What jobs usually go to Environmental Scientists, and what jobs go to Environmental Engineers?

In consulting, what jobs go to who? Are there areas where Environmental Scientists have more of an advantage than the Engineers?

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    If you want to get into the environmental consulting field a BS or higher in Engineering or Geology is essential. Those that I have worked with with degrees in Environmental Science do not garner the respect of the Geologist or Engineer.

    Depending on what state you live in, either the geologist or engineer will take honors as to who gets the most respect.

    Regardless of if you are a geologist or an engineer, it is essential that you gain a registered Professional status. PE's have been organized longer, so there are more of them and they have more respect in the industry (as a civil engineer can learns the basics of environmental geology, but a geologist does not learn the basics of bridge building). It is my observation, that certain states will place an emphasis on being a PE over a PG (again, the PG is new and has to earn its place in the industry).

    That being said, a PG can practice environmental consulting without any problem.

    I have worked with both PEs and PGs and have not had any problem with either. It is my unbiased opinion that engineers seem to do better in the industry (at least watching the PGs in the area where I work).

    If you study engineering: Go into Chemical, Environmental or Civil. These types do the best in consulting arena.

    For Geologists, it is essential that you pass the PG exam if you are to make it.

    Consulting is highly competitive and you are prone to be overworked and underpaid. I have worked for several consulting firms in my career (and I am now in Private Industry where I hire Consultants). The best consultant is one that has a broad exposure to all aspects of the industry. You generally will not get this working in a larger firm. They will park you in one area and that is all you do.

    Smaller firms, however, do not get the big jobs. So, it is a trade off.

    Regardless of whether you work for a small or large firm, you are only as good as the last report you submitted and the last invoice you turned in. It is not uncommon for layoffs to occur if you have 2 months of consecutive idle (non-billable) time.

    I have seen many of the people that I started with work for an average of one firm for about 24 months before they go somewhere else.

    It is a pressure cooker as you are always facing deadlines and if you are a senior manager, a field guy can screw things up in front of a client and get you run-off fast. I worked with a PG that was using a previously written proposal to write a new proposal for another jobsite for a large client. She was not as smart as she thought she was and sent the new proposal without reviewing the verbiage (the secretaries missed a page). So, in this proposal, you had $$ amounts and references to a project that was not relative to the proposal. Unfortunately, the office manager that submitted the proposal did not review it either and it was turned into the client for review.

    To make a long story short, the client called me (I was in the field behind a drilling rig) and chewed me out for her mistake and told me we were fired. It was a lesson that I have not forgotten about how easy it is to be fired by a client.

    I could go on about how the ES's I hired washed out too, but it would take me all day to type it. Suffice it to say, I am wary when I meet anybody that is not a geologist or an engineer.

    Source(s): I love consulting. As a member of the Private Sector, I really enjoy exposing stupidity by consultants that are billing me at $150/hour. These types will only bill be once and that is it. I was on a job last month where I was having to teach my $150/hour consultant proper sampling protocol (per EPA). It was not a lesson that was missed by the senior management these guys will be fired at the end of the project. So, be careful and make sure you know more than the guy next to you when you accept a job.
  • JimZ
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Here in California it is far more advantageous to be a geologist. Geologists rule the environmental field even more than do Environmental scientists. Go figure. The reason is that it requires a state registered geologists (PG) to sign papers. Engineers who have civil certification are approximately equal with a little different scope. They might handle remediation systems and that sort of thing whereas geologists would handle assessments. Honestly, I would strongly recommend not getting an environmental science degree. Probably it is unfair, but they are not provided as much respect. There may be places where environmental scientists are given more respect but I don't know where.

    Source(s): registered geologists and evironmental consultant.
  • 1 decade ago

    Everyone works for the Env. Engineer. My father is an Environmental Engineer, he hires the scientist, the Geologists, and the consultants.

  • 1 decade ago

    If you're more interested in the natural and biological aspect of the environment, then you'd want to be an Environmental Scientist. If you're good with numbers and formulas, then you could also be an Environmental Engineer.

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  • 1 decade ago

    My son is an environmental engineer in London. He oversees new building projects and makes sure they are energy efficient. Also reviews energy use in existing buildings and recommends changes to save energy costs. Loves his job.

    Don't know what an environmental scientist would do.

    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Hello, I am an Energy Engineer focused on Renewables and Energy efficiency and it´s also a very interesting field.

    As I started we only had 2 MSc for that in Germany and there was another one in Sweden... Nowadays over 40 similar programms are offered.

    I work in the field of Energy and Climate Strategies, including carbon market design, energy efficiency, corporate carbon strategies and it´s an exciting field. The company I work for has now almost 500 people and it´s VERY difficult to hire...

    You can find who recruits and in which field on:


  • 1 decade ago

    E.S's . are basicly researchers and inventors. E.E.'s are the designers and builders of enviromental projects using the technology developed by the scientists.

    If you are asking which profession would be considered more prestigous or professional. , only you can answer that.For myself I think engineers have more leeway , because they take information and researched technology and apply it to a projects, many times as a dedicated, single ,specific component. I consider myself more hands on type of person.

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