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Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health

Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health

Overview
Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Experience

A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.

Education

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Job Training

Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Examples

Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.

Conduct research or perform investigation for the purpose of identifying, abating, or eliminating sources of pollutants or hazards that affect either the environment or public health. Using knowledge of various scientific disciplines, may collect, synthesize, study, report, and recommend action based on data derived from measurements or observations of air, food, soil, water, and other sources.

Salary Salary

Salary at 10th Percentile: $42K
Salary at 25th Percentile: $55K
Median Salary: $73K
Salary at 75th Percentile: $98K
Salary at 90th Percentile: $129K

Demand
Career Demand by State Career Demand by State Legend
Core Tasks

Provide scientific or technical guidance, support, coordination, or oversight to governmental agencies, environmental programs, industry, or the public.

Review and implement environmental technical standards, guidelines, policies, and formal regulations that meet all appropriate requirements.

Analyze data to determine validity, quality, and scientific significance and to interpret correlations between human activities and environmental effects.

Collect, synthesize, analyze, manage, and report environmental data, such as pollution emission measurements, atmospheric monitoring measurements, meteorological or mineralogical information, or soil or water samples.

Communicate scientific or technical information to the public, organizations, or internal audiences through oral briefings, written documents, workshops, conferences, training sessions, or public hearings.

Develop the technical portions of legal documents, administrative orders, or consent decrees.

Prepare charts or graphs from data samples, providing summary information on the environmental relevance of the data.

Provide advice on proper standards and regulations or the development of policies, strategies, or codes of practice for environmental management.

Evaluate violations or problems discovered during inspections to determine appropriate regulatory actions or to provide advice on the development and prosecution of regulatory cases.

Conduct environmental audits or inspections or investigations of violations.

Develop methods to minimize the impact of production processes on the environment, based on the study and assessment of industrial production, environmental legislation, and physical, biological, and social environments.

Determine data collection methods to be employed in research projects or surveys.

Process and review environmental permits, licenses, or related materials.

Monitor effects of pollution or land degradation and recommend means of prevention or control.

Supervise or train students, environmental technologists, technicians, or other related staff.

Design or direct studies to obtain technical environmental information about planned projects.

Plan or develop research models, using knowledge of mathematical and statistical concepts.

Investigate and report on accidents affecting the environment.

Conduct applied research on environmental topics, such as waste control or treatment or pollution abatement methods.

Monitor environmental impacts of development activities.

Research sources of pollution to determine their effects on the environment and to develop theories or methods of pollution abatement or control.

Develop programs designed to obtain the most productive, non-damaging use of land.

Technology Skills
Technology
Example
Hot Technology
Analytical or scientific software
IBM SPSS Statistics
Compliance software
Material safety data sheet MSDS software
Computer aided design CAD software
Bentley MicroStation
Data base user interface and query software
Microsoft Access
Development environment software
Microsoft Visual Basic
Document management software
Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
Electronic mail software
Microsoft Outlook
Enterprise resource planning ERP software
SAP
Graphics or photo imaging software
SmugMug Flickr
Internet browser software
Web browser software
Map creation software
ESRI ArcGIS software
Object or component oriented development software
C++
Office suite software
Microsoft Office
Presentation software
Microsoft PowerPoint
Project management software
Microsoft Project
Spreadsheet software
Microsoft Excel
Word processing software
Microsoft Word
Tools Used
Tool
Example
Atomic and nuclear energy machinery and equipment
Dosimeters
Computer Equipment and Accessories
Dataloggers
Consumer electronics
Global positioning system GPS receivers
Laboratory and scientific equipment
Bailers
Marine transport
Airboats
Measuring and observing and testing instruments
Analog survey meters
Motor vehicles
All terrain vehicles ATV
Photographic or filming or video equipment
Digital cameras
Power generation
Combustible gas monitors
Water and wastewater treatment supply and disposal
Turbidimeters
Top 10 Knowledge Required
English Language
86%
Importance

Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Mathematics
77%
Importance

Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Law and Government
75%
Importance

Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

Clerical
72%
Importance

Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

Biology
71%
Importance

Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

Customer and Personal Service
71%
Importance

Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Chemistry
69%
Importance

Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

Computers and Electronics
69%
Importance

Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Administration and Management
63%
Importance

Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Geography
62%
Importance

Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.

Top 10 Skills
Active Listening
80%
Importance

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking
80%
Importance

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension
80%
Importance

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Science
78%
Importance

Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Speaking
78%
Importance

Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Writing
78%
Importance

Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Active Learning
73%
Importance

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Complex Problem Solving
73%
Importance

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Coordination
70%
Importance

Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Monitoring
70%
Importance

Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Top 10 Abilities
Oral Comprehension
83%
Importance

The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Written Comprehension
83%
Importance

The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Deductive Reasoning
80%
Importance

The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Inductive Reasoning
80%
Importance

The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Oral Expression
80%
Importance

The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Problem Sensitivity
80%
Importance

The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Written Expression
80%
Importance

The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Information Ordering
78%
Importance

The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Near Vision
78%
Importance

The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Speech Clarity
75%
Importance

The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

Top 10 Work Activities
Getting Information
93%
Importance

Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
89%
Importance

Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
88%
Importance

Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Interacting With Computers
88%
Importance

Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Documenting/Recording Information
86%
Importance

Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
86%
Importance

Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems
85%
Importance

Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
85%
Importance

Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
84%
Importance

Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
84%
Importance

Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Detailed Work Activities

Advise others about environmental management or conservation.

Develop environmental sustainability plans or projects.

Compile environmental or climatological data.

Provide technical information or assistance to public.

Advise others on matters of public policy.

Prepare research or technical reports on environmental issues.

Assess compliance with environmental laws.

Monitor environmental impacts of production or development activities.

Plan environmental research.

Direct technical activities or operations.

Research environmental impact of industrial or development activities.

Prepare information or documentation related to legal or regulatory matters.

Develop sustainable industrial or development methods.

Review environmental permits, plans, or reports.

Supervise trainees.

Supervise scientific or technical personnel.

Develop theories or models of physical phenomena.

Research impacts of environmental conservation initiatives.

Develop plans to manage natural or renewable resources.

Work Context
Electronic Mail

How often do you use electronic mail in this job?

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Face-to-Face Discussions

How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?

Indoors, Environmentally Controlled

How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?

Structured versus Unstructured Work

To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?

Work With Work Group or Team

How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?

Freedom to Make Decisions

How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?

Contact With Others

How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?

Coordinate or Lead Others

How important is it to coordinate or lead others in accomplishing work activities in this job?

Deal With External Customers

How important is it to work with external customers or the public in this job?

Education
Majors
Major
Natural Resources Conservation and Research
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Marine Sciences
Sustainability Studies
Environmental Geosciences
Geography and Environmental Studies
Chemistry
Public Health
Interests
Investigative
100%
Importance

Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Realistic
77%
Importance

Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Conventional
58%
Importance

Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Artistic
48%
Importance

Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Enterprising
24%
Importance

Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Social
24%
Importance

Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Top 10 Work Styles
Attention to Detail
91%
Importance

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Integrity
90%
Importance

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Dependability
89%
Importance

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Analytical Thinking
88%
Importance

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Cooperation
80%
Importance

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Initiative
80%
Importance

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Adaptability/Flexibility
78%
Importance

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Independence
78%
Importance

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Achievement/Effort
77%
Importance

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Persistence
75%
Importance

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Work Values
Achievement
72%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Independence
72%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Recognition
72%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Working Conditions
67%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Relationships
58%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Support
53%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.