Environmental Engineers work to make sure pollutants are not released into to the air or water sources and that solid waste is properly disposed. Some environmental engineers devise and build equipment to create a cleaner environment. Others work in management, developing environmental protection plans.
A four-year college degree is required for most environmental engineering jobs. Many have civil engineering degrees but other have environmental, agricultural, chemical, or mechanical engineering.
Since environmental engineers focus on the environment, there is usually a component of outdoor work to their jobs. Many work in industry, but some work with government from local communities to federal agencies. Their work hours are typically the standard 40-hour week, but can vary with the project or type of employer they work for.
The starting salary for an environmental engineer:
- Develop ways of tracking endangered species
- Design methods of accurately measuring acid rain, car emissions, and ozone depletion
- Work with large industries to reduce their air pollution emissions to acceptable levels
- Invent better ways of recycling paper, plastic, and glass
- Remove bacteria and poisons commonly found in the well water of some developing countries