Also called: Ecologist, Research Environmental Engineer, Research Scientist, Researcher
Produced by CareerOneStop
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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:Apply principles and processes of natural ecosystems to develop models for efficient industrial systems. Use knowledge from the physical and social sciences to maximize effective use of natural resources in the production and use of goods and services. Examine societal issues and their relationship with both technical systems and the environment.
On the job, you would:
- Identify environmental impacts caused by products, systems, or projects.
- Examine local, regional or global use and flow of materials or energy in industrial production processes.
- Identify or develop strategies or methods to minimize the environmental impact of industrial production processes.
Arts and Humanities
- English language
Engineering and Technology
- product and service development
- computers and electronics
Math and Science
- arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Education and Training
- teaching and course design
- reading work related information
- thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
- thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
- figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
- communicate by writing
- communicate by speaking
Ideas and Logic
- use rules to solve problems
- make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
- choose the right type of math to solve a problem
- add, subtract, multiply, or divide
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Analytical Thinking
- Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Analytical or scientific software
- Production Flow Analysis and Simplification Toolkit PFAST
- Substance Flow Analysis STAN
Graphics or photo imaging software
Map creation software
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.