February 8, 2008
Eco-friendly jobs fill environmental niche
Richard E. Kraft entered the environmental field 35 years ago, long before colleges and universities offered degree programs in his area of expertise.
In the 1970s, the environmental movement was just beginning. Today, many companies employ workers with titles such as environmental scientist, environmental engineer, hazardous-waste-management specialist, geologist and industrial hygienist.
Kraft, now a chemical engineer for Patriot Engineering and Environmental in Indianapolis, does varied work. One day he may be considering the environmental implications of a manufacturing plant, and the next helping a homeowner with a leaky oil tank.
"I feel like I'm doing something that benefits people," he said. "It creates jobs and protects the environment in which we live."
Here are some careers that safeguard our health and surroundings:
Uses techniques from agriculture, chemistry, meteorology and engineering to determine how to control or eliminate air, water and soil pollution. May plan, design and oversee construction and maintenance projects, such as roads, bridges, dams and irrigation projects. Does technical research to help solve engineering problems.
Training: Bachelor's degree in environmental engineering.
Average pay: $61,631.
Conducts and analyzes research to identify and correct or eliminate air, water, soil or other pollutants that may affect people, wildlife and environments. Recommends ways to clean and preserve the environment. May design and monitor waste-disposal sites, water-supply sites and reclaim contaminated land and water areas. Collects data from pollution-emission measurements. Should be a critical thinker.
Training: Bachelor's degree.
Average pay: $59,623.
Helps to protect health and safety in the workplace and community by conducting programs to recognize, eliminate and control occupational health hazards and diseases. Collects and analyzes samples of dust, gases, vapors and other potentially toxic materials to determine if action needs to be taken. Reports on analysis of contaminants and recommendations to control and correct hazards.
Training: Bachelor's degree. May obtain certification from the American Board of Industrial Hygiene after four years on job.
Average pay: $58,038.
Responsible for how hazardous materials in the workplace are bought, stored and disposed of, and determining exposure risk to employees. May have to deal with paints, solvents, degreasers, lubrication compounds and other materials. May work in an industrial facility.
Training: Bachelor's degree. May be certified by the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management.
Average pay: $30,315.
Concerned with soil and subsurface structures, such as underground storage tanks at gas stations. Responds to spills or contamination that is underground or naturally occurring, but is not part of the initial emergency response. Collects soil samples to determine cleanup methods.
Training: Bachelor's degree.
Average beginning pay: $40,786.
Resumes and Job Hunt,
- career profile (164)
- cool jobs (68)
- education and training (61)
- entry level (70)
- etiquette (107)
- events (71)
- featured (416)
- finding your passion (96)
- health care (74)
- interviewing (88)
- job fairs (61)
- management (89)
- market trends (92)
- networking (274)
- resumes (102)
- salary (85)
- social media (91)
- technology (113)
- unemployment (55)
- work/life balance (91)