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Working as an Environmental Specialist

Environmental Specialists are responsible for monitoring the effects of pollution on our environment. They conduct research primarily in industrial areas and create reports on their findings, striving to advise stakeholders on creating a balance between industrial activities and sustainable living conditions.

Carrying out field investigations and analyzing test samples will be your primary duties. You might experiment with dying various materials to track areas potentially affected by toxic waste. You might create reports such as graphs and maps displaying various pollutants to inform key decision-makers.

Monitoring water quality and understanding the various ways in which human populations and activities affect wildlife may also be on your plate. If you are considering this position, you will need to obtain appropriate education and experience in the field. But rest assured, you will be heading towards a deeply meaningful career.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an environmental specialist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $25.09 an hour? That's $52,189 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 Specialist Do

There are certain skills that many environmental specialists 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 specialist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 11.7% of environmental specialists included procedures, while 11.2% of resumes included hazardous materials, and 6.8% of resumes included environmental compliance. 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 specialist job title. But what industry to start with? Most environmental specialists actually find jobs in the health care and manufacturing industries.

How To Become an Environmental Specialist

If you're interested in becoming an environmental specialist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 41.4% of environmental specialists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 21.9% of environmental specialists have master's degrees. Even though most environmental specialists 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 specialist. When we researched the most common majors for an environmental specialist, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on environmental specialist resumes include high school diploma degrees or associate degree degrees.

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

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Average Salary$52,189
Job Growth Rate8%

Environmental Specialist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Environmental Specialist

Cashier
8.2 %

Top Careers After Environmental Specialist

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Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for an Environmental Specialist

Environmental Specialists in America make an average salary of $52,189 per year or $25 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $73,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $37,000 per year.
Average Salary
$52,189

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range58k - 90k$73k$72,642
Commerce City, CO
Salary Range50k - 75k$62k$61,831
Conroe, TX
Salary Range46k - 78k$60k$60,411
New York, NY
Salary Range45k - 68k$56k$55,897
East Brunswick, NJ
Salary Range44k - 68k$55k$55,157
Toledo, OH
Salary Range43k - 64k$53k$52,955
$30k
$90k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Environmental Cleaning Specialist II
Environmental Cleaning Specialist II
Hirelevel.
Hirelevel.
01/31/2021
01/31/2021
$22,97801/31/2021
$22,978
Environmental Specialist
Environmental Specialist
Iowa Department of Administrative Services
Iowa Department of Administrative Services
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$48,19401/29/2021
$48,194
Environmental Specialist
Environmental Specialist
Veolia
Veolia
01/28/2021
01/28/2021
$35,47901/28/2021
$35,479
Environmental Specialist II
Environmental Specialist II
Florida Department of Transportation
Florida Department of Transportation
01/27/2021
01/27/2021
$36,46801/27/2021
$36,468
Environmental Specialist
Environmental Specialist
State of Iowa
State of Iowa
01/27/2021
01/27/2021
$48,19401/27/2021
$48,194
See More Recent Salaries

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Environmental Specialist Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming an Environmental Specialist. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write an Environmental Specialist Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Environmental Specialist resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Environmental Specialist Demographics

Gender

male

57.9 %

female

38.0 %

unknown

4.1 %

Ethnicity

White

84.3 %

Hispanic or Latino

6.3 %

Asian

5.0 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.9 %

French

10.3 %

Italian

4.5 %
See More Demographics

Environmental Specialist Education

Majors

Biology
10.8 %
Business
10.1 %

Degrees

Bachelors

41.4 %

Masters

21.9 %

High School Diploma

13.7 %

Top Colleges for Environmental Specialists

1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

2. University of California - Davis

Davis, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,402
Enrollment
30,698

3. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

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

4. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

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. SUNY Stony Brook

Stony Brook, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,625
Enrollment
17,407

8. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

9. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

10. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,430
Enrollment
5,963
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For an Environmental Specialist

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, 11.7% of environmental specialists listed procedures on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and communication skills are important as well.

Best States For an Environmental Specialist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an environmental specialist. The best states for people in this position are California, Colorado, New Mexico, and West Virginia. Environmental specialists make the most in California with an average salary of $67,959. Whereas in Colorado and New Mexico, they would average $61,959 and $61,564, respectively. While environmental specialists would only make an average of $61,103 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. West Virginia

Total Environmental Specialist Jobs:
59
Highest 10% Earn:
$90,000
Location Quotient:
1.24
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. Kentucky

Total Environmental Specialist Jobs:
165
Highest 10% Earn:
$86,000
Location Quotient:
1.41
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. New Mexico

Total Environmental Specialist Jobs:
67
Highest 10% Earn:
$96,000
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
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Top Environmental Specialist Employers

1. Veolia Environmental Services
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$76,903
Environmental Specialists Hired: 
71+
2. Missouri Department of Transportation
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$47,254
Environmental Specialists Hired: 
52+
3. Stericycle
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$56,885
Environmental Specialists Hired: 
38+
4. Arcadis
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$89,707
Environmental Specialists Hired: 
37+
5. State of Florida
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$40,224
Environmental Specialists Hired: 
34+
6. Maryland Environmental Service
2.9
Avg. Salary: 
$86,736
Environmental Specialists Hired: 
33+

Environmental Specialist Videos

Updated October 2, 2020