What Are High-Paying Careers in Environmental Engineering?

Greater attention to environmental issues has increased the demand for trained environmental engineering professionals. Read on to learn about the high-paying career options of environmental engineer, professor and environmental manager. Schools offering Energy Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Environmental Engineer

If you graduate with a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering, you can choose the common route of working as an environmental engineer. These professionals monitor pollution and implement environmental conservation measures. Higher-level environmental engineers may design pollution control systems and research better environmental protection methods.

Important Facts About High-Paying Careers in Environmental Engineering

Occupation Professional Certifications Key Skills Work EnvironmentSimilar Occupations
Environmental engineer Voluntary; Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) and Professional Engineering (PE) Ingenuity; reading comprehension; communication; problem solving Full-time with possibly additional hours with looming deadlines Chemical engineers; civil engineers; natural sciences managers
Professor and researcher Dependent upon employer; teachers license may be required Proficient oral and written communication; social nuance; critical thinking Predominately part-time with a flexible schedule Postsecondary education administrators; historians; career and technical education teachers
Environmental manager Typically not required; available for specific specialties Leadership; problem solving; clear communication; social grace Primarily full-time with occasional overtime Biochemists; biophysicists; medical scientists

Job Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects an as-fast-as-average environmental engineer employment growth of 8% over the 2016-2026 decade (www.bls.gov). The retirement of current environmental engineers is expected to result in favorable job prospects for those entering the field. Earning an advanced degree in environmental engineering can also help you stand out.

The BLS reported that the median salary for environmental engineers was $87,620 per year as of May 2018. The top 10% of workers made $137,090 or more annually, while the bottom 10% earned $53,180 or less.

Professor and Researcher

The demand for environmental engineers brings with it a need for environmental engineering instructors. As a professor, you would typically divide your time between teaching students and conducting advanced engineering research. To pursue this high-paying career, you usually must earn a doctoral degree in the field of environmental engineering.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

Although the BLS does not report employment growth for environmental engineering instructors, it does report that postsecondary engineering teachers should experience a faster-than-average employment growth of 15% over the 2016-2026 decade. It also notes that some schools are choosing to hire more part-time faculty members. The BLS reported that postsecondary engineering instructors in general earned a median salary of $101,720 in May 2018.

Environmental Manager

Environmental managers are executives whose primary job duties involve monitoring conditions to ensure that a facility complies with important environmental regulations. They work to remove pollutants or hazards from the environment and can also collect and analyze environmental data from soils, bodies of water and the air. To become an environmental manager, you must typically hold a bachelor's degree and several years of experience working in the environmental sciences field.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

The BLS reports that natural sciences managers in general are expected are expected to see a 10% increase in job opportunities over the 2016-2026 decade. Some factors that will create job openings include turnover and retirement, but the BLS expects strong competition for positions. According to PayScale.com, environmental managers earned a median salary of $80,961 as of May 2019.

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