Working as an Environmental Scientist

Intrigued by a dynamic and multifarious career in the STEM domain? Consider the role of an Environmental Scientist. This career path offers a rich variety of focuses and areas of research. As an Environmental Scientist, you’ll explore the intricate relationship between human activities and our natural world, tackling issues from pollution to climate change. Whether you’re drawn to water quality assessment, ecosystem conservation, or any of the multiple sub-disciplines, there is a niche for you. Additionally, working in environmental science allows you to engage in meaningful research while promoting sustainable practices and resource management. If you’re passionate about understanding and preserving our planet and wish to make a scientific impact, then a career in environmental science may be just what you’re looking for.

Check out our knowledgebase for more information. Are you looking for your dream job in STEM? Look here.

What does an Environmental Scientist do?
Environmental Scientists study the interactions between human activity and the natural world, focusing on how to mitigate the negative impacts and foster sustainability. They analyze environmental issues like pollution, conservation, and climate change, and develop strategies to address them. This can include everything from conducting field studies to understand ecosystems, to policy advocacy and public education.
Working as an Environmental Scientist -
A day in the life of an Environmental Scientist
A day for an Environmental Scientist can be incredibly varied. One day might involve fieldwork, collecting samples of air, water, or soil. Another day could be spent in the lab, conducting experiments to understand those samples. There are also days of data analysis, reading scientific literature, writing reports, or meeting with policymakers. In some roles, public speaking, advocacy, and education may also be part of the job.
What tools does an Environmental Scientist use?
Environmental Scientists use a range of tools depending on their focus area. For fieldwork, this might include GPS devices, water testing kits, and air quality meters. In the lab, tools could range from microscopes and spectrometers to complex analytical software for data modeling. GIS (Geographical Information Systems) software is commonly used for mapping and spatial data analysis.
Working as an Environmental Scientist 3 -
What is the salary of an Environmental Scientist?
Salaries for Environmental Scientists can vary widely depending on location, experience, and specialization. In the United States, the median annual salary is around $71,000. Entry-level positions may offer around $45,000, while those with specialized skills or management responsibilities can earn over $100,000 per year.
Career path and growth opportunities
Career growth in environmental science is often linked to specialization and advanced education. Entry-level roles such as research assistants or environmental technicians can lead to more advanced positions like project managers, policy analysts, or specialized consultants. There are also opportunities for academic research and teaching roles for those with advanced degrees.
Working as an Environmental Scientist 4 -
Education and certification
A bachelor's degree in environmental science or a related field is generally required for entry-level roles. Many professionals choose to pursue master's degrees or even PhDs for specialized roles and career advancement. Certifications such as the Certified Environmental Scientist (CES) designation can also be beneficial.
Networking and industry organizations
Professional organizations like the National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP) or the Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI) provide networking opportunities, conferences, and other resources. Staying connected through these organizations can open doors for career advancement and keep you updated on the latest industry trends and research.
Working as an Environmental Scientist 5 -
Impact and societal relevance
The work of Environmental Scientists is crucial in today's world, where the impact of human activity on the environment is a growing concern. These professionals contribute to essential research that informs sustainable practices, guides public policy, and promotes environmental awareness. Their work has direct implications for public health, conservation, and the overall well-being of the planet.
Working as an Environmental Scientist 2 -
How to become an Environmental Scientist


Becoming an Environmental Scientist is an exciting journey into a field that merges science, technology, and a passion for the planet. The first step is typically to earn a bachelor’s degree in environmental science, ecology, biology, or a related field. Some programs offer specializations in areas like climate change, water resources, or environmental policy, allowing you to focus your studies.

Internships and research projects

Internships or research projects during your undergraduate years can provide practical experience and a chance to apply theoretical knowledge. These opportunities can be invaluable for networking and can make you more marketable upon graduation. After obtaining your bachelor's, many roles will be open to you, but a master’s or Ph.D. will provide further specialization and open doors to higher-paying jobs and research positions. Certifications, such as the Certified Environmental Scientist (CES) credential, can further bolster your qualifications.


Networking is essential, so consider joining industry organizations like the National Association of Environmental Professionals or the Environmental and Water Resources Institute. These platforms offer resources, job listings, and conferences that can help you stay current in the field.
Current job openings for Environmental Scientist
Check out the job listings on Vorsers for current opportunities.