More environmental engineers will be needed to comply with environmental regulations and to develop methods of cleaning up existing hazards. A shift in emphasis toward preventing problems rather than controlling those that already exist, as well as increasing public health concerns resulting from population growth, also are expected to spur demand for environmental engineers. Because of this employment growth, job opportunities should be good even as more students earn degrees. Even though employment of environmental engineers should be less affected by economic conditions than most other types of engineers, a significant economic downturn could reduce the emphasis on environmental protection, reducing job opportunities (US Department of Labor). CNN Money in 2011 ranked Environmental Engineering in the top 10 of best jobs for future growth in America (CNN Money).
Median salary: $78,740
Highest 10%: $119,060
As a group, engineers earn some of the highest average starting salaries among those holding bachelor’s degrees. Engineers had 12 of the top 15 starting salaries for undergraduates (24 Jul 09 – www.cnn.com).
Floodwaters, Cedar Rapids, IA - July 9, 2008 a
Windmills, Torres Verdas, Portugal b
Description - Environmental Engineering is broad in scope and draws on the disciplines of chemistry, ecology, geology, hydraulics, hydrology, microbiology, economics, and mathematics. Environmental Engineers develop the concepts, methodologies, and processes that protect human health and the natural environment.
Who Should Study Environmental Engineering - Cadets interested in protection of human health, preservation of the environment, and the practice of engineering.
The West Point Environmental Engineering Program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commision of ABET, www.abet.org.
Gilbertson, W.E., “Environmental Quality Goals and Challenges”, Proceedings of the Third National Environmental Engineering Education Conference, ed by P.W. Purdom, AAEE and AEEP, Drexel University, 1973.
Jones, S. et al., An Initial Effort to Count Environmental Engineers in the USA, Environmental Engineering Science, 22(6), 2005.
Mihelcic, J. Environmental Engineering is a Distinct Discipline, AEESP Newsletter, 42(2), 2008.