental scientist. Graduate training is required if you want a teaching or research position. You also might need a master's degree if you're looking for a career in public policy or consulting.
What Can I Expect After I Graduate?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of environmental engineering positions was expected to rise by 8% between 2016 and 2026 (www.bls.gov). This was attributed to new regulations and increased awareness of environmental issues. According to the BLS, environmental engineers earned a median wage of $87,620 in 2018.
The BLS reported that the number of positions for occupational health and safety specialists was forecast to grow 8% between 2016 and 2026. This was due to increased government regulations and new advances in workplace safety practices. In 2018, the BLS reported that the median wage for this occupation was $69,370.
That same year, the median income for conservation scientists and foresters was $61,340. In this field, you would be called on to address the increased demand to resolve natural disasters caused by forest fires and urban sprawl. The BLS reported that the number of positions in this field could grow by 6% between 2016 and 2026. Most of these jobs were anticipated to be in the public sector.
Median pay of environmental scientists and specialists, according to the BLS, was $71,130 in 2018. The BLS also reported that this field could grow by 11% between 2016 and 2026, with most of the growth in consulting.