Environmental Planner / Scientist Career

Science and Research

 
Science and Research Careers | Environmental Planner / Scientist

Environmental Planner / Scientist

Career Area: Science and Research

Occupation Group: Environmental and Climate Science

Salary

Percentile wages tell how much a certain percentage of an overall population in a geographic area or within a given industry or field makes. The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall.

An example would be the 25th percentile, 25 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 75 percent earn more than the estimated wage value. At the 75th percentile, 75 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 25 percent earn more than the estimated wage value.

A typical Environmental Planner / Scientist earns the following wages (national and state):

State

The average salary in North Carolina for those pursuing this career is $58,544

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

National

The average salary in the United States for those pursuing this career is $60,313

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

Uses training and background in natural sciences to study the environment and threats to the environment. Investigates environmental problems and advises on solutions. May focus on potential environmental health risks to people, such as unsafe drinking water, or on protecting the environment and ecosystems from human activity such as development and industrial pollution.

Employment Trends

The job demand and job growth statistics shown here were derived from job posts over the past year. Expected job growth projections are extrapolated from year-over-year job post listing history.

Job demand and job growth is expected at the following rates:

Growth
North Carolina318+13.7%
Nationwide8898+11.1%

Skills

A professional in this position typically utilizes the following skills in the course of everyday work in this exciting and challenging field:

Baseline Skills

The following are baseline skills every Environmental Planner / Scientist is expected to have in order to experience success in this field:

  • Communication Skills: The ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently.
  • Planning: Planning (also called forethought) is the process of thinking about and organizing the activities required to achieve a desired goal.
  • Writing: Writing is a medium of human communication that represents language and emotion with signs and symbols.
  • Research: Research comprises creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of humans, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications. It is used to establish or confirm facts, reaffirm the results of previous work, solve new or existing problems, support theorems, or develop new theories.
  • Organizational Skills: The ability to use your time, energy, resources, etc. in an effective way so that you achievethe things you want to achieve

Specialized Skills

These skills are specific to working in this career:

  • Environmental Science: Environmental science is an interdisciplinary academic field that integrates physical, biological and information sciences (including ecology, biology, physics, chemistry, zoology, mineralogy, oceanology, limnology, soil science, geology, atmospheric science, and geodesy) to the study of the environment, and the solution of environmental problems.
  • Environmental Laws and Regulations: Working experience of Environmental Laws and Regulations. Environmental law, also known as environmental and natural resources law, is a collective term describing the network of treaties, statutes, regulations, common and customary laws addressing the effects of human activity on the natural environment. The core environmental law regimes address environmental pollution.
  • Biology: Biology is the natural science that involves the study of life and living organisms, including their physical and chemical structure, function, development and evolution.
  • Project Management: Project management is the discipline of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria.
  • Chemistry: Chemistry is a branch of physical science that studies the composition, structure, properties and change of matter.

Distinguishing Skills

Any Environmental Planner / Scientist that possesses the following skills will stand out against the competition:

  • Environmental Permitting: Environmental Permit is any permit, approval, identification number, license or other authorization required under any Environmental Law.
  • Site Assessments: Working experience of Site Assessments, which is determining the presence and concentration of hazardous contaminants on a piece of land.
  • Clean Water Act: The Clean Water Act (CWA) is the primary federal law in the United States governing water pollution.
  • Environmental Assessments: Environmental assessment (EA) is the assessment of the environmental consequences (positive and negative) of a plan, policy, program, or actual projects prior to the decision to move forward with the proposed action.
  • Natural Resource Management: Natural resource management refers to the management of natural resources such as land, water, soil, plants and animals, with a particular focus on how management affects the quality of life for both present and future generations (stewardship).

Salary Boosting Skills

A professional who wishes to excel in this career path may consider developing the following highly valued skills:

  • Site Remediation: Working experience of Site Remediation. The removal of pollution or contaminants from environmental media such as soil, groundwater, sediment, or surface water. This would mean that once requested by the government or a land remediation authority, immediate action should be taken as this can impact negatively on human health and the environment. Remedial action is generally subject to an array of regulatory requirements, and also can be based on assessments of human health and ecological risks where no legislated standards exist or where standards are advisory.
  • Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA): Working experience of Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), which provides a Federal Superfund to clean up uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous-waste sites as well as accidents, spills, and other emergency releases of pollutants and contaminants into the environment.

Education

This career typically requires the following level of education. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list education requirements.

.
Education Level%
Bachelor's Degree69%
Master's Degree27%
Doctoral Degree0%

Experience

This position typically requires the following level of experience. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Experience Required%
0 to 2 years37%
3 to 5 years42%
6 to 8 years9%

Many of the programs offered through NC State are designed for working professionals who need additional credentials to enhance existing work experience.

Students who do not have the expected level of experience may wish to look into internship and employment opportunities.

Common Job Titles

It is possible to find work in this field in positions commonly listed as the following job titles:

  • Environmental Specialist
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Environmental Protection Specialist
  • Environmental Planner
  • Senior Environmental Scientist

Similar Occupations

If you are interested in exploring similar occupations, you may want to research the following job titles:

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