What is the job of an Environmental Engineer?

Environmental engineer


An environmental engineer is a professional who knows how to conceive, design, manage and supervise various construction projects related to the improvement of public health, the environment, the use of natural resources, and the protection of nature.
Moreover, within a company, he must constantly ensure that the measures he undertakes do not undermine productivity


  • Assess and monitor the design and management of various projects
  • They also correct wrong designs that harm the environment
  • Environmental assessment and other studies on engineering projects, such as feasibility assessment, financial budgeting, and also time budgeting
  • Estimate the various needs of the project, such as site equipment, selection of materials
  • Perform contract administrative work
  • Maintenance and management of completed engineering facilities
  • Manage and also supervise work related to pollution control
  • Research, develop and improve technology to protect the environment
  • Reduce pollution, such as biological decontamination technology
  • Develop less polluting and more resource-efficient processes
  • Develop management concepts for industry and commerce, such as automated facilities
  • Investigate, test, and analyze samples for air, water, waste and noise pollution, energy consumption, etc.
  • Environmental monitoring and auditing to assist organizations to comply with legal requirements
  • Provide professional advice on environmental management and also risk response
  • Carry out environmental studies and also calculate the life cycle of a device or project
  • Set up energy-efficient processes
  • They are responsible for choosing sustainable materials and also writing technical reports.
  • They are also responsible for calculating greenhouse gas emissions
  • Determine environmental preservation criteria or the design of substitutes for chemicals harmful to nature.

The environmental engineer measures the impact of the production methods of his structure on the environment. For example, it offers solutions to effectively combat water pollution or global warming
In addition, as most activities in the engineering industry directly or indirectly affect the environment, many engineers from different fields are called upon to put their expertise to good use.

Education and Licensure

To obtain the title of engineer, regardless of specialization, you must complete your four-year bachelor’s degree. In addition, entry-level positions do not require a master’s degree as the minimum qualification. Some colleges in the United States however offer a five (5) year program that leads to a master’s degree.
The course work for environmental engineering students include

  • Fluid mechanics
  • Chemical engineering process design
  • Elements of geology water quality control
  • Engineering economy transport processes.

That of a master’s degree include

  • Environmental Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Fundamentals of biodegradation
  • Landfill design
  • Operations and processes in sanitary engineering
  • Free surface flow and also Ecology.


  • Hydrology
  • Coastal engineering
  • Ecological engineering
  • Applied mechanics
  • Engineering geology
  • Engineering physics
  • Navigation Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Agricultural engineering
  • Forestry engineering

In the United States, licensure is not a primary requirement for entry-level positions. However, some states require a license for engineers to practice.


In the United States, the average salary of an environmental engineer is $92,120. However, their salary may range from $55,450 to $144,670, depending on the area of specialization and years of experience.

Employment Sectors

Over the years, the environmental dimension and sustainable development have become major concerns in the engineering industry. Many companies, especially big ones, hire engineers specialized in this field.
There are, therefore, many employment sectors in the environment. The main ones are the industrial environment, the energy sector, construction, the maritime sector, the agricultural sector, the urban environments, the forestry environment, transport, research and development (R&D), and materials. Consequently, it is possible to place yourself within companies.

Required Qualities

In addition to his essential skills in biology and geology, he must;

  • Demonstrate solid legal knowledge
  • Demonstrate economic and managerial knowledge to have a global vision of issues related to the environment.
  • He must also be able to make company personnel aware of his approach to persuade and not impose changes in behavior.
  • This profession, therefore, requires vast technical expertise and also communication and teaching skills

Work Conditions

The environmental engineer can carry out his activity within a local community, a design office, or even a company. He is required to travel very regularly to effectively analyze the impact of his company’s activity on the environment.

Career Evolution

In the public sector, the career development of an environmental engineer is essentially linked to his seniority. In the private sector, on the other hand, the position of Environmental Director is more easily profiled after a few years of experience

Other names for this profession

  • Ecological engineer
  • Environmental manager

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