Environmental Engineers

Environmental Engineer Collects Sample

Environmental engineers design, build, and maintain systems to control waste streams produced by municipalities or private industry. Such waste streams may be wastewater, solid waste, hazardous waste, or contaminated emissions to the atmosphere (air pollution). Some environmental engineers study ways to minimize the effects of automobile emissions, acid rain, global warming, and ozone depletion. They also address "big picture" issues such as climate change, environmental sustainability, and water conservation. Environmental engineers typically are employed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), by state or local environmental protection agencies, by private industry, or by engineering consulting firms. There are approximately 52,600 environmental engineers employed in the United States. Environmental engineers may also be known as public health engineers, sanitary engineers, and waste management engineers.

Next Section: History

Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Public Health Engineers, Sanitary Engineers, Waste Management Engineers
Duties Design, build, and maintain systems to control waste streams produced by municipalities or private industry
Salary Range $50,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Earth Science
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
Experience Internship
Personality Traits
  • Hands On
  • Realistic
  • Scientific
  • Interpersonal
  • Organizational
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Faster than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Engineering Manager or Professor of Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Junior Engineer or Environmental Technician