It can be difficult to pinpoint the exact type of degree necessary for working an environmental science job because the fields encompassed are widely varied within educational background and in the difficulty of the duties required. One thing in environmental science work is certain though; if it’s a cause you believe in, it’s sure to be rewarding.
Types of Environmental Science Jobs
From a general standpoint, anyone with a science based bachelor degree can pursue employment in the field of environmental science; however, some universities offer specialized environmental science programs, including but not limited to online universities such as University of Phoenix and Columbia Southern University.
University Trained Environmental Science Jobs
University trained environmental scientists may pursue work relating to their major or minor study focus. Potential avenues of employment range from working in an environmental study lab for governmental organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the forestry service, or as an environmental impact analyst for a variety of industries. Environmental impact analysts can either work as independent contractors with their own labs and field teams, or as permanent fixtures in large companies generating reports on the environmental impact of business operations with constantly changing deployment environments, such as oil and gas or other resource extraction industries. University trained environmental science specialists are more likely to focus on the data analysis side of environmental science than college-educated technicians, who tend to focus on data gathering.
College Trained Environmental Science Jobs
College trained environmental scientists pursue work relating to the support and upkeep of other scientists with higher levels of background education; for instance, a college trained environmental scientist with experience in laboratory procedures may help his university trained superiors by collecting samples in the field, or by conducting basic sample processing and taking notable specimens to the university trained scientist for further review.
Earning Potential in Environmental Science
The earning potential of an environmental science job can vary significantly between each sub genre of the overall business area. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, environmental science technicians with a college or bachelor background can earn anywhere from £15 an hour as a forestry conservation technician to £25 an hour working in environmental science technician positions relating to geology and petroleum. Environmental scientists focusing on technical consulting earn an average of £60,000 annually. Environmental scientists specializing in geology relating to oil and gas extraction are able to command an average wage of £127,000 per year.