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If I get a degree in environmental engineering, how hard will it be for me to find a job when I graduate?

And how much money can I expect to make straight out of undergrad?

5 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    It is probably the only engineering field in which you will have difficulty finding a job. You will be lucky to start at over $50,000.

    Other engineers often do not consider environmental engineers to be real engineers. The problem is that environmental engineering does not designate a technical engineering specialty. Rather, it designates an objective for engineering projects which may required specialists in several field of engineering.

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  • First of all, I would recommend becoming a student member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and join a student chapter in your local/regional area.

    Reason being, the American Society of Civil Engineers has a water treatment competition among the student chapters each year, and they get to build a water treatment scenario within the rules, and then go compete against other schools.

    This experience will help you gain real-world experience to take in the real world with you. And any other extracurricular activities involving environmental engineering, or lab experience in an environmental engineering lab would help you greatly in finding a job after your undergraduate career ends.

    On top of that, I would not expect an entry-level environmental engineering salary to be above $50,000. I would suggest pursuing an alternative energy minor or something similar in your undergraduate while you have the chance, it would help diversify your resume for employers.

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  • riogas
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Be very careful of titles and words. concentration on precisely what you mentioned after the question. immediately each little thing is eco-friendly this and eco-friendly that. faculties furnish "environmental" analyze, technology and engineering and that they'd all be the comparable concern. there's a extensive distinction in being taught to be an ideologue whose purely destiny is protesting something and somebody who's conscious of a thank you to apply and comprehend a gasoline spectrometer. Get the element? And stable so which you would be able to choose for to be slightly of keeping air, water and floor sparkling. i'd propose you check out training standards in interest descriptions for companies that do environmental checks/sparkling-united statesand the environmental well-being divisions of public well-being departments. which will positioned you on the main appropriate music once you look heavily on the classes of a given "environmental" curriculum. There are faculties and universities that have the incredibly heavy on technology diploma you decide on for.

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  • 9 years ago

    The market for "Environmental Engineers" is not nearly as good as the tree-huggers attracted to this discipline want to believe.

    Environmental Engineers do not contribute much to the bottom line., Therefore, they re usually last hired, first fired.

    Environmental Engineers get no respect from other Engineers, who consider Environmental Engineers to be semi-educated interfering busybodies.

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  • 6 years ago

    Actually it won't be at all difficult for you to find work. It's one of the fastest growing engineering disciplines, and has a lower unemployment rate than either Civil or Mechanical engineers. It also has a higher starting salary for entry level positions than civil engineers get.

    Traditionally ENVEs work out of consulting firms or directly for the government. On one hand, this does mean intermittent bursts of a lack of work, but on the other hand, there's a great deal of variation in the work that should keep you always interested and on your toes. Also it allows you the opportunity to travel and do large amounts of field work.

    As far as this "actual engineer" business, it's really just a lack of understanding of ecosystem complexity and advanced feedback interactions that compels this myth within the field of more conventional engineers.

    Environmental engineering is not easy. The combination of a deep knowledge of regulations, advanced understanding of environmental chemistry, and the necessity of learning advanced computer modeling all make for a different type of engineer than is traditional.

    That's the thing, these other engineers are trying to claim that ENVEs are not "real engineers" because their discipline is so different from any of the other fields. But that is because ecosystems are extremely complex. More complex than the loadings of a skyscraper. More complex than a microcircuit. More complex than the fluid movement around an airplane.

    These places are not happy places for traditional engineers, and if you've got a traditional engineering mind, it will be extremely difficult for you. It requires a lot more of a connection with abstraction, and a lot more creativity.

    It's most comparable to Fluid Mechanics, which to this day is the bane of engineering students and professionals everywhere. Engineers are not big fans of random behavior, and they certainly don't like it when they can't compute the answers to the problems presented to them. At this point, there's no way to follow a series of equations and predict turbulent flow to an exacting standard, and it's exactly the same in predicting behavior in the environment.

    This is why you'll get a background in computer modeling that will leave you the envy of civil engineers the world over.

    The reason that Environmental Engineers are disrespected is not out of a lack of qualification. It's your job to crash everyone's party. Simple designs by CEs, mining engineers and petroleum engineers become orders of magnitude more expensive and complicated once the ENVE has taken a look, because it's your job to make sure that their projects won't violate environmental laws and incur massive fines on the companies.

    But frankly, when we live in a system as cohesive as ours, we have a right and a necessity to limit damage to the environment that will hurt humans and other organisms alike. All the ENVE gets to do is remind other engineers of the consequences of their actions.

    And without a dissenting voice in the room, we get some god-awful terrible designs. Just look at TEPCO and the Fukushima clean up for a perfect example. They may hate on you because you're bruising their egos and crushing their ideas, but if they can't appreciate the exacting standard of the engineering discipline, they don't belong in the field anyways. It surprises me that other engineers would feel this way about ENVEs, but it just goes to show you how even amongst engineers, ego and emotion often trump logic and good sense. Clearly we're not robots yet.

    And when you really look at it, the arguments about the worth of ENVEs all are coming down to the fact that they're not working with protracted, predictable behavior in simple systems (comparably)? That their field requires expertise in the most complex system known to mankind? How could that possibly be an insult? It's basically like arguing that because you went to your local state college, your degree is worth more than one from Harvard. It isn't, and you should just quit talking before you make yourself look less intelligent.

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