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Working as a Climate Change Analyst

Climate Change Analysts, also known as Climatologists, are highly skilled scientists specializing in our global population's most pertinent threat. Climate Change Analysts evaluate statistical models and weather dynamics to monitor trends in the climate. They then recontextualize the data into policy suggestions and concrete, tangible goals for global consumption, emissions, and other activities that significantly affect the Earth's climate.

Most employers require their Climate Change Analysts to have a Master's degree. Diplomas in Environmental Science, Ecology, Meteorology, and Statistics are among the most sought after and the most commonly held by American Climate Change Analysts in the current workforce.

Climate Change Analysts in the United States earn roughly about $76,000 a year on average. That's more or less $36 an hour. However, top earners can bring in $105,000 on average a year in the right company. Employers such as Zynga, Goldman Sachs, Fitbit, and Danaher offer competitive, above-average salaries of $90,000 or more to their Climate Change Analysts.

What Does a Climate Change Analyst Do

Environmental scientists and specialists use their knowledge of the natural sciences to protect the environment and human health. They may clean up polluted areas, advise policymakers, or work with industry to reduce waste.

Duties

Environmental scientists and specialists typically do the following:

  • Determine data collection methods for research projects, investigations, and surveys
  • Collect and compile environmental data from samples of air, soil, water, food, and other materials for scientific analysis
  • Analyze samples, surveys, and other information to identify and assess threats to the environment
  • Develop plans to prevent, control, or fix environmental problems, such as land or water pollution
  • Provide information and guidance to government officials, businesses, and the general public on possible environmental hazards and health risks
  • Prepare technical reports and presentations that explain their research and findings

Environmental scientists and specialists analyze environmental problems and develop solutions. For example, many environmental scientists and specialists work to reclaim lands and waters that have been contaminated by pollution. Others assess the risks that new construction projects pose to the environment and make recommendations to governments and businesses on how to minimize the environmental impact of these projects. Environmental scientists and specialists may do research and provide advice on manufacturing practices, such as advising against the use of chemicals that are known to harm the environment.

The federal government and many state and local governments have regulations to ensure that there is clean air to breathe, safe water to drink, and no hazardous materials in the soil. The regulations also place limits on development, particularly near sensitive ecosystems such as wetlands. Environmental scientists and specialists who work for governments ensure that the regulations are followed. Other environmental scientists and specialists work for consulting firms that help companies comply with regulations and policies.

Some environmental scientists and specialists focus on environmental regulations that are designed to protect people’s health, while others focus on regulations designed to minimize society’s impact on the ecosystem. The following are examples of types of specialists:

Climate change analysts study effects on ecosystems caused by the changing climate. They may do outreach education activities and grant writing typical of scientists.

Environmental health specialists study how environmental factors impact human health. They investigate potential environmental health risks. For example, they may investigate and address issues arising from soil and water contamination caused by nuclear weapons manufacturing. They also educate the public about potential health risks present in the environment.

Environmental restoration planners assess polluted sites and determine the cost and activities necessary to clean up the area.

Industrial ecologists work with industry to increase the efficiency of their operations and thereby limit the impacts these activities have on the environment. They analyze costs and benefits of various programs, as well as their impacts on ecosystems.

Other environmental scientists and specialists perform work and receive training similar to that of other physical or life scientists, but they focus on environmental issues. Environmental chemists are an example.

Environmental chemists study the effects that various chemicals have on ecosystems. For example, they look at how acids affect plants, animals, and people. Some areas in which they work include waste management and the remediation of contaminated soils, water, and air.

Many people with backgrounds in environmental science become postsecondary teachers or high school teachers.

How To Become a Climate Change Analyst

For most jobs, environmental scientists and specialists need at least a bachelor’s degree in a natural science.

Education

For most entry-level jobs, environmental scientists and specialists must have a bachelor’s degree in environmental science or a science-related field, such as biology, chemistry, physics, geosciences, or engineering. However, a master’s degree may be needed for advancement. Environmental scientists and specialists who have a doctoral degree make up a small percentage of the occupation, and this level of training is typically needed only for the relatively few postsecondary teaching and basic research positions.

A bachelor’s degree in environmental science offers a broad approach to the natural sciences. Students typically take courses in biology, chemistry, geology, and physics. Students often take specialized courses in hydrology or waste management as part of their degree as well. Classes in environmental policy and regulation are also beneficial. Students who want to reach the Ph.D. level and have a career in academia or as an environmental scientist doing basic research may find it advantageous to major in a more specific natural science such as chemistry, biology, physics, or geology, rather than a broader environmental science degree.

Students should look for classes and internships that include work in computer modeling, data analysis, and geographic information systems. Students with experience in these programs will be the best prepared to enter the job market. The University Consortium of Atmospheric Research (UCAR) offers several programs to help students broaden their understanding of environmental sciences.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Environmental scientists and specialists base their conclusions on careful analysis of scientific data. They must consider all possible methods and solutions in their analyses.

Communication skills. Environmental scientists and specialists may need to present and explain their findings to audiences of varying backgrounds and to write technical reports.

Interpersonal skills. Environmental scientists and specialists typically work on teams with scientists, engineers, and technicians. Team members must be able to work together effectively to achieve their goals.

Problem-solving skills. Environmental scientists and specialists try to find the best possible solution to problems that affect the environment and people’s health.

Self-discipline. Environmental scientists and specialists may spend a lot of time working alone. They need to be able to stay motivated and get their work done without supervision.

Advancement

Environmental scientists and specialists often begin their careers as field analysts, research assistants, or technicians in laboratories and offices. As they gain experience, they earn more responsibilities and autonomy, and may supervise the work of technicians or other scientists. Eventually, they may be promoted to project leader, program manager, or other management or research position.

Other environmental scientists and specialists go on to work as researchers or faculty at colleges and universities.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Environmental scientists and specialists can become Certified Hazardous Materials Managers through the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management. This certification, which must be renewed every 5 years, shows that an environmental scientist or specialist is staying current with developments relevant to this occupation’s work.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Some environmental scientists and specialists begin their careers as scientists in related occupations, such as hydrology or engineering, and then move into the more interdisciplinary field of environmental science.

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Average Salary$76,326
Job Growth Rate8%

Climate Change Analyst Career Paths

Top Careers Before Climate Change Analyst

Top Careers After Climate Change Analyst

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Average Salary for a Climate Change Analyst

Climate Change Analysts in America make an average salary of $76,326 per year or $37 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $105,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $54,000 per year.
Average Salary
$76,326

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range91k - 155k$119k$119,185
Washington, DC
Salary Range75k - 120k$95k$95,048
Norwood, MA
Salary Range66k - 110k$85k$85,455
New York, NY
Salary Range54k - 90k$70k$70,071
Jersey City, NJ
Salary Range54k - 89k$70k$69,863
Chicago, IL
Salary Range52k - 81k$65k$65,443
$34k
$155k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Climate Change Analyst
Climate Change Analyst
Adecco Staffing
Adecco Staffing
10/26/2019
10/26/2019
$135,65510/26/2019
$135,655
Climate Change Analyst
Climate Change Analyst
Randstad
Randstad
10/23/2019
10/23/2019
$125,22010/23/2019
$125,220
Climate Change Analysts
Climate Change Analysts
Ernst & Young U.S. LLP
Ernst & Young U.S. LLP
06/27/2019
06/27/2019
$107,58306/27/2019
$107,583
Climate Change Analysts
Climate Change Analysts
Ernst & Young U.S. LLP
Ernst & Young U.S. LLP
06/27/2019
06/27/2019
$107,58306/27/2019
$107,583
Country Engagement Spec .01 Climate Change Analyst)
Country Engagement Spec .01 Climate Change Analyst)
World Resources Institute
World Resources Institute
04/30/2019
04/30/2019
$64,21004/30/2019
$64,210
See More Recent Salaries

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Climate Change Analyst Demographics

Gender

female

48.2 %

male

45.3 %

unknown

6.5 %

Ethnicity

White

84.3 %

Hispanic or Latino

6.3 %

Asian

5.0 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

31.0 %

French

24.1 %

German

6.9 %
See More Demographics

Climate Change Analyst Education

Degrees

Masters

42.0 %

Bachelors

39.2 %

Associate

7.7 %

Top Colleges for Climate Change Analysts

1. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

2. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

3. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

4. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

5. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

6. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,184
Enrollment
30,845

7. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

8. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Public

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

9. University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Lafayette, LA • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,912
Enrollment
14,245

10. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548
See More Education Info
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Internship
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Top Skills For a Climate Change Analyst

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 11.6% of climate change analysts listed greenhouse on their resume, but soft skills such as interpersonal skills and problem-solving skills are important as well.

Best States For a Climate Change Analyst

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a climate change analyst. The best states for people in this position are California, Alaska, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Climate change analysts make the most in California with an average salary of $104,131. Whereas in Alaska and Rhode Island, they would average $93,330 and $86,355, respectively. While climate change analysts would only make an average of $86,231 in Connecticut, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. California

Total Climate Change Analyst Jobs:
594
Highest 10% Earn:
$172,000
Location Quotient:
1.01
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. District of Columbia

Total Climate Change Analyst Jobs:
146
Highest 10% Earn:
$147,000
Location Quotient:
4.09
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Delaware

Total Climate Change Analyst Jobs:
25
Highest 10% Earn:
$132,000
Location Quotient:
1.69
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Climate Change Analyst Employers

1. IBM
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$65,512
Climate Change Analysts Hired: 
33+
2. Bank of America
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$90,574
Climate Change Analysts Hired: 
31+
3. ICF
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$76,170
Climate Change Analysts Hired: 
6+
4. Atkins
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$82,740
Climate Change Analysts Hired: 
4+
5. Science Applications International ...
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$71,791
Climate Change Analysts Hired: 
4+
6. Broadcom
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$96,572
Climate Change Analysts Hired: 
3+
Updated October 2, 2020