Environmental Scientist: An Overview

Environmental Scientist - Get.It


Environmental science is an interdisciplinary academic field that integrates physical and biological sciences to study the environment and solutions to environmental problems. Environmental scientists work on subjects like understanding earth processes, evaluating alternative energy systems, pollution control, and mitigation, and the effects of global climate change.

Current Outlook

The outlook for environmental scientists is promising, driven by the growing focus on environmental sustainability and the need to mitigate the impacts of climate change. There’s an increasing demand for expertise in this field across various sectors including government, private industry, and non-profit organizations.

Salaries by Major Metro Area

  1. San Francisco, CA: $75,000 – $120,000
  2. New York, NY: $70,000 – $115,000
  3. Washington, D.C.: $68,000 – $110,000
  4. Los Angeles, CA: $65,000 – $105,000
  5. Boston, MA: $63,000 – $100,000

Occupation FAQ

What educational background is required?

Typically a bachelor’s degree in environmental science or a related field.

Are there opportunities for advancement?

Yes, with experience and further education, environmental scientists can advance to project management or research positions.

Is fieldwork a major component of the job?

It varies; some environmental scientists do extensive fieldwork, while others work primarily in labs or offices.

Can environmental scientists specialize?

Yes, in areas like environmental biology, hydrology, geoscience, and more.

Is this career globally relevant?

Absolutely, environmental issues are a global concern, making this career internationally significant.

Pros and Cons of Occupation


  1. Contribution to environmental protection and sustainability.
  2. Diverse working environments – lab, field, office.
  3. Opportunities for specialization.
  4. High growth potential and job stability.
  5. Increasing societal relevance and recognition.


  1. Potential for high-stress situations due to environmental crises.
  2. Fieldwork can be physically demanding.
  3. May require additional education for advancement.
  4. Competitive job market in some regions.
  5. Work can be subject to governmental policy changes.

How to Find Work

  • Websites: Websites like Indeed, LinkedIn, and EnvironmentalScience.org are great resources.
  • Professional Organizations: Joining organizations like the National Association of Environmental Professionals can provide networking opportunities.
  • Government Agencies: Look for openings in local, state, and federal agencies.
  • Environmental Consultancies: Many consultancies regularly hire environmental scientists.
  • Research Institutions and Universities: These often have opportunities for research-oriented roles.

Famous People Related to Occupation

  1. Rachel Carson: Marine biologist and conservationist, author of ‘Silent Spring’.
  2. Wangari Maathai: Nobel laureate and founder of the Green Belt Movement.
  3. John Muir: Naturalist and advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the United States.
  4. Chico Mendes: Brazilian environmentalist and union leader.
  5. Greta Thunberg: Environmental activist known for her work on climate change awareness.

Companies Well Known in the Occupation

  1. Environmental Resources Management (ERM)
  2. AECOM
  3. Tetra Tech
  4. CH2M Hill
  5. Golder Associates

Similar Occupations

  1. Environmental Engineer
  2. Conservation Scientist
  3. Geoscientist
  4. Wildlife Biologist
  5. Hydrologist


Environmental science is a field with growing importance and relevance, offering diverse career opportunities and the potential for making a significant impact on environmental sustainability. The profession requires a strong foundation in the sciences and offers various paths for specialization. With its increasing relevance in the face of global environmental challenges, the field promises a dynamic and rewarding career path.

Written by Jacob Peebles with support from EmployGPT