Assistant Environmental Scientist

The broad field of public health offers a great deal to those interested in science, and just one of these careers is that of an assistant environmental scientist. These public health professionals assist environmental scientists in their testing and study of environmental issues which may impact a population’s level of public health, and this exciting career allows for a great deal of growth and personal reward.

In this tough economic times, it can be difficult to find a career that allows a person to stay gainfully employed while doing something that creates a positive impact, but both of these  factors are present in assistant environmental scientist careers, making this one career path that is worthy of serious consideration.

What Is An Assistant Environmental Scientist?

The role of an assistant environmental scientist is to aid a team of environmental scientists with their studies in the field. This job will be comprised of many different tasks involving environmental and public health, and a person will have the option to work locally or abroad on the public health of different populations.

On a typical workday, an assistant environmental scientist may be found:

  •   Collecting and analyzing various forms of biological data from the environment which surrounds a population or region.
  •   Developing working relationships with various environmental and government groups to assist in the collection and studying of environmental samples as well as solutions to any environmental hazards found.
  •   Using computer software to enter findings into a database, analyze digital pieces of information, or process complex forms of data
  •   Preparing research reports that include environmental impact records as they relate to public health
  •   Communicating results or findings to other public health professionals, healthcare agencies, government agencies, or the public in the interest of protecting public health
  •   Supervising laboratory technicians as they conduct tests on collected samples
  •   Working with various scientists and public health professionals to aid them in their various environmental science procedures or duties.
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The role of an assistant environmental scientist is to make sure that the work of environmental scientists goes smoothly, and that all environmental hazards to public health, as well as the solutions to stop these hazards, can be found through testing, study, analysis, and research. Assistant environmental scientists will learn the ins and outs of environmental science and public health, and many will go on to progress their careers as environmental scientists as time goes on.

Education And Training

In order to begin a career as an entry level assistant environmental scientist in the public health field one will typically need to obtain a bachelor’s degree. While some employers may recommend a master’s degree, a bachelor’s level is the standard requirement. In order to get this degree one must complete a 4 year undergraduate program at a college or university of their choosing majoring in public health, biology, chemistry, or a science related field. With those who choose to major in public health, special care should be taken to courses that involve various sciences.

With this degree may come internship opportunities that allow students to gain experience in the field while simultaneously gaining knowledge in the classroom, and these internships will often involve working alongside a professional assistant environmental scientist or an environmental science team in order to build a foundation of what is expected in terms of working professionally.

If a person wishes to become certified in environmental science or public health upon completion of their bachelor’s degree program, there are programs and exams that will allow them to earn a certificate. These post-graduate certificates are not always necessary but they are commonly recommended, and certification may need to be renewed every 3-5 years depending on the certificate being held.

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There is a steep demand for assistant environmental scientists and environmental scientists in the field of public health, and this demand is expected to continue to rise to 15% by the year 2022. This rise in demand translates to job vacancies being available to those just starting out in the field, and employment opportunities are found to be abundant. On average, an assistant environmental scientist can expect to earn around $50,000 per year for an entry level position, and this amount will often rise with related experience. 

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