We are faced with mounting environmental challenges that require experts who can find ways to address local water shortages and food deserts, create national environmental policies and develop actionable plans, slow global warming, and so much more. The urgency of the current climate crisis has forced government and world leaders to advocate and partner with industry professionals to find solutions. According to the US Bureau of Labour and Statistics, employment of environmental engineers is expected to grow by 4% from 2021 to 2031, a promising increase.
At Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering, geography and environmental engineering master’s programmes prepare students for academic, industry, or research careers. With hands-on experience through industry partnerships, a curriculum balanced in theory and application, and a collaborative cross-disciplinary environment, students here are given academic autonomy while trained by expert faculty. The university’s expansive alumni network makes tangible impacts locally while also solving global challenges. To achieve the same, here are three exciting jobs all budding environmental engineers should know about, and the backgrounds needed to land these positions.
Whether working in a government agency, a consulting firm, or a private business, the main scope of work for environmental scientists is to monitor the impact of human choices on the environment and how these environmental changes impact humans. An environmental scientist’s duties include cleaning polluted areas, reducing waste, advising policymakers, and maintaining healthy ecological balances.
Students interested in becoming environmental scientists should look for classes and internships that include work in computer modeling and data analysis. And while prospective environmental engineering students are expected to have taken biology, chemistry, and physics courses, those who wish to specialise in this career should explore topics such as hydrology or waste management.
A typical day for an environmental scientist can include collecting samples of soil, water, air, or food and bringing these to a lab to check for contaminants. In addition, to having a science-rich background and interest in specific specialisations, according to Zip Recruiter, noteworthy skills for environmental scientists also include Project Management as well as Technical and Analytical Skills.
Traditionally known to be heavily ingrained in the math and sciences, a career in environmental engineering also involves advocacy for the health and wellbeing of communities by establishing environmentally friendly policies and programmes, such as the Clean Air Act (CAA), Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), and other economic incentives for choosing cleaner energy options. While environmental engineers work with urban planners, at construction sites, or in labs, their primary scope of work is to help governments and businesses reach sustainability goals, assist in building infrastructure, and plan for alternative energy solutions.
Students interested in this career path must first confirm that their undergraduate environmental engineering programme is accredited by a professional association like ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology), which is necessary to become a licensed professional engineer.
Environmental engineers are also brought in for the remediation and elimination of environmental hazards, including ensuring environmental compliance, planning alternative energy solutions, and more. Due to the nature of an environmental engineer’s work, extra job skills include Wastewater Management and Project Management Collaboration.
Public Health Engineer
Public health engineers aim to bolster health and safety by working with government officials to develop new policies and procedures as well as design tools and systems to fulfill health measures that impact a community and/or population. Equipped with the working knowledge of practices and techniques in sanitary engineering, public facility design, and construction, public health engineers must also create complex written instructions and perform engineering calculations.
Students drawn to maintaining a clean environment and collaborating with different industries ranging from government to small businesses should seek a career as a public health engineer. According to Indeed, noteworthy skills that public health engineers should possess include Research and Analytical Skills and Programme Development skills.
A path planned for you
Clearly, the job market and opportunities for environmental engineers are vast. For those interested in topics like advocacy, community growth, and public health policy, Johns Hopkins Engineering’s MA in Environmental Health and Engineering is a good option. Students with a background in science and STEM-related topics such as engineering, physics, geology, and other scientific disciplines consider the MS in Geography and Environmental Engineering programme.
Whether you’re driven to tackle climate change, create policies to reduce emissions or find solutions to sustainability challenges, Johns Hopkins Engineering has a master’s degree for you.