Environmental science is an interdisciplinary field that integrates physical and biological sciences in the study of the environment and in the solution of environmental problems. Environmental science provides an integrated, quantitative, and interdisciplinary approach to the study of environmental systems (School of Science, 2011).
About the Major
Opportunities After Graduation
Employment of environmental scientists and specialists is expected to grow by 19% from 2010 to 2020, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. Heightened public interest in the hazards facing the environment, as well as the increasing demands placed on the environment by population growth, is projected to spur demand for environmental scientists and specialists. Further demand is also expected as a result of new and increasingly complex environmental laws and regulations. Most employment growth for environmental scientists and specialists is projected to be in private consulting firms that help clients monitor and manage environmental concerns and comply with regulations (Bureau of Labor statistics, U.S. Department of Labor; Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012–2013 edition).
Examples of national median annual salaries of careers that can be obtained with an environmental science degree are: environmental engineer, $80,890; natural sciences manager, $115,730; environmental teacher, $77,320; soil and water conservator, $61,100; and environmental science and protection technicians, $45,350 (O*NET, 12/13).
(This section is intended for information purposes, not prediction of actual salary.)
Environmental science graduates may choose to pursue advanced degrees in one of the following areas: environmental science, chemistry, biology, physics, and geoscience.
- Climate change
- Organic chemistry
- Mathematical methods in environmental science
- Earth materials
- Environmental geology
- Environmental science and protection technicians
- Environmental engineer
- Natural sciences manager
- Environmental teacher
- Environmental consultant
Where could I work?
- Federal and state agencies
- Industry and consulting firms
- Environmental firms
- Management, scientific, and technological consulting firms
- Architectural firms
Where to Get More Information
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Cluster
This major belongs to the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) cluster. The STEM cluster is the academic home of University College students pursuing majors in the sciences, technology, engineering, informatics, and computing. The STEM cluster partners with students on their academic advising and career plans to guide them into their degree-granting schools.