Top environmental scientist skills needed to get the job.

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What are the top 3 traits or skills every environmental scientist must have to excel?

Can you suggest any tips or insights to develop your environmental scientist expertise?

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john douglas in Saratoga Springs, New York

70 months ago

I would say HAZWOPER cert is a good thing. also any sort of experience with phase I work.

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Justin in Markham, Ontario

68 months ago

HAZWOPER is pretty much a mandatory thing regardless, it's not a skill or trait to be developed. A tip would be to become very involved in volunteer work. If you have no experience to offer, at least they know you are trying.

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enviroscientist in Asheville, North Carolina

32 months ago

To help clarify the above answers since I doubt many college environmental science programs even mention the word. HAZWOPER means; OSHA Standard 1910.120 "Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response". You need it to be allowed to work on a known or potentially contaminated site.
I would imagine from the couple years I worked as an environmental scientist that a person seeking entry level work out of college would stand a far better chance of landing a job possessing a HAZWOPER certification than anything else. It is a 40 hour course that will take you about a week to get and is given by some safety training firm in a city near you somewhere. Check yellow pages/google "hazwoper training" It's not real cheap I think and when I started out before the economy crashed firms were willing to pay for you to get it like they did for me. Not so much now. There is a annual refresher course req'd. and I think you also will need basic Red Cross CPR certification which is pretty cheap but after you get a job they'll pay for that. Also, if you are in school take a CAD course and see if your school offers GIS courses. I would speculate having a Hazwoper and CAD and ArcGIS skills would go a long way to helping you get an interview for a job with so many experienced people also looking for work.

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Mech-Phree in Chicago, Illinois

26 months ago

enviroscientist in Asheville, North Carolina said: To help clarify the above answers since I doubt many college environmental science programs even mention the word. HAZWOPER means; OSHA Standard 1910.120 "Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response". You need it to be allowed to work on a known or potentially contaminated site.
I would imagine from the couple years I worked as an environmental scientist that a person seeking entry level work out of college would stand a far better chance of landing a job possessing a HAZWOPER certification than anything else. It is a 40 hour course that will take you about a week to get and is given by some safety training firm in a city near you somewhere. Check yellow pages/ google "hazwoper training" It's not real cheap I think and when I started out before the economy crashed firms were willing to pay for you to get it like they did for me. Not so much now. There is a annual refresher course req'd. and I think you also will need basic Red Cross CPR certification which is pretty cheap but after you get a job they'll pay for that. Also, if you are in school take a CAD course and see if your school offers GIS courses. I would speculate having a Hazwoper and CAD and ArcGIS skills would go a long way to helping you get an interview for a job with so many experienced people also looking for work.

I have 12 license and certifications in the environmental field, one of them being the hazwoper certificate. Your right it's not cheap, some classes can ran you 1200 or so just for that certificate. But even with all my licenses and certificates (I'm a recent grad of a technical program) It's hard to find work because people want those with experience. My resume is definitely impressive, but i've only had one interview that pertained to my field so far.

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Marissa in Palmerton, Pennsylvania

9 months ago

I agree. It is hard to find a job. I have my Hazwoper 40 hours cert and an MS in environmental studies. I graduated in 2011 and work part-time and have only had a 2 Interviews. The jobs I find that are posted have been previously filled, require more experience, or are expired.

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