Environmental Engineering is a branch of Engineering that uses the principles of Biology, Chemistry, Soil science and Engineering in solving various adverse environmental problems and protection of environment from potentially harmful effects caused by either natural occurrences or from certain human activities and technological advancement. (Civil and Environmental Engineering Career Opportunities, 23). It also deals with coming up with ways of improving the quality of the environment by coming up with explicit and sustainable measures to undertake in environmental protection. Furthermore, it addresses the issues of energy conservation, waste control from human and animal activities as well as general protection of the environment. This branch of engineering is also concerned with finding sustainable solutions in the field of public health such as control and mitigation of spread of various airborne and waterborne diseases. Thus in general environmental engineering helps in implementing laws promoting adequate sanitation, waste water management, air pollution control, recycling of waste materials, control of radiation, control of usage of agriculture chemicals, and other environmental hazards, public health and environmental engineering laws and regulations (Environmental Engineering, 2).
Environmental Engineering is a diverse career combining various branches of sciences and engineering in solving environmental issues, for this reason in it diversity, I find it suitable for research. It also involves practical and real time engagement of the researcher with the real environment that’s making it an interesting, active and an engaging career. It gives a researcher the opportunity of designing various systems to control environmental destructions, example of such systems include; waste water management and recycling systems, mines restoration systems and air purification systems and for this reason it improves on one’s creativity.
Many environmental engineers work in architectural companies, environmental management companies, and scientific research companies and in federal governmental ministries of either public works or ministries and parastatals involved with environmental conservation. Thus they work in offices while planning and designing various environmental systems or work in environmental permitting various environmental regulatory laws, they can also work outdoors on constructions and other sites whiling carrying environmental impact assessments test and while inspecting to see whether various environmental laws are put inconsideration while constructing various facilities (Career As an Industrial Engineer 15). While jobs and requirements vary from one corporation to another and from state to state, the general scope and job description of an Environmental Engineer incudes; Preparing, reviewing and updating environmental investigations reports, designing various projects example, air pollution control systems, water management control system, water treatment systems and various energy conservation systems, obtaining updating, and maintaining various plans and permits for standard operating procedures, analyzing scientific data and do quality control checks on environmental projects, proving technical support for environmental remediation projects and take legal actions against such. Inspecting various industrial, non-governmental, governmental and municipal and facilities and programs to ensure that they comply with states environmental rules and regulations designed for such facilities.
For one to be employed as an environmental engineer, he/she must have a BSc degree in Environmental, Civil or chemical engineering from a recognized university and having a Masters qualification is an added advantage (Career As an Industrial Engineer 26). Most companies require one to have professional experience and thus, it is of importance that one has practical experience through attachments, internships and volunteering in various corporations in order to have a competitive edge in securing a place in these companies. Corporations also require one to have a clear understanding and working knowledge of Federal and State Mining, Water, and Air Regulations policies and other policies designed for environmental conservation. An environmental Engineer is also required to be a person of high integrity, self-driven, of high interrelation skills and one who pays attention to details. An environmental engineer should also have technical ability, practical ability and logical approach to problem-solving.
They pay range of Environmental Engineers differs from state to state and varies depending on experience and level of education and specialty. Example, in the U.S the average pay for an Environmental Engineer is $62,716 per annum. Engineers within this salary range generally have working experience of less than 20 years and most of them are fresh graduates. A skills and experience in project management is associated with high pay in any kind of work and more so to environmental and any other kind of engineering. Experience generally has a moderate effect on salary and job groups. Environmental Engineering is a course which offers immerse opportunity for personal growth and development due to its diversity. Graduates can enroll for various Master of science programs to enable them specialize in various discipline of environmental engineering. Such programs includes: Masters in resource management and ecological engineering, Masters in engineering and suitable energy management, Masters in environmental modelling management and masters in environmental and land engineering among others. And later pursue their doctorate degrees to their main field of interest. In additional, it is noted that Environmental Engineering is more so dependent on a person creativity in coming up and designing various systems to combat environmental problems. In this case one can be self-employed but should have varied certification and license from various the concerned government bodies (Topping 16).
Environmental engineering an attractive career in that, it offers a dynamic working environment where one works in an office, laboratory or on sites, it requires one to be creative thus improving on a person’s ability to critically and creatively think, offers a competitive remuneration which with time increases depending on qualifications and experience, flexible working hours and most importantly it provides an opportunity for growth and advancement, due to interaction with various kind of people from different backgrounds, one improves on his interrelation skills (Environmental Engineering Selection Guide, 6). However, a career in Environmental Engineering tends to be rigorous as working on projects with deadlines can be challenging and stressful, work on the actual work site can be tiresome as it may include long hours of walking and standing, one may have to endure adverse weather conditions such as sunlight and heavy rains while working on site. In some cases a person will need to work for long hours to meet deadlines and this cause an imbalance between work and personal life, the job may also require you to work on dangerous areas or sites, it may also require you to work on hazardous element which may cause health complications, example of such is in chemical engineering and dealing with Bio-hazardous parameters, this may require you to take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety and that of others in the site and lastly, the process to becoming a certified engineer is long and very demanding, besides the necessary education requirements, one is required to have certain licensure or certification from concerned boards to work as an engineer. This proves to be a long process since one is required to earn work experience in the field before you are even considered for environmental engineering vacancy. As a person, I would largely consider and highly recommend this field of career to a friend, though it has some short comings, pros in this career surpass its cons.
Civil and Environmental Engineering Career Opportunities in the Indian Health Service, Division of Environmental Health. Rockville, MD: U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, Public Health Service, Indian Health Service, Office of Environmental Health and Engineering, 1989. https://www.truity.com/career-profile/environmental-engineer. Accessed 25th November 2017
Career As an Industrial Engineer: Efficiency Experts, Safety Engineers, Ergonomics Engineers, Environmental Health Engineers. Chicago: Institute for Career Research, 2006. Internet resource. https://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=environmental+engineering+career+guide&l=. 25th November 2017
“Environmental Engineering: National Conference: Papers.” (n.d.). Print. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/mostRecentIssue.jsp. Accessed 25th November 2017
Environmental Engineering Selection & Career Guide. Annapolis, Md: American Academy of Environmental Engineers, 2009. Print. https://www.allaboutcareers.com/careers/career-path/industrial-engineering. 25th November 2017.
Topping, B H. V. “10th International Conference on Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering Computing: Civil-comp 2005 and the 8th International Conference on the Application of Artificial Intelligence to Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering : Aicivil-Comp 2005.” (2008). Print. https://www.allaboutcareers.com/careers/career-path/industrial-engineering. Accessed 25th November 2017