If climate change issues interest you, then a career in Environmental Science will be ideal for you. Skim through this comprehensive guide to explore different Environmental Science degrees being offered across the U.S. This article will help to narrow down your research and will help you pick a degree that best suits your academic and professional needs.
What Is Environmental Science?
The field of Environmental Science incorporates the study of the biological, chemical, and physical processes that take place on our planet. Individuals studying this subject will get a chance to explore the relationship between humans and their environment.
Environmental Science draws on a diverse range of disciplines such as social sciences, marine sciences, geography, physics, chemistry, and biology.
What Can You Do with an Environmental Science Degree?
After graduating with an Environmental Science degree, individuals can start their careers as Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Environmental Science and Protection Technicians, Amenity Horticulturists, Commercial Horticulturists, Environmental Consultants, Environmental Education Officers, Environmental Engineers, Horticultural Consultants, Environmental Lawyers, Zoologists, and Conservation Scientists.
This section will now discuss the job prospects for Environmental Science graduates. The data presented below has been extracted from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Environmental Scientists and Specialists
These individuals use their knowledge of environmental science and natural science to protect human health and the environment. Environmental Scientists and Specialists perform investigations and conduct research to identify and eliminate sources of hazards and dangerous pollutants that damage the health and environment. They usually work in laboratories and offices – some even work in the field to monitor the environmental conditions and to gather data.
|Annual Median Salary, 2019||$71,360|
|Job Outlook, 2018-2028||8%|
|Annual Mean Salary, 2019||$77,940|
|State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019||California||14,380|
|State with the Highest Salary, 2019||District of Columbia||$112,540|
Environmental Science and Protection Technicians
These technicians investigate and monitor the sources of contamination and pollution. They also inspect businesses, public places, and establishments, to ensure that there are no health or environmental hazards.
|Annual Median Salary, 2019||$46,540|
|Job Outlook, 2018-2028||9%|
|Annual Mean Salary, 2019||$50,760|
|State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019||California||5,830|
|State with the Highest Salary, 2019||Washington||$69,390|
These professionals use the principles of chemistry, biology, soil science, and engineering to develop solutions to different environmental problems. They work at construction sites and in offices.
|Annual Median Salary, 2019||$88,860|
|Job Outlook, 2018-2028||5%|
|Annual Mean Salary, 2019||$94,220|
|State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019||California||8,640|
|State with the Highest Salary, 2019||Texas||$108,530|
What to Expect from an Environmental Science Degree?
The Associate of Science (A.S.) program in Environmental Science introduces students to a range of topics such as Ecology, General Biology, General Microbiology, Environmental Science, Physical Geology, Current Environmental Issues, and Global Warming. This degree usually takes around two years to complete.
The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Environmental Science enables students to develop a strong foundation in physical and natural sciences. The program’s curriculum includes a range of modules such as Fundamentals of Chemistry, Environmental Science Research Methods, Ecological Principles and Field Methods, Geology, Environmental Ethics, and Principles of Physics. The curriculum of this degree helps students develop several skills such as quantitative, communication, written, oral, and research skills.
The Master of Science (M.S.) in Environmental Science focuses on scientific analysis and research. Many universities are offering both a thesis and a non-thesis track in this field. Students enrolled in this program get a chance to explore a range of topics such as Environmental Law, Biogeochemistry, Conservation Biology, Foundations of Policy Analysis, and Environmental Risk Assessment.
How to Choose an Environmental Science Degree?
Some of the factors that should be considered while selecting an Environmental Science degree include accreditation status of the program, duration of the program, cost of the degree, distance learning opportunities, and college rankings.
Environmental Science Degree Requirements
To get admitted to an Environmental Science degree, students are required to submit several documents to the admissions office. These include an application form, application fee, statement of purpose, GRE scores (if applicable), resume, and letters of recommendation.
Some advanced degrees, such as an MS program in Environmental Science, might require candidates to complete one year of laboratory science and one year of calculus, before applying to the program. Since the admission requirements are different for every program, we would strongly recommend that you check out the admission criteria of the degree you are applying to.