What's the Salary for Entry-Level Environmental Management Jobs?

Entry-level jobs in the field of environmental management include administrative, clerical, technical and research positions. Read on to learn about salary info for a variety of these jobs. Schools offering Environmental & Social Sustainability degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Types of Entry-Level Environmental Management Careers

Environmental management is a growing sector of the economy that balances industry and conservation. A bachelor's degree is required for most entry-level jobs; however, a master's degree may be preferred for some positions. Entry-level positions include project coordinator, field technician, forester, scientist and engineer. Employers include government agencies, public utilities and waste management companies. Many environmental management professionals also work for independent consulting firms that provide guidance to companies regarding regulatory compliance. Average salaries for entry-level positions vary by employer, position and level of education. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that in May 2014, the lowest-earning 10% of conservation scientists earned an estimated $38,000 (www.bls.gov).

Important Facts About Entry Level Environmental Management Jobs

Environmental Scientist Forester Environmental Coordinator
Entry-level Education Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Key Skills Analytical, problem solving, self-discipline Critical thinking, management, physical stamina Interpersonal, leadership, time management
Job Outlook (2012-2022)15% (for environmental scientists) 3% (for conservation scientists and foresters) 6% (for natural sciences managers)
Work Environment Offices, laboratories, outdoors, remote locations Offices, laboratories, outdoors, remote locations Offices, laboratories

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Science and Engineering

The environmental management industry employs entry-level biologists, chemists, geologists, ecologists and environmental engineers. Entry-level scientists and engineers conduct field research, perform calculations, analyze data and generate reports. They often collaborate on team projects and work under the direct supervision of senior technical staff. According to the BLS in May 2014, environmental scientists were estimated to have earned a median salary of $66,250. The lowest-earning 10% of these employees earned around $39,730.

Field Technician

Environmental management provides career opportunities for professionals in arboriculture, horticulture, conservation and forestry. Entry-level workers may collect data, supervise teams and interact with outside agencies, private companies and members of the community. The BLS reported that most foresters work for government agencies. The federal government was also reported to pay entry-level workers the highest wages. In May 2014, salaries for foresters ranged from:

  • $33,490 for the bottom-earning 10%
  • $51,190 for the median
  • $74,570 for the top-earning 90%

Project Coordinator

Project coordinators organize and manage data obtained by project teams. They may conduct and issue research, provide teams with information related to the project and write reports. Coordinators keep projects on track by maintaining schedules and informing project leaders when tasks are completed. These entry-level professionals are often on track to become program managers or directors. Additional education can assist in preparing you for leadership positions in this field. According to PayScale.com in September 2015, the yearly wage range for entry-level environmental coordinators was $39,195-$83,928.

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