What do they do?

Conduct research or perform investigation for the purpose of identifying, abating, or eliminating sources of pollutants or hazards that affect either the environment or public health. Using knowledge of various scientific disciplines, may collect, synthesize, study, report, and recommend action based on data derived from measurements or observations of air, food, soil, water, and other sources.

Also known as:

Environmental Analyst, Environmental Health and Safety Specialist (EHS Specialist), Environmental Health Specialist, Environmental Programs Specialist, Environmental Protection Specialist, Environmental Scientist, Environmental Specialist, Environmentalist, Hazardous Substances Scientist, Health Environmentalist, Natural Resources Specialist, Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS), Research Environmental Scientist

Typical Wages

Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health is projected to grow 12 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than average compared to all occupations.

Projected Employment in CA

No Data Available
  • 12.1%

    Change

    Ranks #16 in job growth rate
    1,400

    Job Openings

    Ranks #1 in net job growth

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Education Level

Percent of workers in this field with these degrees:

  • Doctorate or Professional Degree  (7%)
  • Master's degree  (32%)
  • Bachelor's degree  (61%)
  • Associate's degree  (<1%)
  • Some college, no degree  (<1%)
  • High school diploma equivalent  (<1%)
  • Less than high school diploma  (<1%)

Typical College Majors

Most Popular Majors that prepare Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health

Select Type of Degree:

  • #1
    • Degrees Granted

      1,498
    • Female Students

      1,028
    • Male Students

      470
    • Median Starting Salary

      $44,450
  • #2
    • Degrees Granted

      1,430
    • Female Students

      895
    • Male Students

      535
    • Median Starting Salary

      $47,533
  • #3
    • Degrees Granted

      1,058
    • Female Students

      665
    • Male Students

      393
    • Median Starting Salary

      $43,300
  • #4
    • Degrees Granted

      664
    • Female Students

      463
    • Male Students

      201
    • Median Starting Salary

      $51,200
  • #5
    • Degrees Granted

      81
    • Female Students

      51
    • Male Students

      30
    • Median Starting Salary

      $47,533

People in this career often have these skills:

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

People in this career often know a lot about:

  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

People in this career often have talent in:

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Provide technical information or assistance to public.
  • Monitor environmental impacts of production or development activities.
  • Advise others about environmental management or conservation.
  • Compile environmental or climatological data.
  • Develop environmental sustainability plans or projects.
  • Assess compliance with environmental laws.
  • Review environmental permits, plans, or reports.
  • Research environmental impact of industrial or development activities.
  • Advise others on matters of public policy.
  • Prepare information or documentation related to legal or regulatory matters.
  • Prepare research or technical reports on environmental issues.
  • Supervise trainees.
  • Supervise scientific or technical personnel.
  • Plan environmental research.
  • Direct technical activities or operations.
  • Research impacts of environmental conservation initiatives.
  • Develop plans to manage natural or renewable resources.
  • Develop theories or models of physical phenomena.
  • Develop sustainable industrial or development methods.

This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 28.1 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (“USDOL/ETA”). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Logo Occupation statistics: USDOL U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

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