How to become an Environmental Engineer

Environmental Engineer

Environmental engineers are concerned with assessing and managing the effects of human and other activity on the natural and built environment. They apply their engineering knowledge and skills to such things as environmental impact assessment, natural resources management and pollution control.

Personal requirements for an Environmental Engineer

  • Enjoy technical and engineering activities
  • Willing to adhere to safety requirements
  • Able to identify, analyse and solve problems
  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Enjoy computing and technical design
  • Practical and creative
  • Able to accept responsibility

Education & Training for an Environmental Engineer

To become an environmental engineer you usually have to complete a degree in engineering with a major in environmental engineering. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, chemistry and physics are normally required. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.


Additional information

Graduates may be eligible for membership of Engineers Australia. Visit their website for more details.

Duties & Tasks of an Environmental Engineer

Environmental engineers:

  • Research and develop new technologies and techniques to improve the environmental acceptability of engineering projects
  • Evaluate environmental and social impacts of engineering projects in association with the public, scientists and other engineers
  • Design and operate processes to treat waste to a standard acceptable for discharge and/or recycling (waste water treatment or waste solidification, for example)
  • Work with occupational health experts to ensure a hazard-free working environment
  • Prepare reports and studies on the best approach to environmental management in new and existing engineering projects, taking into account environmentally sustainable economic activity, as well as environmental and industrial factors
  • Effectively communicate relevant issues to other technical staff, managers, regulatory authorities, public interest groups and the public.

Tasks

  • Develops environmental health standards and checks that these are met..
  • Designs sewage treatment, water supply and refuse disposal systems..
  • Specialises in the provision and operation of facilities for potable water supply, wastewater and solid waste collection, treatment and disposal, and air pollution prevention to protect public health and the environment..

Working conditions for an Environmental Engineer

They frequently work closely with other professionals, at times pooling expertise on particular projects. They may work in offices or outdoors when involved in construction projects.


Employment Opportunities for an Environmental Engineer

Environmental engineers may be employed with large construction and mining organisations, large forestry organisations, regulatory authorities and some government departments. Opportunities also exist for self-employment or work with consulting firms. With experience, and sometimes further training, it is possible to progress to local or corporate management roles.


Specializations

Environmental engineers may specialise in particular industry sectors such as the minerals or chemical industries or in civil engineering projects.


Environmental Engineer

Environmental engineers are concerned with assessing and managing the effects of human and other activity on the natural and built environment. They apply their engineering knowledge and skills to such things as environmental impact assessment, natural resources management and pollution control.

  • Average age
    Average age
    36 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Very strong
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    32% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    43 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $2,155
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Very high skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Average unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    82% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    1,300 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 0.9%
    NSW: 30.1%
    NT: 0.4%
    QLD: 21.0%
    SA: 4.7%
    TAS: 1.5%
    VIC: 29.8%
    WA: 11.7%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 0%
    20-24: 5.6%
    25-34: 39.8%
    35-44: 35.8%
    45-54: 10.5%
    55-59: 4%
    60-64: 1.9%
    65 and Over: 2.4%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 0.8%
    Bachelor degree: 62.6%
    Certificate III/IV: 1.2%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 32.6%
    Year 10 and below: 0%
    Year 11: 0%
    Year 12: 2.8%
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