Environmental Science - what kind of careers can this lead to?

(13 Posts)
IdaBWells Tue 02-Oct-18 15:47:25

We are not in the UK. My 18 yr old dd picked up a course in Environmental Science this year at High School which she is really enjoying. She already knows she wants to major in German at Uni with a second major. Can you give concrete examples of where this area of science leads in terms of careers? Thanks.

OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Tue 02-Oct-18 20:06:51

NGOs involved in this field of work, eg Environment Agency, Education, Environmental Consultancy, Local Council Environment Departments such as recycling, National Parks and others who advise on the environment, marine parks etc.

I have seen Environmental Engineering mentioned as a destination career but this is a branch of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science is not an engineering degree. So an ES degree doesn’t qualify holders to be engineers. Engineers solve the problems and the scientists identify them! Engineers will earn more!

BringOnTheScience Tue 02-Oct-18 21:59:20

I was previously in an environmental industry. Jobs tends to be poorly paid at entry level yet competition is high. Too many people go in to it for passion. If you can, far better to go for a specialism & be clear about where you want to end up working. Regulation, business, conservation?

IdaBWells Sun 07-Oct-18 11:47:22

Thank you for the feedback.

OP’s posts: |
Chilver Sun 07-Oct-18 11:51:03

Environmental consultant - lots and lots of work, not enough Environmental Consultants in the UK at present and everyone is crying out for them. Can work for an indepentant consultancy, multi disicplinary consultancy, Local authorities, Environment agency etc.

Work includes flood defence schemes, planning, Environmental Impact Assessments, engineering infrastructure projects....

Good field, pretty well paid, LOTS of work at present.

BubblesBuddy Sun 07-Oct-18 13:30:26

Engineering, flood defence and infrastructure projects are done by Civil Engineers. It is wrong to suggest Environmental Scientists will be Engineering anything immediately post degree. It’s just not possible. DH is a consulting engineer and this is the work they do. They are Engineers.

Buteo Tue 09-Oct-18 20:47:59

Engineering, flood defence and infrastructure projects are done by Civil Engineers

Not necessarily. I did those on the back of a good Geology degree - as well as EIA, contaminated land, EMS, HSE etc. I designed a rather nifty full on earth dam when I was 22.


Sophiesdog11 Wed 10-Oct-18 19:28:52

Bubblesbuddy I too am a consulting engineer working for a worldwide consultancy, my area is water and wastewater treatment. We employ many environmental scientists, they wont design the engineering project infrastructure but most projects we design have an impact on the environment and environmentalists are very sought after.

My close friend did environmental science at uni, followed by a masters and PhD, not sure exactly which areas, and is now a process engineer. She basically designs the process side of the water or wastewater treatment works.

And Buteo is right, engineering degrees aren't the only route. One of my colleagues did a geology degree, masters in something else related to engineering, now a chartered civil eng.

Sophiesdog11 Wed 10-Oct-18 19:31:51

I think Chilver was actually saying that an environmental scientist could work on an engineering infrastructure project. She wasn't saying they would actually engineer the infrastructure.

But as per above, they do have an input to many areas of the projects my company to do.

BubblesBuddy Wed 10-Oct-18 23:01:38

ES degrees are not recognised for Engineering grad schemes. These are the quick route to being Chartrered as an Engineer but there are other slower routes, of course! At 22 without an Engineering degree, one would hope the work was overseen by a chartered engineer. At least in this country. It always amazes me that any degree holder in a related field can think they are an engineer. You would never say that about a doctor. Would you let your audiologist take your appendix out - probably not!

Yes, Environmental Scientists have a role to play but to say that leads directly to being an engineer is misleading - I have seen that on several careers information sites. It is far from direct but not impossible. Geology isn’t the same as Environmental Science either.

Buteo Thu 11-Oct-18 07:08:20

At 22 without an Engineering degree, one would hope the work was overseen by a chartered engineer.

No, my boss wasn’t a CEng either and yes it was in the UK. Funnily enough, there are specialisms which don’t lead to CEng which make you perfectly competent to design and manage engineering projects. And yes, as a small specialist consultancy he had full PI cover.

And after a few years I did the same Masters degree as my boss which funnily enough did absolutely make us “engineers”, although not structural or civil.

Engineering is a much wider discipline than the civil or structural boxes, and there are plenty of specialist routes available for other degrees.

And I did get chartered for my specialism quite quickly too.

Buteo Thu 11-Oct-18 07:13:57

Geology isn’t the same as Environmental Science either.

Yup, and ES would probably have been more useful for all the EIA, EMS and environmental auditing work that I did than either a Geology degree or my specialist degree.

MarchingFrogs Thu 11-Oct-18 09:46:37

@IdaBWells, the OP on the Uni as a mature (40) student. What to expect? thread is starting a degree in Environmental Science - perhaps you could get in touch with them re the path down which s/he sees it leading them?

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