If you’re looking to make an impact by switching to a green career, you may want to consider becoming an environmental scientist.
It’s a job that involves a great deal of research. Environmental scientists work to identify, control, or eliminate sources of pollutants or hazards affecting the environment or public health. Their research will generally involve data collection, collecting and analyzing air, water, and soil samples, analyzing environmental data gathered by others, and making correlations to human activity. There are also the obligatory reports and presentations to report their findings.
Next, they will develop plans to prevent, control or fix the problem. The problem could be air pollution, an outbreak of a virus or contaminated water supply, to name a few scenarios. They might advise government officials and CEOs, conduct inspections for businesses or assess developments. They might end up solving some of the most important problems facing a local community, our nation or world.
For the most part, environmental scientists work for federal, state, or local governments. Others work in offices and laboratories. Most of the work is done in a lab but there may also be a lot of field work involved, and you can expect long or irregular hours.
Most entry-level environmental scientist jobs require a bachelor’s degree in environmental science or related field such as microbiology, chemistry, physics, geosciences, or engineering. Most programs will have students study all areas, then take specialized courses later on. A master’s degree may be required for advancement.
Earning potential varies based on job sector, but it’s a chance to make a real difference on the world around you.