5 Careers for Environmental Science Majors
As we continue to experience the impact of climate change firsthand, protecting the planet and maintaining its life support services has become a major priority for businesses, government agencies, and the public. Environmental issues affect quality of life for people and the survival of all species—and have major implications on politics, commerce, social issues, and more.
For anyone wondering: “Is environmental science a good major?” It’s not surprising that the answer is yes. Green jobs are expected to grow faster than the national average through 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And more and more companies are focusing on sustainability as a major corporate initiative.
In this post, we’ll answer the question: “What can you do with an environmental science degree?” as we explore today’s top careers for environmental science majors. Read on to learn how you can make a meaningful difference with these environmental science career opportunities.
Some of today’s most popular environmental science careers include:
1. Environmental Scientists
What do environmental scientists do? They work to protect the health of people—and the planet—by identifying various forms of pollution and recommending or implementing new guidelines and regulations. Where do environmental scientists work? They work in a variety of settings, from government agencies to corporate environments, to nonprofits. The majority of environmental scientists have a Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree and earn a median salary of $94,215.
2. Environmental Specialists
Many environmental scientists choose to specialize in a field of particular interest. Types of environmental specialists include Climate Change Analysts, Environmental Health & Safety Specialists, Environmental Restoration Planners, Industrial Ecologists, and more. Many environmental specialists participate in internships before taking on entry level jobs. With environmental science degree programs like the one at Tompkins Cortland Community College, students can explore different areas of interest while earning an associate degree.
3. Climate Change Policy Analysts
Students interested in environmental science government jobs might consider a career as a Climate Change Policy Analyst. These individuals analyze economic, scientific, and other data to provide objective environmental policy recommendations to government agencies or other organizations. With an annual median salary of $94,215, the majority of Climate Change Policy Analysts hold a Master’s degree or higher.
4. Water Resource Specialists
Environmental science studies can lead to high-paying jobs. With environmental science degree specialties like this one, you can expect to earn a median annual salary of $136,885, with or $271,498 for highly experienced workers. One of the most lucrative careers for environmental science majors, Water Resource Specialists are tasked with solving issues like water quality, water supply, or regulatory compliance issues. Workers in this field typically hold a Bachelor’s degree or higher.
5. Environmental Economists
When it comes to other jobs in environmental science that offer high pay, it’s worth taking a look at the salaries of Environmental Economists. These finance professionals study how the environment and the economy affect each other. They make a median salary of $118,566 per year, which rises to $199,604 for highly experienced workers. The vast majority of Environmental Economists hold a Master’s degree or higher.
The environmental studies program at Tompkins Cortland Community College is a liberal arts program that provides you with a broad background in science, math, social sciences, and the humanities. Students will develop the ability to understand concepts related to the environment and our effect on it, and to solve practical problems and find better ways of meeting complex environmental issues. The environmental studies degree is designed to prepare you for transfer to a related bachelor’s degree program.
We hope you benefitted from our list of environmental science careers. With environmental science degree programs like the one at TC3, you can prepare for a rewarding journey that can make a true impact on both your professional career and the health of our planet.