Are environmental engineer job opportunities growing or declining?

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Are jobs in this industry on the rise? Are there any sub-sectors that are growing?

Where are the jobs? Which places have the most environmental engineer opportunities?

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Rougneck in Madison, Mississippi

72 months ago

You have to be willing to move and know you aren't going to make $100k a year with no experience. Try some of the national firms working entry level. Companies like URS will hire you out of college. Without significant air or Title V experience, you will have a hard time.

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Shekar in Bangalore, India

69 months ago

It is disheartening to read about the market condition for Environmental Engineers. I was planning on pursuing my Masters in Env Engg from US. I quit a Environmental Risk Management firm after 27 months of experience so that I could prepare for the tests. Given the financial crunch public universities have little money to offer aids to international students (and the few ho receive it are the best among the best) and to top it, given to the same reason, tuition and fees are being increased by 10-20 per. So its a goodbye to my dream of pursuing a Masters in US.

Anyhow, the situation is similar in India. In most consulting firms and industries Environmental Engineers are treated ill. Luckily, I got recruited at a really good firm. We get paid peanuts, at times not even that. And most of the jobs have absolutely nothing to do with saving the environment.

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Undergrad in Sindelfingen, Germany

68 months ago

This is really discouraging

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Undergrad in Sindelfingen, Germany

68 months ago

This is really discouraging

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shadman in Toronto, Ontario

68 months ago

I don't really think its declining. I am studying at University of Toronto & jobs are pretty good here. One of the biggest problem for people with MS in Environmental Eng is that the MS degree is mainly thesis based & that kind of degree was developed to have career in Teaching or having further Education (like Ph.D or Post Doc). You can't really expect an entry level job with a MS in Env.Science or Env.Eng. Nowadays, companies want something with a combination of Business & Management. One of the senior alumni I recently met, graduated from U of T in Environmental Science focusing on Geoscience & did an MBA from Schulich school of Business. Now, he works for a Nickel Mining Company as Chief Environmental Advisor. So, an MBA on the CV gives a very different outlook. I'm focusing on Environmental Physics & Sustainability and doing a minor in Meteorology. So, after I finish up, I am also targeting an MBA or an MS in Environmental Economics. and One of the recent journals that I saw, USA has the 3rd Largest job field in Environment after Bio-Med & IT. So, its not really true that USA don't have jobs in Environment. As I said, companies look for for something different in new graduates ! So, I would definitely say, Go for an MBA or Post-Diploma in Project Management or a certificate in GIS-GPS. I hope it will help !

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enviroengineer in Edmonton, Alberta

68 months ago

What are Job propects for Phd in environmental engineering; I do not see too many courses taught in this field at least in Bsc degree of Civil Engineering where I am planning to get my Phd. What kind of departments I can apply for; my Undergraduate is in Agricultural engineering (major in Irrigation Engineering), but not too many schools offer this discipline. I am too environmental.

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shadman in Toronto, Ontario

67 months ago

enviroengineer in Edmonton, Alberta said: What are Job propects for Phd in environmental engineering; I do not see too many courses taught in this field at least in Bsc degree of Civil Engineering where I am planning to get my Phd. What kind of departments I can apply for; my Undergraduate is in Agricultural engineering (major in Irrigation Engineering), but not too many schools offer this discipline. I am too environmental.

I am not really sure why do you want a Ph.d in that field anyway (unless you are completely into becoming a professor !). It has such a great job field with almost no competition. University of Guelph has the biggest Agricultural Department in Canada. I would recommend you go there; if it is possible for you. & Yes, Civil Engineering does not have that much environment related courses because they spend more time on structural design related areas. But, if you are really interested in Environment, it would be wise to go in the Department of Earth Science which has a combination of both Environment & Agriculture........ cheers !

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Robert in Dutch Harbor, Alaska

67 months ago

You could consider hitting the recruiting firms heavily as part of your job search, they aggressively try to fill positions because they get a cut of your salary and a sign on bonus when you roll over to the company. Keep calling them to, especially if you have other competing interviews. Secondly entry level positions are looking for go getters who will be billable, that means they are interested in someone who can write, will meet deadlines, and will have a full time card every week that they can bill to the client.

The people making the decision to hire you are likely project managers, regardless of education or title, and they likely work under stressful crushing budgetary pressures and many are very jaded. They don't want to hire someone who turns simple assignments into science projects, reinventing wheels that don't need to be reinvented, and burn up budgets doing it. You may not be inspired by what work that company does, but it is still valuable experience, and it is easier to get that next better job if you are currently employed. At least you will make valuable contacts in the office, those people move on to other companies, and that's a reference you have in another firm now. So read up on what the interviewing company does, and feign interest in project management when they ask where you see yourself in 5 years. They will probably be more impressed that you brought a copy of a Phase 1 report you read to the interview to discuss and ask how much it costs to do one etc, than you telling them about your senior thesis in college on the effects of deforestation on aboriginal fertility rites (unless some of your college work relates directly to the job, then by all means, that's how I got my first job).

Lastly, environmental is a regulatory driven concern. Regulations vary from state to state, so if you are willing to relocate to an area where environmental is booming, then your chances are that much better. Move back home later.

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sowmya in Bangalore, India

67 months ago

undergrad in La Jolla, California said: I'm an undergrad, just started my first year. I am currently an electrical engineering major, but have been considering switching to environmental. My logic is just that I want to do meaningful work that helps the environment, or helps "green" causes. I'm going to be taking on about 80k in loans, but don't really mind living frugally when I graduate. Is the job market really this bad out there? I just dropped out of a military ROTC program (guaranteed job) because I hated it and thought I should pursue my passion at school, trying to doing more environmentally friendly type stuff. I'd been agonizing the decision for awhile, but told myself it would be okay as long as I worked hard to outperform my peers. Now I'm not so sure if I should switch to enviro eng since apparantly there are more jobs in electrical

hi there, my situation is kinda similar, i'm currently doing my electronics and communication engineering and will graduate in one and a half years .i realized a few months back that i'm really passionate about the environment and want to switch to environmental sciences after i graduate. but is it really that difficult to get decent jobs , even with masters in this stream?? now am really confused , frustrated and i don't know for sure what i should do . i was thinking of applying in the US or UK ..i'd like some advise regarding this. please do let me know asap.

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sowmya in Bangalore, India

67 months ago

undergrad in La Jolla, California said: I'm an undergrad, just started my first year. I am currently an electrical engineering major, but have been considering switching to environmental. My logic is just that I want to do meaningful work that helps the environment, or helps "green" causes. I'm going to be taking on about 80k in loans, but don't really mind living frugally when I graduate. Is the job market really this bad out there? I just dropped out of a military ROTC program (guaranteed job) because I hated it and thought I should pursue my passion at school, trying to doing more environmentally friendly type stuff. I'd been agonizing the decision for awhile, but told myself it would be okay as long as I worked hard to outperform my peers. Now I'm not so sure if I should switch to enviro eng since apparantly there are more jobs in electrical

hi there, my situation is kinda similar, i'm currently doing my electronics and communication engineering and will graduate in one and a half years .i realized a few months back that i'm really passionate about the environment and want to switch to environmental sciences after i graduate. but is it really that difficult to get decent jobs , even with masters in this stream?? now am really confused , frustrated and i don't know for sure what i should do . i was thinking of applying in the US or UK ..i'd like some advise regarding this. please do let me know asap.

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resh in Madras, India

65 months ago

hi my situation is similar too,im currently doing my electronics and communication engineering and will graduate in an year.im interested in doing my masters in environmental engineering but i heard it is dificult to get a job unless we have a phd.i have no idea as to how i should go about it now,i would apreciate it if i could get some advise.i would also like to know what are the best colleges that offer masters in this field.

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shadman in Toronto, Ontario

65 months ago

hey, if you guys are in Electrical Engineering, then I would recommend not to move from that area. I am studying at University of Toronto doing my Environmental Physics degree. It is hard for us to get jobs in this area because most of the companies hire Industrial Engineers or Civil Engineers in this category because they go through some similar type of courses like us. & as I said before, after your Engineering degree, its better to go for an MBA. It will at least give you a high paid salary job !! I'm going to do that too. If you get opportunity in the future, you can finish off your Master's degree part-time ! that's the best review that I have found from the current Environmental Engineers of Canada. BSc/BASc/MBA gives a very different outlook. & for best institutions for Environment, there are certainly a few. In Canada, McGill University is undeniably the best, No doubt on that, but you need to learn French for that !! U of Toronto & U of British Columbia is also fast paced but the living expense is beyond imagination !! so don't come here ! In USA, if you can manage the tuition fees, Yale U & U of Michigan are fantastic ! & as for UK, if you go there you'll get bankrupted, there is nothing for Environment People !!!...........hope this will help ! Cheers !

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joey in Newark, New Jersey

65 months ago

i gotta be honest, ive read on this site and other sites numerous postings about how people cannot find jobs and i gotta be honest....I think it's just your own faults of either not wanting to move or not looking in the right places. Just in the past month alone i have a list of 12+ companies ive found online alone that are hiring in the area and if not within my immediate area, not to far of a relocation...many of them looking for environmental students straight out of college. I guess its all relative to where you live...over here in NJ, we already screwed up our waterways and landscapes and now have many regulations and orders being passed for big companies to help reverse the damage and for new companies to not damage...im not even in school and im 26 years old about to make the jump from construction to environmental science an couldnt be more confident in my future.

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Really_Annoyed in Randolph, New Jersey

65 months ago

Joey, tell me about the opportunities you found. I'm in New Jersey and I go to Transitioning to Green networking group in Morristown each month. I'm interested in green building. I've been looking for places in the area who could use some help, even for free to get a foot in the door.

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Enviro Engineer in San Francisco, California

63 months ago

I would say to all who are thinking of going to Graduate School for Environmental Engineering, please don't. Unless the school is paying for it through Graduate Research or Teaching Assistanships it is complete waste of money. The Enviromental field is all about Government funding. There is some private work for permitting, but a normal company will do at least 70% of its revenue from State, Local and Federal Governments. This funding is drying up fast. No matter how big the issue, you cannot do anything without funding. Most Enviro companies are not hiring much, most ads are resume collectors, just to see what is out there...

My company runs ads like this to see if a top player from a competitor would apply or to gauge how low they can pay entry level staff..Many Enviro people have not seen a raise in the last 4 years and in real terms (if you count for inflation) thier salaries are lower. Most people agree that everyone peaked in salary terms around 2009.

The industry is shrinking with layoffs a daily occurence. If you still want to pursue Grad Studies, lower your starting salary expectation. Normally if you are lucky to find a job you will get around 35-40k a year..and will be on the field non stop. I know plently of civil and enviro graduates from good regional public schools who cannot find any work and are working odd shifts at bars and fast food places...3.25/hr + tips, just enough to make rent, utilities, gas and watch one movie a month and drink some Coors light..

I dont know if things will turn around. But there is hella over-capacity at this point of time...too many civil engineers unemployed..
If you are still reading this and want to get into this field here are some helpful tips
Set your sites on small mom+popp startups. These will treat you with respect and maybe hire you. Stay away from gaints like AECOM, CH2MHill, URS, AMEC etc..

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belle in Bangalore, India

62 months ago

hi,can anyone please tell me if doing a masters in green technology is any good?? please do suggest some good universities .. i'd also like to know about the job opportunities ? .

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Malvika in Delhi, India

61 months ago

Really_Annoyed in Randolph, New Jersey said: Envirochess, check out Transitioning to Green networking group which meets in Morristown each month. It's a good group and you will make some useful contacts. It's specific to the field. I have a Master's in Environmental Policy, Natural Resource concentration.

Hi
I even i was also thinking of pursuing masters in environmental economics and policy from US, but i am again unsure about job opportunities in this field. Can you suggest me if this is good course to pursue in terms of jobS>
I am doing environmental engineering from India

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Mario in Jakarta, Indonesia

61 months ago

hi i'm an enviromental engineer graduatee with an bachelor degree, i was just wondering is it easier to search for enviro related career in developing country or is it easier in deve;oped country? and is it really that hard to search an enviro career?

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Joseph in Tallahassee, Florida

61 months ago

For all the people who say 'don't go into masters in environmental engineering!!' I just have to say lol at you. You have to look at everything. Most of these guys who can't find a job...do they have internship experience? What does their GPA look like? What does their resume look like? Everything factors in. Getting a master's degree is probably the only way you're going to get a job. Within a few years people with bachelor's won't even be looked at. This is reality so I suggest you get on that M.S. or M.Eng if you can. Another way to get a job is through connections. Every engineering student out there should know this. All you dolts applying for 200 + jobs on indeed.com or monster will not get responses because these things don't work.

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Enviro engg in Douglasville, Georgia

61 months ago

The guys saying don't do a Masters are people with a PE and several years of experience.

They have an understanding of trend in government spending and what is going on in the industry.

Best of Luck with whatever you choose.

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Saylee in Mumbai, India

60 months ago

Well, I have been working in an environment consultancy firm for a year. Plan to pursue a career in this field. However, I have done my Bachelors education in Mass Media. I was planning to do an Environment Management masters. I saw subjects like forest, coral reef management, GIS etc. I am only apprehensive that coming from a Humanities- Mass media back-ground, will doing a Masters in Environment Management be good enough to later get jobs. I mean will the employers feel that since i have a under grad in Mass Media, and only a 2 year work experience and a masters in Environment, I will not be eligible enough? I am targeting Australia for my masters education.

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Kevin BS ENV Sci in Miami, Florida

59 months ago

I think I'm jumping in here late but here are my two cents:
I graduated in May of this year with a BS in Environmental Science and have actually been looking for a job since Feb. I did my 40hr HAZWOPER in March before I graduated. I have been on several interviews all of which stated I was there because I already had my HAZWOPER cert. Its cost them less to hire someone with it already. That being said, get the cert.
One important aspect I don't think was mentioned here is the power of NETWORKING! Tap into every resource possible; LinkedIn, Facebook, friends and family, professional associations etc. You can start with NAEP (National Association of Environmental Professionals). They have state chapters that are further broken down into regional chapters. The associations usually have monthly meetings where you can meet with people in the industry. I really cant stress the importance of networking!! I have an interview on Thurs that seems very promising and the only reason I'm interviewing is because the project manager and I know each other. Also, join your schools alumni association. They usually post career fairs and other networking events.
Another important aspect is looking for trends. As someone stated, look for jobs in areas where the environmental industry is doing good. usually in areas of heavy industry both past and present. when I started looking, I only focused on Miami, Fl. After looking for several months, I started to notice the trends. Places like Houston, Austin, Dallas, Tx., California, Tampa, Fl. NJ., NY., Mi. etc, have all shown up in my search when looking for work. If you have the luxury of being able to relocate then you have a leg up on most people.
Good luck to all!!

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Mike in Tallahassee, Florida

59 months ago

I think I have to agree with you. My question for you is, did you go in for the actual training etc or just do an online course and receive the certificate? Does it matter which one you do or as long as you get the certificate that's all that matters? I know if you do the online course for 40 hours then take the exam then you still have to go to work and be trained for 3 days or something in order for it to count, but does it matter as long as I get the certificate? I'm asking because there is a job opening that requires osha 40 hour hazwoper and Im not sure if i have to do the one where i go in. Thanks in advance!

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Kevin BS ENV Sci in Miami, Florida

59 months ago

Mike in Tallahassee, Florida said: I think I have to agree with you. My question for you is, did you go in for the actual training etc or just do an online course and receive the certificate? Does it matter which one you do or as long as you get the certificate that's all that matters? I know if you do the online course for 40 hours then take the exam then you still have to go to work and be trained for 3 days or something in order for it to count, but does it matter as long as I get the certificate? I'm asking because there is a job opening that requires osha 40 hour hazwoper and Im not sure if i have to do the one where i go in. Thanks in advance!

Mike,
You have to be careful. I have a friend who works for FDEP that warned me about the online courses. The 40hr HAZWOPER has a 24hr in class part and 16hrs of hands on experience. when looking at the online course, they made no mention of the hands on aspect of the program. Personally, i didn't want to take the chance so i took the actual course. It was dam near impossible to find someone who taught the course but after about a month of searching i found someone who fit me into a class. I cant tell you with 100% certainty that the online class is no good but from my experience, the course i took seems to be the one employers are looking for. I'm pretty sure what the online courses claim to be the 40hr HAZWOPER is indeed the 24hr HAZWOPER which is just the in class portion of the certificate.
Good luck and hope that helped!

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Mike in Tallahassee, Florida

59 months ago

Kevin BS ENV Sci in Miami, Florida said: Mike,
You have to be careful. I have a friend who works for FDEP that warned me about the online courses. The 40hr HAZWOPER has a 24hr in class part and 16hrs of hands on experience. when looking at the online course, they made no mention of the hands on aspect of the program. Personally, i didn't want to take the chance so i took the actual course. It was dam near impossible to find someone who taught the course but after about a month of searching i found someone who fit me into a class. I cant tell you with 100% certainty that the online class is no good but from my experience, the course i took seems to be the one employers are looking for. I'm pretty sure what the online courses claim to be the 40hr HAZWOPER is indeed the 24hr HAZWOPER which is just the in class portion of the certificate.
Good luck and hope that helped!

Hey Kevin,

Thanks for the answer. That was just what I was looking for. I looked around (just a few searches) and it seems it is a bit tough to find someone who is willing to train. Some sessions aren't available until april 2013 so I guess that's why having the certificate already is a big bonus. You are right that the online class has no hands on which I guess can be the deciding factor for employers. Good luck to you on your interview Thursday. I hope you get it.

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Kevin BS ENV Sci in Miami, Florida

59 months ago

Mike in Tallahassee, Florida said: Hey Kevin,

Thanks for the answer. That was just what I was looking for. I looked around (just a few searches) and it seems it is a bit tough to find someone who is willing to train. Some sessions aren't available until april 2013 so I guess that's why having the certificate already is a big bonus. You are right that the online class has no hands on which I guess can be the deciding factor for employers. Good luck to you on your interview Thursday. I hope you get it.

Mike,
When i was looking for the course, i received a lot of help from the Director of Workplace Education at National Safety Council, South Florida Chapter. I checked and there's a Tallahassee chapter you might want to contact.
Also, if and when you do find someone that teaches it, make sure its the 40hr hazwoper. some people confuse it for the 30hr-10hr cousre which is different.

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Mike in Tallahassee, Florida

59 months ago

Kevin BS ENV Sci in Miami, Florida said: Mike,
When i was looking for the course, i received a lot of help from the Director of Workplace Education at National Safety Council, South Florida Chapter. I checked and there's a Tallahassee chapter you might want to contact.
Also, if and when you do find someone that teaches it, make sure its the 40hr hazwoper. some people confuse it for the 30hr-10hr cousre which is different.

Thanks Kevin. The 40 hour hazwoper is supposed to be 32 hour online and 8 hour hands on right? I found this website doing it for 500 something dollars ecom.csregs.com/products/40-Hour-HAZWOPER-Online is this the right one? I will contact NSC as well.

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Kevin BS ENV Sci in Miami, Florida

59 months ago

Mike,

Seems like the real deal.... Before you register check NSC... it might save you some money.
Good Luck!

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Mike in Tallahassee, Florida

59 months ago

Kevin BS ENV Sci in Miami, Florida said: Mike,

Seems like the real deal.... Before you register check NSC... it might save you some money.
Good Luck!

Kevin,

I emailed nsc in tallahassee so I'm waiting for a response. It seems they might not have any dates available for a while though. How much did it end up costing you if you don't mind my asking?

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wyldlyfwmn in Avon, Colorado

57 months ago

Host said: Are jobs in this industry on the rise? Are there any sub-sectors that are growing?

Where are the jobs? Which places have the most environmental engineer opportunities?

Just thought I would comment that.....if the folks on here look up the company CH2MHILL they will find a wide variety of worldwide jobs in this field. Hope that helps! It's the reason I'm looking into a masters in enviro engineering because of the opportunities at this company.

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AM in Miami, Florida

56 months ago

Kevin BS ENV Sci in Miami, Florida said: Mike,

Seems like the real deal.... Before you register check NSC... it might save you some money.
Good Luck!

Hey Kevin, do you have contact info for 40 HAZPOWER course in Miami? Im also in Miami wanting to do the same, thanks!

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lippichanduka in Patiala, India

51 months ago

i have done my M.tech in environmental science and technology. Not even a single company has come for the campus placement in my university. i am searching for a job but unluckily everyone wants experienced person. how would we freshers get experience if no one will give us job. kindly help.

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Another BA in Environmental Enginering in Columbus, Ohio

46 months ago

I already have a BA of science in commerce, Major: business management, Minor accounting

I have a 5 years working experience doing web design/ development overseas in an International environmental agency related to the UN

I moved to Columbus 5 years ago and now i am working as a software analyst in one of the biggest publishing companies, I just don't see it as a career.

I read all the statics for environmental engineering employments rates and am so interested to work for the environment, does is it worth it ?

Not sure if that's a good idea? Please help, I will be starting in 2 month at OSU.

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Geevarghese M K in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

20 months ago

I had completed my Masters in Environmental Engineering (Civil) from NIT once we graduated from the University its hard to find a job. We always look for one leading to major design and consulting career its hard even to find an intership at the least. If someone working in Environmental (Civil) Engineering kindly provide a genuine link or contacts. Wishing a possitive feed back from this community.
Thanks and Regards

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Jimmy in Cleveland, Ohio

18 months ago

The environmental industry is history. Peaked in the early to mid 90s. Jobs have been scarce since the mid-2000s. now they are just like mirages in the desert. if you are still young, switch to a different industry. If you are like me, too old to change careers but not old enough to retire, just grab a bottle of wine.

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Kwz in Cypress, Texas

18 months ago

Host said: Are jobs in this industry on the rise? Are there any sub-sectors that are growing?

Where are the jobs? Which places have the most environmental engineer opportunities?

Environmental opportunities are INCREASING in the us. More companies have them on staff and rules and regs only get more stringent. With a couple of solid experience you can make 80+K total page close to 6 figures. We have a shortage of these engineers! Good choice for grads!

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Jimmy in Cleveland, Ohio

18 months ago

With all due respect, Kwz from Cypress, TX, your world is an illusion. I have a bachelors in Civil Engineering, a Masters in Environmental Engineering, an MBA, and am the author of a best seller on remediation design. I have been unemployed for almost 2 years. I have been applying to every few jobs that are out there and have had only 2 in-person interviews. I have excellent references from former supervisors, clients, regulators. And guess what, I'm not the only one in this boat. I know many throughout the country. The environmental industry has long sunk like the Titanic. If you there are so many jobs and companies desperately hiring and searching for candidates, please do share.

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Kwz in Cypress, Texas

18 months ago

Jimmy please provide an Emil and I will be glad to send a nice list of jobs.

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Mike in Newport News, Virginia

18 months ago

I'm sorry that some of you have had bad luck trying to get job, but to conclude that the environmental engineering industry is toast because of your particular situation is laughable. Take a look at the government sector, for instance the US army corps of engineers. They usually have openings once a week for fields that require civil or environmental engineering degrees. I know this because I see the list every week. Granted you will have to move to a city that has a district, but if you think you won't have to move to get a job, or ANY job in ANY field, then you are delusional. Good luck to all.

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Jimmy in Cleveland, Ohio

18 months ago

Not just because of any single individual's situation but for those of us who have been in the industry for 25-35 years, it is our collective experiences and observations. For more than a decade, many of us (locally, regionally, nationally) have had discussions about the state of our industry. Some were project level, some mid-level management, some senior level, some C-suite. Those who were able to switch to other areas, like renewable energy, did so. Even companies, such as Tetra Tech EC, abandon the remediation industry and concentrated on clean construction. Applying to a list of job openings seldom equate to a job offer anymore. Consider an aerospace industry conglomerate that had an EHS opening in CT about 6-7 years ago. Within 3 days, they removed the ad because they had 180 applicants. They interviewed none, instead hiring a former employee from another subsidiary. As for the government, State DEPs are not exactly hiring. EPA isn't hiring either. In fact, I talked to an administrator for the EPA SEE program (SEnior Environmental Employment) and was told they had no budget. This despite the fact that they only pay 12.74 and hour.

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KWZ in Houston, Texas

18 months ago

I'm currently in the Gulf Coast but work with EHS professionals and professional groups everyday round the country. I attend local and national association meetings, as well as being notified of changes in rules and regs both state and national. Again, these rules and regs are MORE stringent and require more environmental expertise than ever before. This is not going to change..in fact those facilities that were grandfathered into certain programs are now required to adhere to the higher standards.
The other side of the coin is STEM graduates at the current rate of graduation, will NOT be able to replace the rate of Baby Boomers retiring. This leaves a very significant gap in all of the engineering groups, expect maybe civil engineering.
Location also may have something to do with your ability to find work and pay scale. Normally, government roles pay the least, followed by manufacturing, then chemicals and top of the pack is normally refining.

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Kevin in Louisville, Colorado

16 months ago

I would have to completely agree with Jimmy from Ohio on this topic. KWZ sounds like an industry recruiter, or industry spokesman, whom will always give you more optimistic projections. Regardless, if we ignore personal opinions on here, and take a perspective from a higher elevation while looking at statistics instead, not all is well for most engineering professions in the US. Below are all the approximate ten year growth projects from the BLS, for two different periods, the first from ‘12-‘22, and the second from ‘14-‘24. The more current ‘14-‘24 projections will likely reflect more current economic conditions.

civil eng, (20%), (8%)
environmental eng, (25%), (12%)
mechanical eng, (5%), (5%)
chemical eng, (4%), (2%)
electrical eng, (4%), (0%)
aerospace eng, (7%), (-2%)
computer eng, (18%), (3%)
sofware eng, (30%), (17%)
biomedical eng, (27%), (23%)
petroleum eng, (26%), (10%)
Industrial eng, (5%), (2%)

Since nobody has a crystal ball, including the BLS, all future growth projections can be taken with a grain of salt. However, current growth rates tend to incorporate more accurate historical data, and if that is anything to go by, many traditional engineering occupations in the US aren't growing at all. One will also notice a very negative trend going on, in which the growth rates for every single occupation have been revised downwards, and a few rather significantly. So, with that in mind, how can we correctly assume that the projected growth rates are remotely accurate going forward - particularly for the high ones - especially when they're now showing to have been wildly miscalculated previously? Petroleum eng. growing at 10% in the midst of low oil prices? Hardly! Environmental eng. growing faster than civil eng., simply by assuming more regulations requires more employees? Hardly! In short, if you don't work in software or medicine, it's very unlikely your industry is growing at the higher rates that the BLS is proclaiming.

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Raz in Laurel, Maryland

16 months ago

Lol just got an email alert about this old thread. I wrote in here back when I was job searching. Been happily employed in a civil/environmental role for 2.5 years. All my friends in this same field have gotten riases and one kid straight out of college with a bachelor's..after just one year makes $82k a year. But don't listen to me....I must be an "industry recruiter, or industry spokesman, whom will always give you more optimistic projections".

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Kevin in Louisville, Colorado

16 months ago

The numbers I listed above are all the proof you need that there is not a shortage of engineers in this country, or STEM graduates for the matter, with the notable exception of people in software. Biomedical engineering is still a small industry, in its infancy, and you'd be hard pressed to find a job in that field with only a B.S. in engineering. Also, engineering salaries have been relatively flat for the past decade. Only people in software have been seeing big jumps in pay recently. If we look at civil and environmental engineering, sure, there might be localized shortages of qualified candidates, but that's probably more a result of these same companies that proclaim worker shortages constantly trying to recruit for the nonexistent purple unicorn. When you make the job requirements so ridiculously high that nobody can fill it, then it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that the job can't be filled appropriately. Environmental engineering will never grow at the high hates projected by the BLS. It was supposed to be the new 'hot' industry well over a decade ago, and it never came to fruition. And civil engineering, even when the field is doing well, is still notoriously difficult to get into. These companies always seem to want to hire someone with their PE, 10-15 years of very specific industry experience, expert level users with Civil 3D and numerous similar programs, an MS degree, and willing to accept an offer far below salaries in other fields with the same level of experience and qualifications. There are no true shortages of engineers in the US. Just a shortage of employers willing to hire them, even when they are indeed hiring.

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Raz in Laurel, Maryland

16 months ago

You mean the same numbers that said it would grow at 20-35% just 5 years ago? Legitimate source right? Because conditions don't change right? Every nay sayers in here is that same. Just someone who keeps getting rejected with job offers and needs something to complain about. EVERY person that was in my senior design class us currently employed in their field. EVERY single one of them. Thats a class of 60+. Some have become project managers in a few years. Some even had multiple jobs by their own choice to get a higher pay (govt vs private). And my engineering school isn't even too rated. It sucks that you can't find a job but don't sit here and make someone think there are no jobs out there when every person I know has a job. Hell the only person I know NOT in engineering is cuz he quit his job to start his own recruiting company.

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Kevin in Louisville, Colorado

16 months ago

Raz, I was replying to the most recent threads, NOT yours from 2.5 years ago. Congrats on finding a good job in your respective field. Besides, the economy is doing far better than it was a few years ago. But just because you and your entire graduating class of 60+ (and you know this, how?) found great jobs doesn't mean everyone on out there has been as lucky. You're painting your personal and immediate circumstances as being the same everywhere else, and assuming the naysayers are getting rejected for good reason and with nothing better to do than say otherwise. Besides, where did you assume I wasn't gainfully employed? I'm going quite well actually. I was just trying to make a point that you can't trust these overly optimistic growth figures, particularly when the earlier estimates have been proven to be way off base time and time again. You're clearly very young, but the rest of us more seasoned industry professionals know that you can't believe everything you read, and if something is portrayed as the next best thing, or the new hyper growth industry, it usually isn't. Earlier growth estimates for environmental engineering were at 20% or above. It never happened. The newer growth rates are well below that, and are entirely based on the assumption that stricter environmental regulations will require hiring more environmental engineers. Why would that be the case? One of my previous employers, a Fortune 500 company by the way, didn't hire environmental engineers. They tended to hire compliance specialists, whom would review any environmental requirements, for any given project. All the engineering work was still completed by the civil engineers, and other disciplines instead. They didn't need specific 'environmental' engineers, per say. So again, why should we assume this field is going to grow at a much faster rate than the others?

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KWZ in Houston, Texas

16 months ago

Yes, Kevin I'm an EHS specialty recruiter in the Gulf Coast. Environmental engineering continues to grow. I see it every day as I work in several different industry segments. My clients' can no longer get away with "compliance specialists" as the rules and requirements require specialized training, NOT a "jack of all trades." Entry level in paper pulp, chemicals etc is around 50-60K. These clients' will accept new grads who at least did internship in their specialty. Please don't be disillusioned, by those with a bad experience. Just attended a STEM conference....double digit growth in all segments of engineering...again if you look at the % of baby boomers retiring vs graduating classes...we have a significant gap. As more retire, this becomes a larger gap.

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Kevin in Erie, Colorado

16 months ago

KWZ, STEM salaries, apart from maybe that of software engineers, have been flat for over a decade. Salaries have only been rising with inflation. This is entirely verifiable on the BLS website. You might be seeing a surge in local demand around the Gulf Coast, but the same probably can't be said for the rest of the country. If overall engineering salaries aren't rising significantly, then that signifies there isn't in fact a shortage of engineers around the country. Quite the opposite actually. Sure, there will always be a demand for engineers, but I think the hyper growth rates being claimed by the media, industry insiders, govt agencies, and so on, are largely unrealistic and should always be taken with a grain of salt. If you chase the money and the advertised growth prospects, you might eventually find yourself in an industry that has gone from boom to bust. Just look at petroleum engineering. Over 95% of petroleum graduates in 2014 had jobs in their respective industry. That number dropped to 64% in 2015, and is expected to bottom out at 25% in the near future, as the continued slump in oil prices has eliminated most hiring in the oil and gas sector (jobs cuts are the new normal now) or any need for petroleum engineers by oil companies. The point is that thousands of students went into that field because of the potential big salaries afterwards. But now those lucrative petroleum jobs are slowly but surely becoming nonexistent. All those petroleum engineers will have to find engineering work in other industries. But this same analysis applies to environmental engineering. Why should anyone believe that this particular industry as well should achieve high double digit growth rates going forward, when it hasn't previously. There are plenty of seasoned engineering professionals out there, and on these message boards, to suggest that some of these engineering industries can't possibly be growing as quickly as advertised. In short, don't always believe the hype.

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Joseph in Coventry, United Kingdom

15 months ago

enviroengineer in Edmonton, Alberta said: What are Job propects for Phd in environmental engineering ; I do not see too many courses taught in this field at least in Bsc degree of Civil Engineering where I am planning to get my Phd. What kind of departments I can apply for; my Undergraduate is in Agricultural engineering (major in Irrigation Engineering), but not too many schools offer this discipline. I am too environmental.

I did Agricultural Engineering in my undergraduate (Nigeria), now doing my masters in Environmental management (Coventry university London). I think is a good idea for me. You will learn a lot and I involve myself in voluntary work in a company offering services related to my course.

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