Environmental engineers focus on multiple disciplines that address problems related to the environment and public health. These disciplines include air quality, applied ecology, energy, remediation, water resources and treatment,chemical processing, and engineering for developing communities.

The projected growth rate by 2024 is of 8%, and it is one of the largest within engineering disciplines. In 2017, US News ranks Environmental Engineer No. 7 in best engineering jobs.

Statistics in May 2016 show that Colorado has one of the highest concentrations of jobs and location quotients of environmental engineers in the country and is one of the states with the highest employment level in this occupation:

Employment by stateLocation of Environmental Engineers by state

What kind of work do Environmental Engineers do?

Environmental engineers use the principles of engineering to develop solutions to environmental issues. They work to improve recycling, waste disposal, public health, and water and air pollution control. They also address larger scale problems, such as unsafe drinking water, and climate change.

Typical environmental engineering positions include:

  • Evaluating environmental impacts and designing projects for ecosystem protection and restoration
  • Operation and planning of treatment processes for drinking water, industrial wastewater, municipal wastewater, polluted air, and hazardous waste
  • Operation and planning of distribution systems for drinking water and collection systems
  • Assessment and  modeling of software to predict the fate and transport of contaminants in the air, water, and soil
  • Designing systems for drinking water and wastewater; these can include chemical, biological, and physical methods
  • Evaluating contaminants in soil and groundwater, and designing methods to clean up these sites
  • Aid developing communities with sustainable water and building options
  • Find alternative energy options, such as designing waste-to-energy incinerators to extract the energy content from municipal solid waste

Common Employers

  • Consulting engineering firms
  • Affected industries
  • Government and regulatory agencies
  • Non-profit environmental organizations

Job Outlook sites you might want to look at:

https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes172081.htm
https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/17-2081.00