Environmental scientists and specialists use their knowledge of the natural sciences to protect the environment and human health. They develop strategies to clean up polluted areas, advise policymakers, and work with industry to reduce waste or hazards. Environmental scientists gather and analyze data to shed light on important questions, including how to prevent or handle environmental problems… then use their findings to inform the public, private industry, government officials, and others about environmental hazards. Day-to-day tasks can vary a lot among these specialists: Climate change analysts study the effects of changing climatic conditions on ecosystems. Environmental health specialists study how environmental factors affect community and individual human health. Environmental restoration planners determine how to clean up polluted sites and assess costs. And industrial ecologists work with industry to develop sustainable and efficient practices that limit adverse impacts on the environment. While environmental scientists generally work full time in an office or laboratory, some head to the field to check out environmental conditions and gather samples of air, soil, water, or food. Most entry-level positions require a bachelor’s degree in a natural science or related field, but a master’s degree is often needed for advancement. Whether teaching or practicing methods to keep our air, water, and land clean and free of health risks, the work of environmental scientists hits home.
What they do:
Research and analyze policy developments related to climate change. Make climate-related recommendations for actions such as legislation, awareness campaigns, or fundraising approaches.
On the job, you would:
Provide analytical support for policy briefs related to renewable energy, energy efficiency, or climate change.
Analyze and distill climate-related research findings to inform legislators, regulatory agencies, or other stakeholders.
Prepare study reports, memoranda, briefs, testimonies, or other written materials to inform government or environmental groups on environmental issues, such as climate change.
Arts and Humanities
Safety and Government
law and government
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
reading work related information
writing things for co-workers or customers
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it
figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
communicate by writing
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
use rules to solve problems
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
add, subtract, multiply, or divide
choose the right type of math to solve a problem
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Analytical or scientific software
Community Climate System Model CCSM
Object or component oriented development software
Practical extraction and reporting language Perl
Development environment software
Formula translation/translator FORTRAN
Interface definition language IDL
master's degree usually needed
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
You might like a career in one of these industries: