Environmental Studies

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Environmental Studies
Area Employers Strategies

Planning

  • Air Quality

  • Aviation

  • Building/Zoning

  • Land-Use

  • Consulting

  • Recreation

  • Transportation

  • Water Resources

Federal, state, regional, and local government

Corporations

Consulting firms

Banks

Real estate development companies

Law firms

Architectural firms

Market research companies

Colleges and universities

Nonprofit groups

Get on planning boards, commissions, and committees. Have a planning specialty (transportation, water resources, air quality, etc.). Master communication, mediation and writing skills. Network in the community and get to know "who's who" in your specialty area. Develop a strong scientific or technical background. Diversify your knowledge base. For example, in areas of law, economics, politics, historical preservation, or architecture.

Environmental Education and Communication

  • Teaching

  • Journalism

  • Tourism

  • Law Regulation

  • Compliance

  • Political

  • Action/Lobbying

Federal, state, and local government 

Public and private elementary, middle, and high schools

Two-year community colleges

Four-year institutions

Corporations

Consulting firms

Media

Nonprofit organizations

Political Action Committees

Master public speaking skills. Learn certification/licensure requirements for teaching public K-12 schools. Develop creative hands-on strategies for teaching/ learning. Publish articles in newsletters or newspapers. Learn environmental laws and regulations. Join professional associations and environmental groups as ways to network. Become active in environmental political organizations.

Solid waste management

  • Chemistry

  • Engineering

  • Hydrology

  • Logistics

  • Planning

  • Recycling

  • Transportation

  • Compliance

Federal, state, and local government

Private waste management firms

Consulting firms

Nonprofit organizations

Take some scientific or engineering courses. Choose an unusual material and think of creative ways to recycle or reuse it.

Hazardous Waste management

  • Hydrogeology

  • Quality Control

  • Risk Assessment

  • Environmental Engineering

  • Public and Environmental Health

  • Industrial Hygiene

  • Law

  • Biology

  • Chemistry

  • Geology

  • Chemical Engineering

  • Planning

  • Compliance

Federal, state, and local government

Private companies that generate hazardous waste in production

Hazardous waste management firms

Consulting firms

Nonprofit organizations

Consider double major in hard science or engineering. Attend public meetings on this issue. Get laboratory experience. Gain computer expertise. Work in government office or regulatory agency. Get experience with technical writing.

Get involved with local chapters of citizen watch groups. Become familiar with Superfund and its activities.

Air Quality Management

  • Engineering

  • Planning

  • Analytical Chemistry

  • Environmental

  • Quality Analysis

  • Meteorology

  • Risk Assessment

  • Safety and Health Management

  • Toxicology

  • Project Development

  • Compliance

Federal, state, and local government

Private industry

Consulting firms

Nonprofit organizations

Develop a specific skill in the areas of engineering, chemistry or laboratory work. Work at state and local agencies as a way to start an air quality career.

Water Quality management

  • Aquatic Ecology

  • Aquatic Toxicology

  • Law

  • Biology

  • Civil/Environmental Engineering

  • Hydrogeology and Hydrology

  • Drinking Water Supply and Treatment

  • Waste Water Treatment

  • Groundwater Protection

  • Surface Water Management

  • Estuary Management

  • Wetlands Protection

  • Compliance

  • Industrial Engineering

Federal, state, and local government

Corporations

Consulting firms

Nonprofit organizations

Treatment plants

Get a strong chemistry background. Become familiar with high-tech tools. Develop computer skills. Focus on a specific technical field. Obtain laboratory skills.

Land and Water Conservatio

  • Biology

  • Ecology

  • Planning

    Geographic Information Systems

  • Preserve Management

  • Law

  • Natural Resource Management

  • Soil Conservation

  • Land Acquisition

Federal, state, and local government

Indian nations

Utilities and timber companies

Consulting firms

Nonprofit organizations

Land trust organizations such as The Nature Conservancy or Trust for Public Land

Get a solid background in the basic sciences while obtaining a broad-based education. Obtain legal, real estate, and financial skills through coursework, internships or part-time jobs. Volunteer through the Student Conservation Association (SCA) and hold an office. Keep up with new funding sources.

Consider law school for careers as counsel to environmental organizations.

Fishery and Wildlife Management

  • Aquaculture

  • Botany

  • Data Management

  • Biology

  • Hatchery Management

  • Marine Biology

  • Ecology

  • Education

  • Research

  • Planning

Federal, state, and local government

Marine sport fisheries

Utility companies

Developers

Timber companies

Wildlife ranges

Scientific foundations

Zoological parks

Hunting and fishing clubs

Consulting firms

Nonprofit organizations

Get a broad scientific education. Obtain skills in areas such as planning, administration, communications, and negotiation through coursework, internships, or part-time jobs. Get experience and skills in computers, statistics and computer modeling. Join the Peace Corps as a segue way into federal government positions. Get on government agencies' job registers.

Parks and Outdoor Recreation

  • Administration and Management

  • Law Enforcement

  • Recreation Planning

  • Natural Resource Management

  • Research

  • Site Operations and Maintenance

  • Ecotourism

  • Direct Mail Merchandising

National Park Service

Federal agencies

State, county or city parks

Resorts

Marinas

Privately owned facilities

Nonprofit organizations

Get a broad-based education that will develop both technical and interpersonal skills. Gain expertise in additional areas such as communications, writing, fund-raising, negotiation, and computer applications. Obtain working knowledge of a foreign language such as Spanish.

Forestry

  • Consulting

  • Entomology

  • Hydrology

  • Natural Resource Management

  • Planning

  • Research

  • International Forestry

  • Urban Forestry

Federal, state, and local government

Consulting firms

Timber companies

Nonprofit organizations

Obtain skills with computers, statistics, and accounting through coursework, internships or part-time jobs. Develop good communication and public relations skills. Get a minor or double major in a technical area (soil science, wildlife or surveying) or in an arts and science area (business, economics, political science or computer science).

Environmental Law

Private firms

Corporations

Federal and State government agencies such as Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Justice and Attorney General Office

Nonprofit organizations such as Green Action and Natural Resources Defense Council

Law degree required.

Strategies for placement in Environmental Studies and Science

  • Environmental studies and environmental science differ from each other in the amount of science course work needed.
  • Environmental studies provides a broad base of hard sciences as well as liberal arts or social science coursework.
  • Environmental science incorporates hard sciences and environmental sciences.
  • Choice depends upon career focus, for example, administration or policy-making versus technical areas or research.
  • Combine liberal arts skills with analytical skills to increase employability. Formally, obtain a double major in these areas or minor in one of these areas. Informally, obtain these skills through internships, co-ops, volunteer work, summer jobs or independent research projects.
  • Be familiar with current environmental laws and regulations. Stay up-to-date with changing environmental legislation.
  • Join related professional associations; read related literature and journals to keep 
    up with new developments.
  • Attend seminars, conferences and workshops sponsored by professional associations or public interest groups.
  • Network and get to know people who are working in area of interest.
  • Research agencies/organizations of interest before applying for a position.
  • Learn local, state and federal government job application procedures.
  • Obtain graduate degree for job security/advancement.

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section
504/ADA /ADEA Employer.

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