Environmental Engineering
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Environmental Engineering Overview

Majoring in Environmental Engineering combines an interest in the environment with engineering principles. If you're interested in natural environments, pollution control and improving the life of humans and animals, this could be an excellent major for you.

Environmental engineers help clean up the environment through the use of math and science. This major encompasses a wide range of subjects. Not only will you be taking engineering classes, but you will take in social sciences and environmental studies. These classes can include air pollution control, geology for engineers, hydrology and hydraulics, water pollution control and treatment, environmental engineering design, and environmental organic chemistry. You will learn how to design, create, and evaluate structures and equipment that will help protect, preserve or safely utilize environmental resources. Solutions to the issues in environment will include improving upon recycling, waste disposal, public health, and better ways to control both air and water pollution.

Required Skills

Students who are passionate about environmental issues are often drawn to this major. In addition, it will help you to have an interest in math and science. Be prepared to spend long hours studying in order to use valuable knowledge in the lab and in the field conducting research.

Much of your work, both in college and in your career, will involve working on a team. Be prepared to collaborate with team members to reach goals. You should also be comfortable speaking and writing about your findings.


Environmental engineer jobs are expected to grow at a faster than average rate through 2020. Both state and local governments are spending more money in efforts to increase efficiency of water use, waste disposal and pollution control. Environmental Engineers should also be able to find work in private business and corporations in order to maximize efficiency while following environmental protection laws.

Graduates with a degree in environmental engineering average $53,870 as a starting salary with a mid-career salary of $93,899.

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Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Environmental Engineering might open up.

Architectural and Engineering Managers
Engineering Teachers, Postsecondary
Environmental Engineers
Health and Safety Engineers, Except Mining Safety Engineers and Inspectors
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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