Environmental Scientist Responsibilities

Usually, the job of the environmental scientist focuses on a few particular areas of environment which include removal and disposal of toxic or hazardous water, land conservation, acid rain, groundwater contamination or preservation of wildlife. Basically, environmental scientist responsibilities target preservation of healthy environment and prevention of and prevention of hazardous factors.

Environmental scientists conduct research and studies to find hazards and pollutants in the environment and eliminate them by proposing various remedial plans, all the while balancing between the economic needs of industries and workers and the natural environment. Their work pattern involves collecting analytical data in order to find out ways to prevent hazardous materials from contaminating the environment and thus hurting the community. They often engage in field research, lab and statistical analysis, and presentation of studies and data along with technical writing. Working in remote fields to inspect pollution or efforts in regards to conservation is also another duty of the environmental scientist.

What are the Job Responsibilities of an Environmental Scientist?

Protecting and preserving the environment are the prime tasks of environmental scientists. They strive to conserve air, water and earth by implementing a plan that works to make the environment free of pollutants and contaminants. Their job responsibilities include:

Required Skill

Environmental scientists have to work in laboratories as well as on the field; they have to make reports and documentations of their findings. As these experts work in a technical field, they need to have specific knowledge of software, technologies, etc., that are required for the accepted methods of their work pattern. They are expected to have knowledge of certain data management software; Geographic Information Systems is one of them. They need to be aware of advanced and updated literature and theories which are required to be implemented in their everyday research. Being familiar with statistical analysis and lab software programs is essential. Other required skills that are critical to the work pattern may include technical lab skills, species identification, proficiency in handling and operating computers, lab instruments and calculators, etc., for the purpose of data collection.

Educational Qualification and Career Outlook

The minimum educational requirement for a person to become an environmental scientist is to hold a bachelor's degree in environmental science or any one of the earth sciences. This is the basic requirement for an entry level job in the environmental field. Most of the environmental scientists are educators and researchers. Although a bachelor's degree can work as an entry level document, candidates with advanced degree can get more opportunities from many employers. Candidates holding advanced degree, Master's degree or doctorate degree in this field have great scope to get employed in major foundations and universities. Along with educational qualification, field training is also required. Many of these experts complete their internships immediately after completing or pursuing their undergraduate studies. Knowledge of certain basic theories and emerging research of a specific field is expected from an environmental scientist.

As per the estimation of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, environmental scientists have great scope of employment, and it will keep on growing in the upcoming years. There are few targeted factors such as increasing awareness of cleanliness and pollution free environment which contribute to this growing job field. These specialists would also require to plan environmental strategies in transportation, land restoration, utilities, building construction, etc., specifically as more industries and consumers are becoming eco-friendly. Entry level scientists perform field work by collecting environmental substance from various locations and examining them, while the experienced scientists may work in regular working shifts in laboratories and offices.


Environmental scientists get hired in local and state government, federal government and private firms. Majority of environmental scientists are employed in the government sector, mostly in monitoring, research or conservation work. It is estimated that this profile has great opportunities in private companies that provide environmental consulting services.

In order to prevent the contamination of the environment, number of government bodies have decreed legislation. They employ the environmental scientists to look after the hazardous practices of disposal by some some manufacturers and companies. These professionals are employed by the private organizations as well as the consulting firms and they make certain that they are working by following the laws. Environmental scientist responsibilities may vary slightly as per the firm where they are employed, but their basic role remains the same, i.e. developing remedial measures to reduce pollution in the environment.

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