Overall job opportunities in engineering are expected to be good, but to vary by specialty. A bachelor's degree is required for most entry-level jobs. Starting salaries are significantly higher than those of college graduates in other fields. Continuing education is critical to keep abreast of the latest technology. Using the principles of biology and chemistry, environmental engineers develop methods to solve problems related to the environment.
They are involved in water and air pollution control, recycling, waste disposal, and public health issues. Environmental engineers conduct hazardous-waste management studies, evaluate the significance of the hazard, offer analysis on treatment and containment, and develop regulations to prevent mishaps. They design municipal sewage and industrial wastewater systems.
Environmental engineers are concerned with local and worldwide environmental issues. They study and attempt to minimize the effects of acid rain, global warming, automobile emissions, and ozone depletion. They also are involved in the protection of wildlife. They analyze scientific data, research controversial projects, and perform quality control checks.
Many environmental engineers work as consultants, helping their clients comply with regulations and clean up hazardous sites, including brownfields, which are abandoned urban or industrial sites that may contain environmental hazards. Most engineers work in office buildings, laboratories, or industrial plants. Others may spend time outdoors at construction sites, mines, and oil and gas exploration and production sites, where they monitor or direct operations or solve onsite problems.