Careers in public health continue to boom while other types of careers take a downturn during economic downswings, and just one of the many careers involved with public health is that of an environmental engineer. Environmental engineers are able to directly help others with their work on environmental testing and the elimination of environmental hazards, as they also enjoy a comfortable pay rate and impeccable job security.
Becoming an environmental health engineer is a worthwhile choice for any person looking to become a public health professional, as this exciting and rewarding career comes with a plethora of personal and financial benefits. Those working as environmental health engineers also have the ability to work locally or in different parts of the globe helping various different communities.
What Is An Environmental Health Engineer?
An environmental health engineer will use a vast array of different scientific and biology related techniques to test environmental factors for risks or hazards to public health. These professionals can be found in rural environments, suburban environments, or urban environments, as no matter the type of community a population lives in their environment will affect their overall level of health. An environmental health engineer may even be found working alongside construction crews at new build sites to ensure that the construction process is not creating an environmental hazard to those living around the area.
Some common day to day tasks of an environmental health engineer are:
- Monitoring the air quality in different regions to detect potential environmental public health hazards
- Designing animal housing projects in order to help to stop the spread of environmentally related diseases within animal and human populations of an area
- General environmental management
- Design and manage different water control systems to avoid environmental contaminants from reaching public drinking water
- Developing systems for the management of different human and environmental wastes
- Performing regular environmental inspections
- Creating systems that allow food to grow safely without harming a natural environment
- Creating environmental health and hazard reports
An environmental health engineer may work in a wide variety of different locations, and this is due to the number of varied tasks they perform. The average environmental health engineer will develop systems and solutions to help to stop environmental hazards from harming populations of people while simultaneously protecting the environment from any new hazards that may arise due to human intervention.
Education And Training
Typically, an environmental health engineer will only need a bachelor’s degree in public health, environmental science, or another related field to work as a professional in the field, however a master’s degree may be desired if a person wishes to have an advantage on their professional competition in terms of employment. The path to becoming an environmental engineer will first begin in high school or through GED courses where special care should be paid to all science, mathematics, and health related courses.
Once a GED or high school diploma is earned, a person will then go on to earn a bachelor’s degree in public health or environmental science through a 4 year undergraduate program. This program will consist of classroom study in a variety of different courses and may be taken at the university of a student’s choosing. Courses on environmental science, technology, mathematics, and healthcare related subjects should be taken to ensure a proper level of preparedness for working professionally as an environmental health engineer or a master’s degree program.
If a person’s chooses to pursue a master’s degree, they will then begin a 2 year master’s program after earning their bachelor’s. This master’s degree program will consist of both field work and classroom study, and these programs may be taken in an online and in classroom format depending on the institution.
There are 8,100 new job vacancies expected in the field of environmental health engineering by the year 2022, creating a 15% rise in demand according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This rise in demand will translate to new jobs being available to those pursing this career path, with plenty of options for prospective professionals to choose from. The average salary of an environmental health engineer is around $80,890 per year, although those with experience in a specialized field will commonly make more.