How to Become an Environmental Engineer

Environmental Engineer Courses

Environmental engineers use their knowledge of engineering to find more sustainable ways to dispose of waste and minimise pollution. They work on sustainable projects including sanitising water, disposing waste sustainably and recovering damaged land.

Environmental engineers are a specific type of engineer. They are experts in sustainability and use this knowledge to create technologies and systems that will help the environmental situation of countries around the world. 

They will work on a variety of projects that are based on environmental protection. There are several types of environmental engineering – an engineer may focus on one or two of these categories, or they could have a more general role. 

The types of environmental engineering include: 

  • Sustainable disposal of waste and single-use materials. 
  • Infrastructure and sustainable development
  • Flood risk
  • Environmental compliance and management of pollutants 
  • Recovery of land
  • Clean water supply

The duties of an environmental engineer will vary depending on their specialism, but could include: 

  • Working on projects to evaluate their environmental impact, and assessing what can be done to make them more sustainable. 
  • Visiting sites and evaluating their success first-hand.
  • Gathering relevant sources to obtain more information about the project and including these with sources backing up their ideas.
  • Putting together their findings and making notes on the recommendations for each particular project.
  • Producing health and safety protocols that have the environment in mind.
  • Communicating with local authorities and other professionals involved in the product.

Most candidates will have a degree in engineering. However, to become an environmental engineer, some candidates have a degree in another science or environmental topic. Other relevant subjects include geography, geology, physics, chemistry, or environmental science. 

An increasing amount of applicants for environmental engineer jobs are applying with a master’s degree. Relevant topics include environmental engineering and environmental monitoring. 

Graduate schemes are available and could be an excellent way for a candidate to get their first job. Furthermore, it is possible to obtain some experience in other environment-based industries and move into environmental engineering. 

Work experience and having solid environmental knowledge is beneficial when applying to this field. Candidates could volunteer for environmental charities that raise awareness of the importance of protecting the environment. They could also take some supplementary courses to broaden their knowledge.

Environmental engineers should have keen data collecting and writing skills, as this will be a core part of their job. They will often need to discuss environmental issues with other professionals, so communication skills are crucial. 

Candidates will often have project deadlines and should be able to meet these. Furthermore, they will often have to manage lots of phases of a project simultaneously, so they must be able to work under pressure and have time management and organisational skills. 

Environmental engineers can be employed in the private or public sectors. They could work for the government, for energy companies, for mining companies or in the construction industry. Their prospective employers depend on their specialism and where they are based. 

Travel is a large part of this career. Environmental engineers may be required to visit a particular site regularly, and they may need to stay there overnight. They may also need to work outdoors in all conditions.

One particular obstacle that environmental engineers may face is experiencing legislation or health and safety issues. They will have to work with their objectives to overcome this.

Environmental engineers can move onto more senior roles, where they may have a primary say in what solutions to use. They may also specialise in a particular type of environmental engineering. Some environmental engineers move into independent consulting or working on a freelance basis. 

As there is a global shift towards living in a more environmentally-friendly way, there is an increasing amount of availability for work in this discipline.

What degree is most commonly held by an Environmental Engineer Courses ?

  • Bachelor of Environmental Science and Engineering
  • Bachelor of Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Technology, Environmental Engineering

Career Transportability across Countries

Transportability: High
Global opportunities are ample in this career. Experts in environmental engineering may find placements all over the world, and be able to work there on a temporary or permanent basis. Knowledge of the local customs and culture is a must, as there will be different legislation in each country, and speaking the local language is also a bonus.

What is the Salary of an Environmental Engineer Courses ?

Experience Average salary | year
Environmental Engineer 1-3 yrs $66,000 £24,000 $54,000
Manager (Environmental Engineer) 3-5 yrs $87,000 £28,500 $80,311
Director ( Environmental Engineer) 5-10 yrs $126,000 £50,000 $102,4340

What skills are needed to become an Environmental Engineer Courses ?

  • Environmental Awareness
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Microsoft Office
  • Project Management
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Environmental Compliance
  • Environmental Management Systems
  • Environmental Consulting
  • Water
  • Research
  • Sustainability
  • Teamwork
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Science
  • Water Quality
  • Groundwater
  • Microsoft Word
  • AutoCAD
  • Remediation
  • Contaminated Land
  • Waste Management
  • Leadership
  • Data Analysis
  • Customer Service

Environmental Engineer Courses

As environmental engineers should be experts in both engineering and the environment, additional study is essential. At FutureLearn, we have plenty of appropriate courses, including Justice in Natural Resource Management and Sustainable Construction and Development.

  • Sustainability and Green Logistics: An Introduction

    Explore the principles of sustainability and understand how to create more sustainable logistics and procurement practices

  • Data Science for Environmental Modelling and Renewables

    Learn how data science can help us understand our environment and try the tools used by statisticians and data scientists

  • Sustainable Construction and Development

    Gain valuable insight into sustainable construction and development and learn best practices from sustainability initiatives

  • Environmental Challenges: Justice in Natural Resource Management

    How do we ensure that the difficult decisions about the management of natural resources are just and fair for all

  • Macro Environmental Analysis and Business Strategy: An Introduction

    Explore the fundamentals of business strategy and learn how the macro environment affects strategy formation

  • Supply Chain Innovation: How Technology Can Create a Sustainable Future

    Understand how new technologies can make supply chains more sustainable and learn how to deal with today's trends

  • Consumer and Environmental Safety: Food Packaging and Kitchenware

    Discover the importance of kitchenware and packaging that is safe for people and the environment alike

  • Innovation in Arable Farming: Technologies for Sustainable Farming Systems

    Explore how innovative digital technologies can help achieve sustainable intensification of arable farming systems

Need even more evidence about why you should learn on FutureLearn?

We partner with over 170 world-class universities, institutions and industry leaders to create world-class courses to help you with your career. Whether you’re just starting out, wanting to deepen your knowledge or change direction, FutureLearn and our partners can help. These are just a few of our world-leading partners.