Environmental Engineers strive to create solutions for environmental problems created by pollution and the exploitation of natural resources. They combine knowledge from engineering, biology, chemistry, and soil science, in an attempt to re-establish the sustainable balance of our environment.

As an environmental engineer, your tasks will vary based on your setting. When working on urban or regional planning, you might use an office, do field research on location, or work at construction sites when implementing solutions.

To set out on this career path, you will need a degree or complete a cooperative engineering program, which provides you academic credit for work experience. On average, you will make around $88,860 per year, but more importantly, you will have a profession that allows you to make a difference.

What Does an Environmental Engineer Do

Environmental engineers use the principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems. They are involved in efforts to improve recycling, waste disposal, public health, and water and air pollution control. They also address global issues, such as unsafe drinking water, climate change, and environmental sustainability.

Learn more about what an Environmental Engineer does

How To Become an Environmental Engineer

Environmental engineers must have a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering or a related field, such as civil, chemical, or general engineering. Employers also value practical experience. Therefore, cooperative engineering programs, in which college credit is awarded for structured job experience, are valuable as well.

Learn More About How To Become an Environmental Engineer

Environmental Engineer Career Paths

Average Salary for an Environmental Engineer

Environmental Engineers in America make an average salary of $75,718 per year or $36 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $98,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $58,000 per year.
Average Environmental Engineer Salary
$75,718 Yearly
$36.40 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Environmental Engineer

The role of an environmental engineer includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general environmental engineer responsibilities:

  • Develop, maintain and modify site specific environmental compliance programs ensure regulatory reporting is completed for agencies such as sanitation districts, ca dept. Of toxic substance control, us epa,
  • Conduct and may eventually supervise field work
  • Preliminary design, design, and construction management services for various water, wastewater,

There are several types of environmental engineer, including:

Project Engineer


A project engineer is responsible for the planning and implementation of a project. In collaboration with the management of the enterprise, they review proposals and come up with project goals. They break down the process and create a viable schedule, and then coordinate and monitor the work.

The project, as such, sounds vague because it depends on the industry they work for. In any case, they go on regular meetings with clients to make sure the the evolution of the work matches their vision. It is their responsibility to carry out the work within the budget or to propose adjustments to it if they see fit.

The project engineer will analyze the performance of their team and present progress reports to stakeholders to make sure everyone is at the top of their game.

  • Average Salary: $75,050
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Environmental Health Safety Manager


Environmental health and safety managers are tasked with overseeing programs that protect people from environmental and workplace hazards. Likewise, they protect the environment from human hazards. They plan, implement, monitor, and improve the environmental health and safety programs in their place of employment. They ensure that company employees, visitors, and contractors are safe and healthy. Additionally, they ensure the company is compliant with environmental regulations. Also, they identify and correct potentially dangerous work duties and inform employees about safety and health protocols.

Applicants for this position should earn at least a bachelor's degree in industrial management, chemical engineering, business, or a related field. Having a master's degree in environmental health and safety, risk management, or a related discipline is of added advantage. It's a plus to have relevant certifications. You must possess interpersonal, observation, and communication skills. These experts are paid about $93,101 annually. Their salary falls between $61,000 and $141,000.

  • Average Salary: $85,594
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Engineering Coordinator


An engineering coordinator is an individual who is responsible for the development and implementation of specific engineering projects in such areas as construction, mechanical, manufacturing, electrical, computers, and information technology (IT).

An engineering coordinator typically performs administrative tasks such as research, analysis, arranges staff and client schedules, manages client queries and correspondence, works with vendors and contractors, and reviews contracts and other documentation. They also coordinate with different teams involved in engineering projects and also participate in the planning, design, and development of such projects.

Depending on the industry, and engineering coordinator often has an associates' or a bachelor's degree in the area of engineering, and some may also have a special certification or related training. These individuals should possess strong communication, analytical, organizational, and management skills, and should possess a broad knowledge of the area in which they work. They should also be comfortable working with a variety of individuals, staff, and vendors, as well as members of upper management. Depending on the industry, an engineering coordinator can make up to $74,000 annually in the US, and the job market is expected to grow 3% by 2028.

  • Average Salary: $57,153
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Environmental Engineer Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active environmental engineer jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where environmental engineers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Environmental Engineer Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
5New York893$67,917
13North Carolina484$66,030
14New Jersey402$69,166
27South Carolina177$57,870
37North Dakota86$43,274
38New Mexico85$71,764
39New Hampshire85$59,105
43West Virginia66$84,570
47Rhode Island52$59,092
50South Dakota27$46,909

Environmental Engineer Education

Environmental Engineer Majors

Environmental Engineer Degrees


75.3 %


16.3 %


4.4 %

Top Colleges for Environmental Engineers

1. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




3. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




4. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




5. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition




6. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




7. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition




8. University of Washington

Seattle, WA • Private

In-State Tuition




9. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




10. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition




Top Skills For an Environmental Engineer

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, 6.1% of environmental engineers listed environmental compliance on their resume, but soft skills such as imagination and reading skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Environmental Engineer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Environmental Engineer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Environmental Engineer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Environmental Engineer diversity

Environmental Engineer Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among environmental engineers, 29.5% of them are women, while 70.5% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among environmental engineers is White, which makes up 69.0% of all environmental engineers.

  • The most common foreign language among environmental engineers is Spanish at 52.3%.

Online Courses For Environmental Engineer That You May Like

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1. Environmental Hazards and Global Public Health


The second course of the Impacts of the Environment on Global Public Health specialization will explore a number of different environmental hazards. These are: air pollution, water pollution, solid and hazardous waste, and two physical hazards (radon and noise). These hazards each have the potential to harm human health, and we will explore how you may come into contact with these hazards and how they may harm you, as well as what we can do to minimize these exposures and health impacts. We...

2. Global Environmental Management


Learn about the best environmental technologies for a sustainable development and how they are managed in various settings around the world. This course gives you an opportunity to learn about global trends that influence our environment and the living conditions and how different management systems and approaches that are used around the world to manage the environment. This includes current environmental technologies built for the environment and technologies for sustainable soil management,...

3. ISO 14001:2015 Environmental management system


How to implement an Environmental Management System and obtain ISO 14001:2015 certification...

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Best States For an Environmental Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an environmental engineer. The best states for people in this position are Louisiana, California, Texas, and West Virginia. Environmental engineers make the most in Louisiana with an average salary of $87,885. Whereas in California and Texas, they would average $87,258 and $86,167, respectively. While environmental engineers would only make an average of $84,570 in West Virginia, 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. Alaska

Total Environmental Engineer Jobs: 75
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. California

Total Environmental Engineer Jobs: 2,393
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. District of Columbia

Total Environmental Engineer Jobs: 186
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Environmental Engineers

How Do Environmental Engineers Rate Their Jobs?


5 Stars

4 Stars

3 Stars

2 Stars

1 Star

Environmental Engineer Reviews

Oct 2020

Both indoor and outdoor work environment. Great job satisfaction meeting regulatory requirements.


Can be stressful at times

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Top Environmental Engineer Employers

Most Common Employers For Environmental Engineer

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
2General Motors$94,606$45.4822
3Brown and Caldwell$82,974$39.8923
5CDM Smith$81,042$38.96178
6Carollo Engineers$80,794$38.8499
7Tetra Tech$79,244$38.1048
10Jacobs Engineering Group$76,218$36.6429

What Are The Best Companies To Work For An Environmental Engineer?

Jack Puleo Ph.D.

Professor and Chair, University of Delaware

Best can be arbitrary. Overall, the job market seems strong with positions in oil companies, government, and the engineering industry.

Environmental Engineer Videos

Becoming an Environmental Engineer FAQs

How Long Does It Take To Become An Environmental Engineer?

It takes four or more years to become an environmental engineer. To become an environmental engineer, a four-year bachelor's degree is typically required. It is possible to secure an entry-level position in environmental engineering with only an associate degree, but this is rare.

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