Careers - Industry
A Thriving Industry
According to the Environmental Business Journal, the environmental industry in the United States is a $265 billion annual industry involving more than 32,000 individual companies. Other estimates places the number of jobs available in the U.S. for graduates with a degree in environmental science in the hundreds of thousands. As the world continues to acknowledge the need for responsible stewardship of our planet, environmental sectors are expected to grow, creating even more jobs in the future.
An environmental science degree offers you many employer options. Most large corporations employ professionals with expertise in environmental science to ensure compliance with environmental regulations. Many smaller firms are also engaged in environmental engineering and consulting, managing natural resources, or providing the monitoring necessary to comply with existing environmental laws. Since these laws require monitoring air, waters, and soils, and often filing environmental impact statements or monitoring biological diversity, they generate a need for graduates in all of our focal areas.
In addition to the public sector, jobs are available in state and federal agencies, as well as non-profit agencies with mandates to promote environmental issues and protect natural resources. Depending on the job and your training, your duties in these organizations could range from performing technical field services to tracking fish or wildlife populations to conducting outreach and educational activities.
Salaries will vary from region, although starting salaries for entry-level professionals with an undergraduate degree in environmental science typically range from about $30,000 to $40,000, depending on your career choice and where you work.
For an idea of what’s available near you, try visiting one of the national job boards or explore specialty environmental job listing services. Here are just a few of those available on the Web:
- EcoEmploy Job Listings
- The Environmental Careers Organization
- Environmental Career Center
- Environmental Careers
- The Environmental Directory
- EPA Job Openings
- Environmental Jobs & Careers
- National Council for Science and the Environment’s Campus to Careers Program
- N.C. Environmental Education Jobs & Internships