Summary Report for:
19-2041.00 - Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health
Conduct research or perform investigation for the purpose of identifying, abating, or eliminating sources of pollutants or hazards that affect either the environment or the health of the population. Using knowledge of various scientific disciplines, may collect, synthesize, study, report, and recommend action based on data derived from measurements or observations of air, food, soil, water, and other sources.
Sample of reported job titles: Environmental Scientist, Environmental Specialist, Environmental Analyst, Environmental Protection Specialist, Hazardous Substances Scientist, Environmental Health and Safety Specialist, Environmental Manager, Research Environmental Scientist, Environmental Affairs Specialist, Environmental Health Specialist
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
- Collect, synthesize, analyze, manage, and report environmental data, such as pollution emission measurements, atmospheric monitoring measurements, meteorological or mineralogical information, or soil or water samples.
- Analyze data to determine validity, quality, and scientific significance and to interpret correlations between human activities and environmental effects.
- Communicate scientific or technical information to the public, organizations, or internal audiences through oral briefings, written documents, workshops, conferences, training sessions, or public hearings.
- Provide scientific or technical guidance, support, coordination, or oversight to governmental agencies, environmental programs, industry, or the public.
- Process and review environmental permits, licenses, or related materials.
- Review and implement environmental technical standards, guidelines, policies, and formal regulations that meet all appropriate requirements.
- Prepare charts or graphs from data samples, providing summary information on the environmental relevance of the data.
- Determine data collection methods to be employed in research projects or surveys.
- Investigate and report on accidents affecting the environment.
- Research sources of pollution to determine their effects on the environment and to develop theories or methods of pollution abatement or control.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
|Air samplers or collectors — Air quality dataloggers; Atmospheric deposition collectors; Lead air sampling kits; Mercury monitors|
|Radiation detectors — Analog survey meters; Digital survey meters; Field radiological measuring devices; Scintillation probes|
|Soil core sampling apparatus — Bottom dredge samplers; Core samplers; Hand held augers; Soil probes|
|Water analyzers — Coliform testing systems; Comparator water test kits; Drop count industrial water test kits; Multiparameter water quality instruments|
|Water samplers — Automatic samplers; Groundwater monitoring systems; Lead water sampling kits; Rain water samplers|
Technology used in this occupation:
|Analytical or scientific software — ADMS pollution modeling software *; Lakes Environmental EcoRisk View; TANKS *; Wolfel IMMI|
|Compliance software — Ecotech WinAQMS; Emissions tracking software; Material safety data sheet MSDS software; MIRS Compliance|
|Data base user interface and query software — EarthSoft EQuIS Geology; Smart Data Solutions RS Solutions; Tucows ChemBase; Waters eLab Notebook|
|Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator; Corel CorelDraw Graphics Suite; Graphics software|
|Map creation software — ESRI ArcView; Geographic information system GIS software; Golden Software Surfer; RockWare ArcMap|
* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.
|English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.|
|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.|
|Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.|
|Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.|
|Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.|
|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.|
|Geography — Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.|
|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.|
|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.|
|Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.|
|Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.|
|Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.|
|Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.|
|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.|
|Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.|
|Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.|
|Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.|
|Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.|
|Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.|
|Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).|
|Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.|
|Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.|
|Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).|
|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.|
|Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.|
|Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.|
|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.|
|Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).|
|Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.|
|Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.|
|Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.|
|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.|
|Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.|
|Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.|
|Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.|
|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.|
|Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.|
|Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.|
|Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail 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?|
|Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?|
|Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?|
|Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?|
|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?|
|Frequency of Decision Making — How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?|
|Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?|
|Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?|
|Structured versus Unstructured Work — To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?|
|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and special agents.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
There is 1 recognized apprenticeable specialty associated with this occupation:
To learn about specific apprenticeship opportunities, please consult the U.S. Department of Labor State Apprenticeship Information website.
For general information about apprenticeships, training, and partnerships with business, visit the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship website.
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:
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.|
|Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.|
|Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.|
|Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.|
|Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.|
|Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.|
|Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.|
|Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.|
|Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.|
|Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.|
|Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.|
|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.|
|Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.|
|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.|
|13-1041.01||Environmental Compliance Inspectors|
|17-2199.02||Validation Engineers Bright Outlook|
|19-1023.00||Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists|
|19-1031.01||Soil and Water Conservationists Green|
|19-2042.00||Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers|
|19-4091.00||Environmental Science and Protection Technicians, Including Health|
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2012)||$30.56 hourly, $63,570 annual|
|Employment (2010)||89,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2010-2020)||Average (10% to 19%)|
|Projected job openings (2010-2020)||43,200|
|Top industries (2010)|
State & National
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 wage data and 2010-2020 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2010-2020). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
for Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health
State & National Job Banks
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.
- Environmental Scientists and Specialists . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition.
- American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) , P.O. Box 979, Tulsa, OK 74101. Phone: (800) 364-2274.
- American Geological Institute (AGI) , 4220 King St., Alexandria, VA 22302-1502. Phone: (703) 379-2480. Fax: (703) 379-7563.
- Marine Technology Society (MTS) , 5565 Sterrett Pl., Suite 108, Columbia, MD 21004. Phone: (410) 884-5330.