How to Become an Environmental Engineer

Overview & Salaries

Recommended Degree:
The right degree for you to become an environmental engineer depends on the industry and company you apply for. Those looking for an entry positions will likely need a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering. Those looking for a more junior level position may only need a degree in environmental engineering technology. If you are looking to get into a competitive or advance position, then a master’s degree along with real world experience and earning a specific engineering license can help you stand out in the hiring process.

Begin your career path today by signing up for free information from one of our accredited schools below that offer programs to help get you started as an environmental engineer.

How Much Does an Environmental Make? 
$80,890 (national median salary, to view salaries in your state click on the “Best Places to Work” tab)

Expected Growth from 2012-2020:
+8,100 additional people employed

Specialization Options:
Sustainable engineering, water engineering, and transport engineering

(all information above provided by the 2012 BLS Enviornmental Engineer page) 

Discover the Best Places to Become an Environmental Engineer

The state of California leads the nation in employment for environmental engineers, with 7,130 currently working statewide, and making an annual mean wage of $96,670. New York is second in employment, where 3,220 environmental engineers are occupying positions within the state, and making an average yearly salary of $89,100.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics nearly one in three environmental engineers work in federal, state or local governments:

  • Architectural, engineering, and related services 28%
  • Management, scientific, and technical consulting services 19%
  • State government, excluding education and hospitals 15%
  • Federal government, excluding postal service 8%
  • Local government, excluding education and hospitals 8%

Employment and Salary Information by State for Environmental Engineers

Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career in Environmental Engineering. The associated information has been gathered from the Bureau of Labor statistics, representing data collected in 2012.

Employment and Information Data for Environmental Engineering

Why Become a Environmental Engineer?

Whether working as a technician or a natural sciences manager, the environmental engineering space offers many high-impact opportunities that can make a difference. And the career can be lucrative with environmental engineers earning a median yearly salary of $78,740, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The role of an environmental engineer is often confused with that of the environmentalist. While an environmental engineer is tasked with improving many of the qualities of our environmental – waste, public health, and control of water and air pollution – their focus is on creating sustainable engineering projects based on engineering principles.

And as environmental issues continue to grow throughout the world, these professionals are becoming highly sought after.

Recommended Courses to Help You Become an Environmental Engineer

  • Environmental Engineering Fundamentals
  • Introduction to Probability Modeling
  • Design of Large-Scale Structures
  • Introduction to Finite-element Methods
  • Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering
  • Continuum Mechanics
  • Applied Numerical Methods
  • Statistical Mechanics
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Geomicrobiology

Degree Options for Environmental Engineering Careers

Bachelor’s Degree
A bachelor’s of Science in environmental engineering offers students to opportunity to study both theory and application solutions on the many negative environmental issues facing the world today.

Courses are a healthy mix of science, mathematics, history and environmental philosophy that will help shape their overall professional work.

Master’s Degree
For an environmental engineer, there are several graduate level options to pursue including a Master of Science (M.S.) or Master of Engineering. Often, these programs have dual degree options that combine these degrees with a Civil Engineering degree.