How much do environmental scientists make?
Environmental scientists research ways to protect the environment as well as manage environmental resources intelligently. The environment is the next top issue for the current US administration after COVID-19. So there will be lots of opportunities for environmental job growth. Your opportunities increase when you upgrade your portfolio with Geographic Information System (GIS) skills. When you are looking for a meaningful job with gainful employment, then this might be the right field for you. In the United States, the average base salary that environmental scientists earn annually is $72,444. This number comes from 522 environmental science job salaries data collected by Indeed in 2021.
Top environmental science companies
The following are some outstanding companies that employ environmental scientists both in the US and internationally. So they might be on your target list for employment.
AECOM is a full-service, integrated global infrastructure firm. From planning, design and engineering to consulting and construction management, the firm provides clients with professional services across the full range of project phases. It serves multiple sectors, such as transportation, facilities, environment, energy, water and government. AECOM ranked 163rd on the 2020 Fortune 500 USA list.
HDR is a design firm engaged in engineering, architectural, environmental and building services. It is also an employee-owned company. The firm’s first project was the design of a power plant for the city of Ogallala, Nebraska. Similar projects followed as the firm rose. Engineering News-Record lists HDR as the seventh largest design firm in the U.S. for 2019.
Jacobs Engineering Group is a technical professional services firm. It provides technical, professional, and architectural services as well as scientific and professional consulting to clients worldwide. Notably, Jacob Engineering Group has been ranked No.1 among the top 500 design firms by Engineering News Record for three consecutive years from 2018 to 2020.
Best GIS/Science courses
There are tons of online courses that allow you to build your knowledge of environmental science, but very few offer the combination of Science and GIS. Finding the right classes can be very difficult with so many options. If you are interested in environmental science and data analysis through GIS check out a ranking of the Top 5 GIS Science programs. The kinds of topics that help you to leverage your environmental data for reporting and decision making are:
- Processing imagery from UAVs
- Creating map applications in the AWS cloud
- Scripting in Python to manage data
- Programming a map decision dashboard
How to get an environmental job
If you want to enter the environmental science industry, I suggest a 3 step approach.
One choice that most people make is to study an environmental science related major in college. Many people may want to continue their education after getting a degree from college, and this is where the fork in the road comes into play. Some go on to graduate school to further their education, while others choose to focus on technical skills. For example you might want to be better at geographic analysis of your environmental data by getting a GIS certificate through an online program like Bootcamp GIS. Or you might want to get a UAV pilot license and learn how to collect environmental data from the air. Technical bootcamps are a great complement to your degrees.
In the job application, education is one of the criteria for job recruiters to hire you, and your work experience also accounts for a large part. People prefer candidates who have had similar work experience, because these people can grasp the job faster with their previous experience. Therefore, getting an internship is a good way to gain experience. Not only will it make your resume look better, but it will also allow you to demonstrate real world skills.
Meeting some environmental people is part of the recipe of determining your career path. You can network with people and groups on social media, such as Facebook and Linkedin. I encourage you to find 5 people in the environmental field to connect with and ask them for a chat. You will be surprised how many people don’t mind giving advice to those that want to follow in their footsteps. By meeting good people and expanding your social circle, you are bound to learn about new career opportunities.
Jobs in environmental science
There are many different jobs that involve environmental science. If you want a more detailed explanation of jobs in environmental science, see this list of different jobs in the environmental science field. You can evaluate the return on investment of a GIS Certificate with a career advisement session here.