Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health

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About the Job

Conduct research or perform investigation for the purpose of identifying, abating, or eliminating sources of pollutants or hazards that affect either the environment or the health of the population. Using knowledge of various scientific disciplines, may collect, synthesize, study, report, and recommend action based on data derived from measurements or observations of air, food, soil, water, and other sources.

It is also Called

  • Water Pollution Specialist
  • Water Pollution Scientist
  • Senior Environmental Scientist
  • Research Environmental Scientist
  • Regulatory Analyst
  • Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS)
  • Pollution Control Chemist
  • Marine Scientist
  • Hazardous Substances Scientist
  • Environmental Systems Coordinator
View All

What They Do

  • Develop programs designed to obtain the most productive, non-damaging use of land.
  • Research sources of pollution to determine their effects on the environment and to develop theories or methods of pollution abatement or control.
  • Monitor environmental impacts of development activities.
  • Conduct applied research on environmental topics, such as waste control or treatment or pollution abatement methods.
  • Investigate and report on accidents affecting the environment.
  • Plan or develop research models, using knowledge of mathematical and statistical concepts.
  • Supervise or train students, environmental technologists, technicians, or other related staff.
  • Process and review environmental permits, licenses, or related materials.
  • Determine data collection methods to be employed in research projects or surveys.
  • Develop methods to minimize the impact of production processes on the environment, based on the study and assessment of industrial production, environmental legislation, and physical, biological, and social environments.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IRC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Realistic and Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Recognition and Independence in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Wages

In 2017, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $72,630 with most people making between $42,780 and $116,810

Outlook

0.99%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 3,040 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 3,340 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 30 openings due to growth and about 90 replacement openings for approximately 120 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education