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What is Environmental Science?
Environmental science is the study of physical, chemical and biological processes and how they affect the environment. Additionally, environmental scientists attempt to understand problems such as pollution, climate change, and resource depletion in a scientific manner. Individuals in this field will work in various locations and with varied employers in order to ensure the safety and preservation of resources and ecosystems.
Students seeking a degree in environmental science will be exposed to multiple scientific disciplines and learn to combine them in theoretical and practical settings.Due to the variety of sciences necessary to be able to properly work in the field, individuals will have to have strong backgrounds in math as well be knowledgeable regarding scientific theories, methodologies and technologies that may affect the study of environmental science and the gathering and examination of research. Degrees are available at all levels, though a bachelor's degree is typically required to be considered for employment.
Coursework may include classes in:
Individuals in this field will seek employment either through government agencies or programs, or through private companies that seek to evaluate the effect of their business on the environment and how to be more eco-friendly. Additionally, employment within research studies or non-profit organizations is also possible. Higher level degrees allow individuals to be considered for grants to conduct their own research programs and employment as educators, with doctoral recipients often working within a university to conduct experiments and research.
Job Growth, Salary, and Related Fields
Careers in environmental science are expected to grow more rapidly in the coming years. This is due to increasing concern by governments, businesses and individuals over the environment and how to prevent environmental disasters. The average wage for an environmental scientist is approximately $59,000 a year, with a low of $36,000 per year. A large portion of environmental scientists work for government agencies but private businesses are beginning to employ more in an effort to keep green. Growth is also being seen in private consulting firms.