Industrial Ecologists

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About the Job

Apply principles and processes of natural ecosystems to develop models for efficient industrial systems. Use knowledge from the physical and social sciences to maximize effective use of natural resources in the production and use of goods and services. Examine societal issues and their relationship with both technical systems and the environment.

It is also Called

  • Wildlife Biostation Research Ecologist
  • Sustainable Systems Analyst
  • Sustainability Consultant
  • Researcher
  • Research Scientist
  • Research Environmental Engineer
  • Product Development Ecologist
  • Natural Resources Engineer
  • Life Cycle Assessment Analyst
  • Industrial Retrofit Designer
View All

What They Do

  • Investigate the adaptability of various animal and plant species to changed environmental conditions.
  • Develop or test protocols to monitor ecosystem components and ecological processes.
  • Conduct analyses to determine the maximum amount of work that can be accomplished for a given amount of energy in a system, such as industrial production systems and waste treatment systems.
  • Conduct scientific protection, mitigation, or restoration projects to prevent resource damage, maintain the integrity of critical habitats, and minimize the impact of human activities.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of industrial ecology programs using statistical analysis and applications.
  • Conduct applied research on the effects of industrial processes on the protection, restoration, inventory, monitoring, or reintroduction of species to the natural environment.
  • Create complex and dynamic mathematical models of population, community, or ecological systems.
  • Investigate accidents affecting the environment to assess ecological impact.
  • Apply new or existing research about natural ecosystems to understand economic and industrial systems in the context of the environment.
  • Perform environmentally extended input-output (EE I-O) analyses.

Interests

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

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

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Independence and Working Conditions 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.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

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.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • 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.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

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