According to the Ohio State University’s School of Environment and National Resources, the field of environmental science is expanding and so are environmental studies degree job opportunities. The present focus on environmental awareness and resource preservation will allow individuals with an environmental studies degree or environmental science degree to appear valuable to employers in the modern workplace. That being said, a variety of jobs in environmental science exists for students who pursue an environmental science or environmental studies degree.
A bachelor’s degree in environmental science provides students with excellent preparation for careers in conservation science. Conservation scientists oversee the land at parks, forests, and other outdoor areas, ensuring that natural resources are well managed and preserved. They provide citizens and organizations with the knowledge and tools to help them protect the environment and the natural resources it provides. They may, for example, educate citizens regarding ways to prevent forest fires or to conserve water and other natural resources.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), conservation scientists earn, on average, $59,310 per year. Conservation scientists who work for the federal government enjoy an even higher typical salary of $71, 100 a year. The BLS expects the most job opportunities in the field of conservation science to exist in the Southwestern United States on federal forestlands.
Environmental Specialist Careers
Individuals with bachelor’s degrees in environmental science may work as environmental specialists. Those who work as environmental specialists conduct environmental research by analyzing water, soil, air, and other natural resources. They use their research findings to determine environmental problems and to develop ways to manage these problems. They communicate with government agencies, businesses, and citizens, providing them with information regarding environmental threats and health hazards. Environmental specialists may also work for businesses to ensure that they are complying with environmental regulations.
The BLS has reported that the median yearly salary of environmental specialists is $61,700. The field is expected to increase by about 19 percent through 2020, with most growth attributable to public concerns regarding environmental threats and to increased numbers of environmental regulations, according to the BLS.
Occupational Health and Safety Specialists
A bachelor’s degree in environmental science is useful to occupational health and safety specialists, who observe places of work to ensure that workers are safe and that employers are following government regulations that pertain to wellbeing, safety, and the environment. Workers in the field of occupational health and safety develop plans to keep employees safe and healthy, and they confirm that work places are not harming the environment as they operate.
According to the BLS, the average yearly salary in the field of occupational health and safety is $64,660. The highest paid workers in the field enjoy annual earnings of over $94,180.
Students who obtain bachelor’s degrees in environmental science can find jobs as hydrologists if they are willing to first continue their education and pursue master’s degrees. Though some hydrology jobs require only a bachelor’s degree, opportunities will be the best for those with master’s degrees in a field related to environmental science. Hydrologists study water to determine if it is polluted, and they use their research to develop methods for conserving water and keeping it clean. They are also concerned with making water available to everyone and with preventing flooding and other water-related environmental hazards.
The median annual salary for hydrologists is $75,690, as indicated by the BLS. The BLS has predicted that the field of hydrology will expand by 18 percent through 2020, with both population growth and concerns regarding climate change creating a demand for hydrologists.
Environmental Science Teaching Careers
With a doctoral degree in environmental science, one can teach at colleges and universities. Individuals who teach college-level environmental science courses tend to conduct and publish environmental research in addition to teaching. They may present research findings at conferences or be involved in fieldwork with other environmental scientists.
According to the BLS, individuals who teach at colleges and universities earn, on average, $62,050 a year, but the highest paid instructors can earn upwards of $130,510 annually. The BLS expects the field of college-level teaching to grow by 17 percent through 2020, as more and more individuals choose to pursue a college education.
Whether one is interested in teaching, research, or fieldwork, ample career opportunities exist in the field of environmental science. Jobs in environmental science prospects should be excellent, as environmental topics such as conservation and safety remain issues of public concern.