Industrial Ecologists

Overview
Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
Experience

Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

Education

Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

Job Training

Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Examples

These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include pharmacists, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, neurologists, and veterinarians.

Apply principles and processes of natural ecosystems to develop models for efficient industrial systems. Use knowledge from the physical and social sciences to maximize effective use of natural resources in the production and use of goods and services. Examine societal issues and their relationship with both technical systems and the environment.

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

Identify environmental impacts caused by products, systems, or projects.

Analyze changes designed to improve the environmental performance of complex systems and avoid unintended negative consequences.

Identify or develop strategies or methods to minimize the environmental impact of industrial production processes.

Conduct environmental sustainability assessments, using material flow analysis (MFA) or substance flow analysis (SFA) techniques.

Identify sustainable alternatives to industrial or waste-management practices.

Review research literature to maintain knowledge on topics related to industrial ecology, such as physical science, technology, economy, and public policy.

Redesign linear, or open-loop, systems into cyclical, or closed-loop, systems so that waste products become inputs for new processes, modeling natural ecosystems.

Prepare technical and research reports, such as environmental impact reports, and communicate the results to individuals in industry, government, or the general public.

Examine local, regional, or global use and flow of materials or energy in industrial production processes.

Monitor the environmental impact of development activities, pollution, or land degradation.

Build and maintain databases of information about energy alternatives, pollutants, natural environments, industrial processes, and other information related to ecological change.

Perform analyses to determine how human behavior can affect, and be affected by, changes in the environment.

Recommend methods to protect the environment or minimize environmental damage from industrial production practices.

Translate the theories of industrial ecology into eco-industrial practices.

Develop alternative energy investment scenarios to compare economic and environmental costs and benefits.

Carry out environmental assessments in accordance with applicable standards, regulations, or laws.

Examine societal issues and their relationship with both technical systems and the environment.

Plan or conduct field research on topics such as industrial production, industrial ecology, population ecology, and environmental production or sustainability.

Create complex and dynamic mathematical models of population, community, or ecological systems.

Evaluate the effectiveness of industrial ecology programs, using statistical analysis and applications.

Forecast future status or condition of ecosystems, based on changing industrial practices or environmental conditions.

Apply new or existing research about natural ecosystems to understand economic and industrial systems in the context of the environment.

Review industrial practices, such as the methods and materials used in construction or production, to identify potential liabilities and environmental hazards.

Identify or compare the component parts or relationships between the parts of industrial, social, and natural systems.

Prepare plans to manage renewable resources.

Perform environmentally extended input-output (EE I-O) analyses.

Plan or conduct studies of the ecological implications of historic or projected changes in industrial processes or development.

Research sources of pollution to determine environmental impact or to develop methods of pollution abatement or control.

Develop or test protocols to monitor ecosystem components and ecological processes.

Promote use of environmental management systems (EMS) to reduce waste or to improve environmentally sound use of natural resources.

Investigate the impact of changed land management or land use practices on ecosystems.

Research environmental effects of land and water use to determine methods of improving environmental conditions or increasing outputs, such as crop yields.

Provide industrial managers with technical materials on environmental issues, regulatory guidelines, or compliance actions.

Conduct applied research on the effects of industrial processes on the protection, restoration, inventory, monitoring, or reintroduction of species to the natural environment.

Conduct scientific protection, mitigation, or restoration projects to prevent resource damage, maintain the integrity of critical habitats, and minimize the impact of human activities.

Investigate accidents affecting the environment to assess ecological impact.

Conduct analyses to determine the maximum amount of work that can be accomplished for a given amount of energy in a system, such as industrial production systems and waste treatment systems.

Investigate the adaptability of various animal and plant species to changed environmental conditions.

Technology Skills
Technology
Example
Hot Technology
Analytical or scientific software
The MathWorks MATLAB
Computer aided design CAD software
Autodesk AutoCAD
Customer relationship management CRM software
Salesforce software
Data base management system software
Microsoft SQL Server
Data base user interface and query software
Microsoft Access
Document management software
Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
Electronic mail software
Email software
Enterprise resource planning ERP software
Microsoft Dynamics AX
Enterprise system management software
Splunk Enterprise
File versioning software
Git
Graphics or photo imaging software
Microsoft Visio
Internet browser software
Web browser software
Map creation software
ESRI ArcGIS software
Object or component oriented development software
Python
Office suite software
Microsoft Office
Operating system software
Microsoft Windows
Presentation software
Microsoft PowerPoint
Program testing software
Debugging software
Project management software
Microsoft SharePoint
Sales and marketing software
Sales Automation Software
Spreadsheet software
Microsoft Excel
Tools Used
Tool
Example
Communications Devices and Accessories
Multi-line telephone systems
Computer Equipment and Accessories
Laptop computers
Office machines and their supplies and accessories
Laser facsimile machines
Top 10 Knowledge Required
Mathematics
86%
Importance

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

Engineering and Technology
81%
Importance

Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

Chemistry
71%
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
68%
Importance

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

Physics
66%
Importance

Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.

English Language
65%
Importance

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

Production and Processing
65%
Importance

Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Design
64%
Importance

Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

Biology
63%
Importance

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

Geography
59%
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
Reading Comprehension
83%
Importance

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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.

Speaking
80%
Importance

Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Writing
80%
Importance

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

Critical Thinking
78%
Importance

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

Complex Problem Solving
75%
Importance

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

Judgment and Decision Making
75%
Importance

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Systems Analysis
75%
Importance

Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Active Learning
73%
Importance

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

Science
73%
Importance

Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Top 10 Abilities
Deductive Reasoning
83%
Importance

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

Inductive Reasoning
83%
Importance

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

Written Expression
80%
Importance

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

Oral Expression
78%
Importance

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

Problem Sensitivity
78%
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.

Information Ordering
75%
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
75%
Importance

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

Oral Comprehension
75%
Importance

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

Speech Clarity
75%
Importance

The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

Written Comprehension
75%
Importance

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

Top 10 Work Activities
Getting Information
94%
Importance

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

Analyzing Data or Information
93%
Importance

Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Interacting With Computers
91%
Importance

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

Processing Information
88%
Importance

Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information
87%
Importance

Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
82%
Importance

Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
81%
Importance

Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Thinking Creatively
78%
Importance

Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Documenting/Recording Information
77%
Importance

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

Making Decisions and Solving Problems
75%
Importance

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

Detailed Work Activities

Research environmental impact of industrial or development activities.

Conduct research of processes in natural or industrial ecosystems.

Prepare information or documentation related to legal or regulatory matters.

Appraise environmental impact of regulations or policies.

Plan environmental research.

Monitor environmental impacts of production or development activities.

Identify sustainable business practices.

Develop sustainable industrial or development methods.

Develop environmental sustainability plans or projects.

Develop mathematical models of environmental conditions.

Plan natural resources conservation or restoration programs.

Research impacts of environmental conservation initiatives.

Develop technical or scientific databases.

Advise others about environmental management or conservation.

Apply knowledge or research findings to address environmental problems.

Conduct research on social issues.

Analyze environmental data.

Develop plans to manage natural or renewable resources.

Prepare research or technical reports on environmental issues.

Communicate results of environmental research.

Promote environmental sustainability or conservation initiatives.

Review professional literature to maintain professional knowledge.

Work Context
Electronic Mail

How often do you use electronic mail in this job?

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?

Face-to-Face Discussions

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

Freedom to Make Decisions

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

Importance of Being Exact or Accurate

How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?

Spend Time Sitting

How much does this job require sitting?

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Indoors, Environmentally Controlled

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

Work With Work Group or Team

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

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?

Education
Majors   based on the broader career Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health
Major
Natural Resources Conservation and Research
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Marine Sciences
Sustainability Studies
Environmental Geosciences
Geography and Environmental Studies
Chemistry
Public Health
Interests
Investigative
96%
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.

Enterprising
58%
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.

Conventional
39%
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
34%
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.

Realistic
34%
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.

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
Analytical Thinking
95%
Importance

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

Attention to Detail
87%
Importance

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

Integrity
84%
Importance

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Initiative
79%
Importance

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Persistence
79%
Importance

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Achievement/Effort
78%
Importance

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

Dependability
78%
Importance

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

Innovation
78%
Importance

Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Independence
75%
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.

Cooperation
74%
Importance

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

Work Values
Achievement
86%
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
77%
Importance

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

Working Conditions
74%
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.

Recognition
67%
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.

Relationships
53%
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
48%
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.