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Summary Report for:
17-2081.00 - Environmental Engineers

Research, design, plan, or perform engineering duties in the prevention, control, and remediation of environmental hazards using various engineering disciplines. Work may include waste treatment, site remediation, or pollution control technology.

Sample of reported job titles: Air Pollution Control Engineer; Chief, Pesticides and Toxic Substances Branch; Environmental Analyst; Environmental Engineer; Environmental Remediation Specialist; Global Director Air and Climate Change; Hazardous Substances Engineer; Marine Engineer CPVEC (Marine Engineer Commercial Passenger Vessel Environmental Compliance); Regulatory Environmental Compliance Manager; Sanitary Engineer

Also see: Water/Wastewater Engineers

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Design or supervise the design of systems, processes, or equipment for control, management, or remediation of water, air, or soil quality. Green Task Statement
  • Advise corporations or government agencies of procedures to follow in cleaning up contaminated sites to protect people and the environment. Green Task Statement
  • Collaborate with environmental scientists, planners, hazardous waste technicians, engineers, experts in law or business, or other specialists to address environmental problems. Green Task Statement
  • Obtain, update, or maintain plans, permits, or standard operating procedures. Green Task Statement
  • Serve as liaison with federal, state, or local agencies or officials on issues pertaining to solid or hazardous waste program requirements. Green Task Statement
  • Provide technical support for environmental remediation or litigation projects, including remediation system design or determination of regulatory applicability. Green Task Statement
  • Prepare, review, or update environmental investigation or recommendation reports. Green Task Statement
  • Develop site-specific health and safety protocols, such as spill contingency plans or methods for loading or transporting waste. Green Task Statement
  • Inspect industrial or municipal facilities or programs to evaluate operational effectiveness or ensure compliance with environmental regulations. Green Task Statement
  • Provide assistance with planning, quality assurance, safety inspection protocols, or sampling as part of a team conducting multimedia inspections at complex facilities. Green Task Statement

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Air velocity and temperature monitors — Air velocity meters; Ambient air measurement devices; Nitrogen oxide burners
Flowmeters — Flow meters; Pitot tubes
Mass spectrometers — Plasma-mass spectrometers; Trace metal analyzers
Photometers — Laser photometers; Luminometers
Spectrophotometers — Atomic absorption AA spectrophotometers; Fluorescence spectrophotometers

Technology used in this occupation:

Analytical or scientific software — DHI Water and Environment MIKE SHE; RockWare MODFLOW; The MathWorks MATLAB; XP Software XPSWMM
Compliance software — Continuous emission management software; Hazardous materials management software; Material safety data sheet MSDS software; Regulatory compliance management software
Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD software; Bentley Microstation; Kubotek CADKEY software; SofTech CADRA
Graphics or photo imaging software — Photogrammetric software; Slam software
Object or component oriented development software — C++; Python

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Knowledge

Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

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Skills

Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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Abilities

Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

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Work Activities

Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

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Work Context

Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
Duration of Typical Work Week — Number of hours typically worked in one week.
Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
Letters and Memos — How often does the job require written letters and memos?
Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
Related Experience Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.
Job Training Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, aerospace engineers, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and controllers.
SVP Range (8.0 and above)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
59   Master's degree
41   Bachelor's degree

This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:

Engineering — Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering
Environmental Science — Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering

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Interests

Interest code: IRC

Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

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Work Styles

Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

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Work Values

Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

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Related Occupations

17-2021.00 Agricultural Engineers
17-2041.00 Chemical Engineers Green Occupation
17-2051.00 Civil Engineers Bright Outlook Green Occupation
17-2111.02 Fire-Prevention and Protection Engineers
17-2121.01 Marine Engineers
17-2151.00 Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers
17-2199.03 Energy Engineers   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook     Green Occupation Green
19-1031.01 Soil and Water Conservationists Green Occupation
19-2041.00 Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health Green Occupation
19-2043.00 Hydrologists Green Occupation

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Wages & Employment Trends

National

Median wages (2012) $38.89 hourly, $80,890 annual
Employment (2012) 53,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Faster than average (15% to 21%) Faster than average (15% to 21%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 21,100
Top industries (2012)

State & National

          CareerOneStop

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs
for Environmental Engineers

          mySkills myFuture

State & National Job Banks

          CareerOneStop

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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