Posted on: April 11, 2024

How to Become an Environmental Specialist

How to Become an Environmental Specialist

When you care about the environment, and you aspire to make a positive impact on the planet, becoming an environmental specialist can seem like a no-brainer. Just like any rewarding pursuit, this career path requires careful planning, dedication to learning, hands-on experience, and the accomplishment of certification.

In this guide, we'll discuss the role and responsibilities of an environmental specialist and go through a step-by-step process to becoming one.  

What is an Environmental Specialist?

An environmental specialist is a professional who addresses environmental issues through scientific research, providing solutions for pollution control, resource replenishment, and conservation efforts. They work in diverse settings, including labs, offices, and outdoor research sites, collecting and analyzing samples, evaluating environmental health concerns, and collaborating with agencies to implement solutions. Environmental specialists may be employed by state governments, local authorities, or private firms, playing a crucial role in promoting sustainability and reducing environmental impact.

Environmental Specialist Responsibilities

An environmental specialist engages in scientific research to develop solutions for pollution control, resource replenishment, and enhanced conservation efforts. They often work for state governments, local authorities, or engineering firms, operating in various environments, from labs and offices to outdoor research sites.

Some of their key tasks include:

  • Collecting and analyzing soil, water, and plant samples
  • Investigating complaints or environmental issues affecting public health
  • Assessing facilities with negative environmental or public health impacts
  • Collaborating with agencies and clients to devise and implement solutions
  • Evaluating environmental health concerns
  • Working with organizations to develop pollution and waste reduction strategies
  • Compiling reports on conservation efforts
  • Initiating and executing cleanup operations in polluted areas

How Much Can an Environmental Specialist Make?

While duties may vary based on the employer and industry, professionals in this field can earn a salary upwards of $76,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, highlighting the diversity and financial rewards the career offers.

Steps to Become an Environmental Specialist

While specific requirements might vary depending on what state you live in, below are some of the basic steps to becoming an environmental specialist.

  1. Earn a bachelor's degree

Pursue a bachelor's degree in environmental science or a closely related field such as biology or geology. These programs provide a foundation in environmental principles, research methods, and scientific analysis.

  1. Get relevant job experience

Gain practical experience by securing entry-level positions like a research assistant or lab technician. These roles offer hands-on exposure to environmental research and data collection. Accumulate a minimum of two years of experience to enhance your skills and qualifications.

  1. Pursue a master's degree

Consider advancing your education by pursuing a master's degree in environmental science. This higher level of education can open doors to more advanced positions within organizations and provide a deeper understanding of environmental issues.

  1. Learn with

Enhance your credentials by obtaining certification through a Certified Environmental Specialist course. These courses cover the environmental compliance knowledge and implementation to keep a workplace safe for all potentially affected parties.

Enroll in our Certified Environmental Specialist course by to deepen your understanding of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and other important EPA regulations.

Sign up today to kickstart your journey toward becoming a certified environmental specialist!