Undergraduate Degree & Course Catalog

Environmental Engineering - Careers

Career Information and Further Study

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for environmental engineers is projected to increase by 13% through 2014 to 2024. Environmental engineers work to understand the processes that transport and transform contaminants in both the natural (air, water, and land) and engineered (treatment plants and industry) environments. Specific examples include processes related to global warming, the movement of contaminants such as pesticides through a watershed, the uptake of toxic mercury by fish in the Great Lakes, the movement of strontium in groundwater, and the removal of disease-causing organisms by ultraviolet light in drinking water.

Environmental engineers choose from a broad spectrum of employment opportunities in private consulting firms (in which environmental engineers often participate as owners or partners), industry, governmental agencies and research/development. Some graduates return immediately or within a few years to graduate school for advanced studies. BS graduates also have the skills and most prerequisites to pursue further education in law, management, public health, or other professional fields.

Environmental engineering jobs are diverse and include consulting engineering firms, government, and industry. Here is a partial list of companies and agencies who recruit students from the University at Buffalo's Environmental Engineering program:
ALCOA, Buffalo Sewer Authority, CH2M Hill, DuPont, Ecology and Environment, Inc., Erie County Water Authority, GHD, Arcadis, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Parsons Engineering Science, URS Corp., and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Career Hints

Degree level required: A significant number of employers require or reward an MS degree for environmental engineering jobs. Thus, some students continue their studies at the graduate level.

Salary Trends

Average starting salary: $55,000

Factors influencing salary: Educational level, experience, specialization, GPA, location, computer skills, and many other factors. The best way to ensure a good starting salary is to intern with a environmental engineering-related firm before graduation, earn a competitive GPA, and do undergraduate research with a faculty member.

Additional Resources

Last updated: November 22 2021 21:01:55