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Environmental Scientist



Investigate and solve environmental problems.

Salary Range

$47,507 - $64,379

Salary range derived from OFLC job titles

What does an Environmental Scientist do?

Environmental scientists apply hard scientific processes to the study of the environment. You use quantifiable, measurable data to report on environmental issues, and then, using that data, you work with environmental engineers to solve environmental problems. If you like the idea of combining science with the environment, both indoors and outdoors, then the job of an environmental scientist could be for you.

The world of environmental science encompasses many things, and the type of environmental science you end up practicing will be based largely on your specialization while in school. But you can expect certain common elements across all disciplines. In the big picture, you study manmade changes to the environment and release . These reports detail the state of a given set of environmental circumstances and provide the foundation for action—be it habitat restoration or emissions legislation—in the area of your research.

To create these reports, you gather data in the field, perform tests both in laboratories and the outside world, and compile reports based on your findings. When you’re out in the field, you follow your experiment’s protocol, and carefully gather uncompromised samples or observations that your study requires. Then you head back , where you process the data gathered in the field, and possibly perform experiments on it. You may do any of this work—field or lab—yourself, or you may supervise a team of environmental technicians.

As an environmental scientist, you usually have a steady, reliable schedule—though, of course, overtime and late nights may be required when deadlines for big reports get closer. But the payoff for those late nights in the lab? As an environmental scientist, you have a chance to save to world—literally!

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