Environmental Scientist Job Description

Environmental scientists work within varying branches of community service organizations and government agencies to conserve the local natural areas. Environmental science careers incorporate many other scientific disciplines such as biology, zoology, and ecology into one job. Typically, an environmental scientist position will require you to focus on particular conservation issue, such as groundwater contamination. This type of job in wildlife may not have you working hands on with animals, but your work will affect wildlife.

Environmental Scientist Job Duties

Duties included in the job description of an environmental scientist vary widely, and include the following, but are not limited to:

• Obtaining samples of water, air, soil or other variables
• Analyzing samples obtained
• Compiling reports regarding element of concern and then disseminating them
• Working with the public to increase awareness of environmental concerns
• Creating and implementing action plans to address specific environmental concerns
• Working with other agencies to obtain appropriate permits for planned work

Working Conditions

Often times the work duties of environmental scientists are done outdoors in varying climates. The location of the work depends heavily on the specific job title and description.

Environmental Scientist Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the salary range for an environmental scientist in 2008 was about $36,000 to $100,000. Entry level environmental scientist jobs usually pay in the $35,000 to $45,000 range.

Education and Experience Requirements

To gain an entry level environmental scientist job, you need at least a bachelor’s degree with environmental sciences or life sciences as a focus. This type of degree provides experience with biology, environmental studies, geology, and specific computer programs often used by environmental scientists such as GIS.

Desirable Skills

Like other field research positions, skills found desirable when starting an environmental science career revolve around working outdoors and using scientific equipment. Also, good people and public speaking skills are valuable. Familiarity and experience with NEPA, CEQA, and other local environmental regulations are also helpful when applying for these positions.

Where to Find Environmental Scientist Jobs

About half of all environmental scientist positions are found with federal, state, and sometimes local governments. A large percentage of these positions are also found as environmental consultant jobs.


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