by Stephanie Hughes
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

You love the environment, and you want your future career to reflect that. If that’s the case and you enjoy all of the technical aspects that come into observing the health of the environment and its many changes, then you should look no further than becoming an environmental engineer. An environmental engineer is an expert in all things related to soil science, engineering, and biology. They also take part in interests of public health such as maintaining safe drinking water, environmental and climate changes and sustainability.

A few of the duties they are responsible for on the job include compiling environmental investigation reports, analyzing scientific data to help inform decisions on local regulations, determine the success of local environmental protection projects, advising proper procedures on securing and cleaning up potential environmental hazards, determining the best course of action to regulate air, water, and land pollution, etc. Essentially, the environmental engineer works closely with corporate and government bodies to promote environmental sustainability.

What are the perks of the job?

The most immediate perk of the job is the decent salary of approximately $62,453 in Canada, according to PayScale. Entry-level positions can earn roughly $45,423 and the highest earners in the profession can earn about $87,780. The job has both indoor and outdoor work, making the working environments varied compared to other jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth is about as fast as the average job growth between 2016 and 2026 at an 8% increase.

What are some of the setbacks?

However, there are a few setbacks with this job, including the stressful nature of the work and how deadlines can put the pressure on you, especially when environmental work can be so sensitive and important. The work can also put you in hazardous positions, especially when dealing with hazardous spills or a dangerous environmental situation. There is also a considerable amount of education and training involved to be employed in the field, which requires at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field. Obtaining a license (by passing a professional engineering (PE) exam or a fundamentals of engineering (FE) exam) in the proper province will also greatly increase your chances of gaining employment.

How can I grow with this career?

A bachelor’s degree will prepare you to gain an entry-level position, which would have you dealing with minor local projects. With more experience and rising through the ranks of superior managers, you can begin taking on more difficult projects and earn a higher salary. Before taking on a managerial position of your own, you may need to acquire a Master’s Degree in a relevant environmental engineering field.

That’s all great, but could I be hired for other careers?

There are many careers in the environmental and engineering industries that make a solid salary, such as chemical engineers (design large production processes involving chemicals), civil engineers (design and help construct local city infrastructure), hydrologists (study how water moves underground), natural sciences manager (managers that direct testing, quality control, and examine finished products of different natural science experiments), environmental engineering technicians (technicians that implement the plans created by environmental engineers), etc. These careers tend to have similar analytical skill requirements as well as an understanding of natural sciences and the environment.


Truity. “Environmental Engineer”:


PayScale. “Environmental Engineer Salary”:


Bureau of Labour Statistics. “Environmental Engineers”:


Learning Path.org. “Becoming an Environmental Engineer: Salary Info & Job Description”:


Bureau of Labour Statistics. “Environmental Engineers: SImilar Occupations”:


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