As concerns over global warming and the impact of environmental toxins on human health continues to grow, solutions continue to be sought through advances in environmental engineering. In fact, the demand and scope of various environmental engineering jobs has significantly increased over several decades. At its core, environmental engineering is focused on maintaining public health and safety by addressing issues related to the handling of hazardous wastes, recycling, air, and water pollution. Of course, all jobs in environmental engineering also address the environmental impact of these issues, as well as the preservation of wildlife.
Many types of environmental engineering jobs offer an opportunity to specialize in different areas. For instance, a large number of environmental engineers work in the public sector and are engaged in designing new measures and evaluating existing systems to contain and treat industrial and municipal wastewater. However, a number of positions in environmental engineering afford the opportunity to work in an advisory or consultant capacity. For instance, some engineers specialize in determining the environmental consequences of new construction projects by conducting impact studies and quality control analysis. These kinds of environmental engineering jobs are closely aligned with the aspects of civil engineering, while the separation and treatment of wastewater integrates the principals of chemical engineering.
While many environmental engineering jobs concentrate on a specific locale or region, others strive to meet the environmental challenges faced on a global scale. For example, many engineers direct their skills toward analyzing the impact of global warming and developing innovative ways to minimize its effects. Engineers focused on worldwide implications of this issue often specialize in problem solving specific environmental hazards, such as acid rain, deforestation, or industrial pollution. In addition, they may assist in the remediation of soil and waterways to improve the potential for human habitation and the restoration of wildlife.
Some environmental engineers are involved in helping to develop and enforce environmental preservation regulations. In fact, some individuals expand their expertise in engineering and chemistry to include a formal education in law. These engineers possess a law degree as well as a degree in engineering. In addition, these kinds of environmental engineering jobs require admittance to a legal bar as well as an engineering license.
Regardless of the area of specialization, all aspects of environmental engineering involves the application of a broad range of disciplines. Certainly, it’s necessary to possess knowledge of the principles of chemistry and civil or mechanical engineering. However, some environmental engineering jobs require additional training and proficiency in the fundamentals of biology, geology, ecology, geography, and agricultural engineering. In addition, most environmental engineers are required to be familiar with current public health laws and regulations.