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What Is an Environmental Scientist and How to Become One

Environmental Scientist

What Do Environmental Scientists Do?

Environmental scientists conduct research designed to recognize hazardous conditions that affect the environment or public health, such as pollution or water contamination, and suggest ways to control or remove them. This research generally involves collecting and analyzing various environmental samples, examining published data from other scientists, and exploring connections between the results and human activity. Environmental scientists need to be excellent communicators and writers, preparing reports, research papers, and presentations that demonstrate and defend their findings.

How to Become an Environmental Scientist

If you wish to become an Environmental Scientist, you typically need to earn at least a bachelor's degree in environmental science, natural science, or a similar field. This may be enough for an entry-level position, but depending on the employer or if you want to advance in your career to a management position, you may need to obtain your master's degree. If you want to teach Environmental Science at a university, you may be required to obtain a doctoral degree as well. Most Environmental Scientists take an internship to gain relevant working experience and valuable on-the-job training. Successful Environmental Scientists have good analytical, problem-solving, interpersonal, and communication skills.

Where Can I Get an Environmental Science Degree?

There are hundreds of degree programs in environmental science in the United States. Research which programs focus on what interests you in the field. You can also continue your education in environmental science beyond a bachelor’s degree and pursue a master’s degree or doctorate.

What Is Environmental Science?

Environmental science combines aspects of several academic and scientific fields across the biological, physical, and information sciences. The objective is to study the environment to find the causes and solutions for environmental problems by examining the impact of various factors. The factors affecting the environment include human migration, building practices, population growth, and pollutants.

What Does an Environmental Scientist Do on a Daily Basis?

The daily tasks of an environmental scientist depend on the place in which they work, the goals of a particular study, and their area of expertise. Generally, environmental scientists conduct research, analyze data, and develop plans to avoid, control, or repair environmental problems. Environmental scientists often focus on issues such as deforestation, plant disease, and human pollution; some may concentrate on environmental factors that directly impact human health. They may serve as advisors to government officials or corporate leaders who make policies and business decisions that have an impact on environmental issues, or conduct impact studies for new commercial and housing developments.

Environmental Scientist Job Description Sample

With this Environmental Scientist job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Environmental Scientist role.

Job Summary

Our company is seeking an Environmental Scientist to conduct research and analyze data with a focus on assessing, controlling, and avoiding various environmental problems. This role is crucial in the field of environmental science, as you add to the research on issues such as plant disease, human pollution, deforestation, and other factors that affect living species and human health. Our perfect candidate has a background in geology, biology, or chemistry and experience in environmental consulting, occupational hygiene, and health and safety management.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provide high-level scientific support for environmental risk projects
  • Collect and analyze soil, air, water, and other samples from various sites, such as polluted lands and groundwater systems
  • Conduct impact and threat analyses and examine scientific data
  • Prepare and write reports, presentations, and research papers based on your findings
  • Help create environmental plans for various construction projects and/or government departments

Requirements and Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in environmental science
  • Knowledge of various sampling techniques and equipment
  • Experience performing environmental surveying and reporting
  • Work experience as a research assistant, field analyst, or lab technician
  • Strong technical writing and analytical skills
  • Keen understanding of federal and state regulations