What Can You Do With an Environmental Science Degree?

What Can You Do With an Environmental Science Degree?

If you are fascinated by ecosystems and the earth’s atmosphere, you may be considering pursuing an environmental science degree. In this field, you can help organizations put practices in place that can preserve our environment for the future. Keep reading to learn more about career paths and the average pay for environmental science.

What Is an Environmental Science Degree?

An environmental science degree is the study of interactions between biological, physical and chemical elements of the earth. It looks at how people interact with the environment and focuses on finding solutions for how we can preserve it. In this degree, you’ll study subjects such as ecology, biology, chemistry and biology.

This degree includes traditional coursework, experimental experiences and internships. Students gain both scientific knowledge and hands-on training, allowing them to customize their careers and work towards creating change in our environment. Students who study environmental science spend a lot of time outdoors examining nature. If you are passionate about protecting and preserving our natural environment, then this could be the ideal degree for you.

What Jobs Can You Get With an Environmental Science Degree?

The demand for jobs in environmental science has increased because of the effects that climate change is having on our environment. There are various roles in this field that tackle important environmental issues such as pollution and deforestation. Let’s look at some job roles and what they entail:

Environmental Scientist

Environmental scientists typically work for organizations such as universities, government organizations and private laboratories. For the most part, environmental scientists spend time in an office or laboratory, but the job may also require traveling to specific sites to collect data.

As an environmental scientist, you also have great career options. You can work in the field monitoring ecosystems and addressing environmental concerns. The field work will include responsibilities such as collecting samples of soil, water, air and other organic material. You may also have to present your findings on environmental issues to the government or businesses. Such presentations may be in the form of papers, technical reports, oral presentations or educational forums.

The following skills will serve you well in this role:

  • Knowledge of laws, codes and government environmental regulations
  • Written and oral communication skills
  • Collaboration skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking

Wildlife Biologist

If you’re passionate about working with animals, an environmental science degree will also allow you to do so. Wildlife biologists study animals and their relationship with the environment. In this role, you may work in an office, on the field or in a lab. It’s important to have the following skills in this role:

  • Observation and note-taking
  • Ability to work in nature on tough terrain
  • Knowledge of animals’ anatomy, behavior and ecosystems

Environmental Engineer

Environmental engineers often work on projects to create systems and buildings that address environmental concerns. In this role, you’ll work in an office and travel to construction sites to provide in-person support. Environmental engineers require the following skills:

  • Creativity
  • Problem-solving and critical thinking
  • Design skills
  • Collaboration

Environmental Consultant

If you’d like to be your own boss and work flexible hours, consider choosing a career as an environmental consultant. Businesses, government agencies and non-profits often hire environmental consultants on a project-by-project basis. These organizations hire environmental scientists to advise them on how to manage environmental issues and reduce their carbon footprint. Key job skills include:

  • Ability to market yourself
  • Communication skills
  • Ability to manage multiple client relationships

Park Ranger

Park Ranger

If you want a role that allows you to spend a lot of time outdoors, consider becoming a park ranger. You can work in a private or public park or recreational area to keep people and the environment safe. You’ll also educate people about the environment and enforce park rules. Most rangers either live in the park or nearby, so you may have to live in a remote location. Park rangers need the following skills:

  • Communication skills
  • Ability to spend a long time outdoors
  • Strength to carry out physical labor
  • Knowledge of laws, rules and regulations

Environmental Lawyer

To become an environmental lawyer, you can first get your environmental science degree and then go on to law school. Environmental lawyers focus on cases related to people and the environment. They may lobby for new environmental laws to protect ecosystems. These lawyers often work with non-profits, government organizations or private practices. To become and environmental lawyer, you need these skills:

  • Public speaking skills
  • Knowledge of U.S. justice system

Environmental Technician

This job is a great entry-level position once you’ve finished your degree. Your main responsibility in this role is to identify, assess and prevent different forms of contamination in the environment. You may have to travel to different sites to collect data — many technicians work alongside environmental engineers. Important skills for this role include:

  • Collecting and analyzing data
  • Laboratory skills
  • Knowledge of safety protocols


Meteorologists study and analyze the Earth’s atmosphere to predict, track and monitor weather patterns. They work with technology such as radars and satellites to obtain and study the climate. Meteorologists can also help us understand the impacts of climate change and what it does to the environment and weather patterns. Meteorologists need the following skills:

  • Ability to use technology to analyze data
  • Written and oral communication
  • Ability to work under pressure

What Is the Average Salary for an Environmental Scientist?

Wondering what the average salary for environmental science in Massachusetts is? In the United States, environmental scientists earn about $76,480 annually, but actual pay will depend on your role and experience.

Is an Environmental Science Degree Worth It?

An environmental science degree is ideal for people who are fond of researching, analyzing and solving problems. If you want to make a positive impact on the environment and help organizations develop sustainable practices, this degree may be a good option for you. By developing scientific knowledge, research skills, data analysis skills and an understanding of field methods and technologies, you can broaden your options for the career path you can take after your degree.

Get Your Environmental Science Degree at Mount Wachusett Community College

Get Your Environmental Science Degree at Mount Wachusett Community College

If you are passionate about the environment, studying environmental science may be the right fit for you. You can choose to work in a role where you spend your days out on the field in nature or in a laboratory or office, finding sustainable solutions for our planet.

The earth environmental science associate degree at Mount Wachusett Community College equips students with knowledge of the current and future care, safety and conservation of our environment. To learn more, request more information online or fill out an application form to enroll today!