Environmental Inspector Careers

Environmental inspectors, sometimes called environmental compliance inspectors, make sure that companies are following environmental laws and protection standards. They usually work for government agencies and conduct regular audits to make sure that companies are following laws around safe waste disposal and resource use.

During their inspections, environmental inspectors collect and test samples and install machinery that automatically tests facilities such as drainage systems. When they're not in the field, environmental inspectors take care of administrative tasks such as checking company permits and writing reports about their findings. They usually need an extensive background in studying the environment and excellent organizational and communication skills to get to the bottom of potential environmental regulation violations.

Most environmental inspectors have a bachelor's degree in environmental science. However, it is possible to do this job with only a high school diploma and some practical experience. Environmental inspectors earn an average salary of $51,444 a year. However, before they can work as environmental inspectors they usually need some professional experience in manufacturing and compliance, for example as utility inspectors.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an environmental inspector. For example, did you know that they make an average of $24.09 an hour? That's $50,109 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 8% and produce 7,000 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does an Environmental Inspector Do

There are certain skills that many environmental inspectors have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, communication skills and problem-solving skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be an environmental inspector, we found that a lot of resumes listed 13.7% of environmental inspectors included environmental compliance, while 4.8% of resumes included swppp, and 4.6% of resumes included water quality. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the environmental inspector job title. But what industry to start with? Most environmental inspectors actually find jobs in the energy and government industries.

How To Become an Environmental Inspector

If you're interested in becoming an environmental inspector, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 70.6% of environmental inspectors have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 10.1% of environmental inspectors have master's degrees. Even though most environmental inspectors have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become an environmental inspector. When we researched the most common majors for an environmental inspector, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on environmental inspector resumes include master's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an environmental inspector. In fact, many environmental inspector jobs require experience in a role such as utility inspector. Meanwhile, many environmental inspectors also have previous career experience in roles such as foreman or internship.

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Environmental Inspector Career Paths

Top Careers Before Environmental Inspector

9.2 %

Top Careers After Environmental Inspector

Environmental Inspector Jobs You Might Like

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Average Salary for an Environmental Inspector

Environmental Inspectors in America make an average salary of $50,109 per year or $24 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $71,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $35,000 per year.
Average Salary
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Recently Added Salaries

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Environmental Inspector Demographics



77.1 %


19.4 %


3.4 %



65.4 %

Hispanic or Latino

13.4 %

Black or African American

10.1 %

Foreign Languages Spoken


63.6 %


9.1 %


4.5 %
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Environmental Inspector Education


14.1 %
10.9 %



70.6 %


10.4 %


10.1 %

Top Colleges for Environmental Inspectors

1. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition

2. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

3. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

4. Colby College

Waterville, ME • Private

In-State Tuition

5. University of Washington

Seattle, WA • Private

In-State Tuition

6. North Carolina State University

Raleigh, NC • Private

In-State Tuition

7. University of California - Davis

Davis, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

8. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition

9. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

10. SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Syracuse, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
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Online Courses For Environmental Inspector That You May Like

ISO 14001:2015 Environmental management system

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

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, g...

Environmental Management & Ethics

Decision-makers often turn to scientists and engineers to assist them to navigate through complex environmental, health and societal challenges pervaded by systemic uncertainty, ambiguity and ethical implications. This course prepares you to meet the requests and demands of current and future decision-makers and in this course, you will analyze ethical challenges associated with environmental dilemmas and apply different decision making tools relevant to environmental management and regulation...

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Top Skills For an Environmental Inspector

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, 13.7% of environmental inspectors listed environmental compliance on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and communication skills are important as well.

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Top Environmental Inspector Employers

1. Tetra Tech
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2. Kinder Morgan
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3. Cleveland Integrity Services
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4. City of San Jose
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5. TRC Companies
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6. Enbridge
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Environmental Inspector Videos

Updated August 18, 2021