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Environmental Scientists and Specialists

Environmental Scientists and Specialists
Quick Facts : Environmental Scientists and Specialists*
2010 Median Pay$61,700
Entry Level EducationBachelor's degree
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 201289,400
Job Outlook19% (About as fast as average)
Employment Change16,700

Environmental scientists and specialists use their knowledge of the natural sciences to protect the environment. They identify problems and find solutions that minimize hazards to the health of the environment and the population.

What Environmental Scientists and Specialists Do

  • Collect environmental data, such as samples of air, soil, water, food, and other materials, for scientific analysis
  • Analyze samples, surveys, and other information to identify and assess threats to the environment
  • Develop plans to prevent, control, or fix environmental problems, such as pollution and harm to land or water
  • Provide information and guidance to government officials, businesses, and the general public on possible environmental hazards and health risks
  • Prepare technical reports and presentations that explain their research and findings

Work Environment

Environmental scientists and specialists work in offices and laboratories. They also may spend time in the field gathering data and monitoring environmental conditions firsthand. Most environmental scientists and specialists work full time.
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Job Outlook

Employment of environmental scientists and specialists is expected to grow by 19 percent from 2010 to 2020 with most employment growth projected to be in private consulting firms that help clients monitor and manage environmental concerns and comply with regulations.
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In May 2011, the average salary of environmental scientists and specialists was $61,700.
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Environmental Scientists and Specialists*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Environmental Scientists and Specialists


Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.

Environmental Scientists and Specialists*
Percent Change in Employment

Environmental Scientists and Specialists


Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.


Becoming a Environmental Scientists and Specialists

For most entry-level jobs, environmental scientists and specialists must have a bachelor's degree in environmental science or another natural science, such as biology, chemistry, or geosciences.
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