Environmental engineers work to make sure pollutants are not released into the air or water sources and that solid waste is disposed of properly. Some environmental engineers devise and build equipment to create a cleaner environment. Others work in management, developing environmental protection plans.
- Develop and implement an environmental management plan for a company, community or special area like a national park.
- Supervise and verify that a business or organization is taking the proper environmental protection measures.
- Design and build machines that are efficient and environmentally friendly.
- Work with other engineers to ensure that projects are developed taking environmental requirements into consideration.
- Build structures for environmental purposes, like a dam to create a new wetland or a series of terraces to reduce soil erosion.
A four-year college degree is required for most environmental engineering jobs. Many environmental engineers have civil engineering degrees, but others have degrees in environmental, agricultural, chemical or mechanical engineering.
Since environmental engineers focus on the environment, there is usually a component of outdoor work to their jobs. Many work in industry, but some work with government, from local communities to federal agencies. Their work hours are typically the standard 40-hour week but can vary with the project or type of employer.