Has taking things apart always been something you’ve enjoyed doing? Does it matter to you if a product does its function but also helps people or the planet?
In fact, there is a degree in this same field! There is, and it’s known as environmental engineering.
Environmental engineering is a discipline of engineering that investigates ways to reduce the environmental impact of items that are already being produced or are expected to be produced or that are currently under development and to people.
Environmental engineering is nearly as ancient as civilization itself. In reality, some of the early engineering projects featured intellectuals who pushed for the consideration of how this engineering endeavor will affect those working on it and the environment.
The contemporary era of environmental engineering began in the mid-19th century. Sewage dumping into the Thames at the time created a great odor in overcrowded London. Because of this stench, Parliament had to relocate its meeting location.
To be more problematic, the former sewage issue produced frequent outbreaks of sickness and diseases like Cholera.
An effort was made to reduce the environmental effect of the current sewage system by a team of engineers. Thus was developed the first large-scale municipal wastewater system was.
A wide selection of goods and settings is available to environmental engineers today. From paper production facilities to consultancy positions, to the development of new items that come into touch with children or the elderly, Environmental engineers work in commercial enterprise, research, think tanks, public agencies, and as self-employed individuals.
There aren’t as many environmental engineers as there are in other engineering disciplines. The need for environmental engineers has never been stronger.
What Degrees Are Available in Environmental Engineering?
Associates, master’s, and doctorate degrees in environmental engineering are all readily accessible.
Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees are the most common entry-level degrees for practicing in the profession. These degrees are also the most frequent in academic environments.
A civil environmental engineering technology associate’s degree is a good starting point for those who want to work in civil and environmental engineering.
Graduates of this typically applied technology degree might be prepared to work in site inspection and preparation, advising construction teams, and assisting to build up plans and bids.
Keep in mind that many civil engineering projects have the greatest influence on the environment. To make matters more complicated, the environmental impact of many government building projects is closely monitored and even regulated.
Building roads, bridges, airports, ports, and other infrastructure relies heavily on environmental evaluations for their success.
Associate degrees in civil and environmental engineering often need a total of 60 credit hours, which might take many students two years to finish.
Many programs are transfer programs, allowing students who finish the first two years of a four-year degree at one school to automatically enter the last two years at another.
There are general education requirements for students enrolled in associate degree programs. Standard curriculums are designed to make sure that students in 2-year degree programs are well-rounded thinkers and possess the fundamental abilities that companies look for in college-educated workers.
Associate’s degree general education requirements include the following:
- English Literature and Composition
- Data Literacy
- College Mathematics
- Natural Sciences
- Social Sciences
- Liberal Arts
- Ethics or Religion
- Physical Education
- Among Others
Major courses in civil environmental engineering are introduced to students as they advance through their general education requirements.
Students pursuing an associate’s degree in this academic area are most likely to take the following courses:
- Environmental Science
- Material Strength and Statics
- Mechanics of Soil
- Computer-Aided Design Techniques (CAD)
- Environmental Ethics and Regulations
- Hazardous Material Management
A bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering is the first step to becoming a full-fledged engineer. There are fewer colleges that offer environmental engineering degrees than there are in other fields like electrical or mechanical engineering.
In fact, there are already more than 160 bachelor’s degrees in environmental engineering in the US.
Like at the associate’s degree level, students are required to take general education courses at the bachelor’s degree level as well.
Following completion of some general education prerequisites, students may then enroll in their preferred major courses.
Bachelor’s degree programs in environmental engineering are likely to contain the following topics:
- Environmental Engineering Foundations
- Engineering and Science of Environmental Engineering
- Project Management
- Chemistry I and II
- Organic Chemistry
- Modeling on Computers
- Engineering Statistics and Probability
- Fluid Mechanics
- Professional Communication for Engineering
- Hydraulic Engineering
- Calculus I and II
- Differential Equations
- A capstone or Thesis Project
At the master’s level students can begin to join the ranks of true experts within the field of environmental engineering.
At this level of study, students will construct a master’s thesis, which is a hundred-plus-page document detailing current high-level research within their field of study.
Students pursuing a master’s degree within a Ph.d. program may also help to instruct courses or work as teaching assistants.
Master’s in environmental engineering degrees typically require 2 years of study with some programs allowing students to choose a specialization in one area of the field of study.
While programs and specializations will provide varying course options, a typical selection of courses may include:
- Organic Chemistry for the Environment
- Fundamentals of Microbiological Processes
- Aquatic Chemistry
- Treatment Processes for Physical/Chemical Systems
- Watershed and Lake Management
- Chemical Modeling for the Environment
- Management of Water Quality
- Reuse of Wastewater
- Environmental Analysis
- Transportation of Chemicals in the environment
- Chemical Modelling in the Environment
- Chemistry of the atmosphere
- Management of Water Quality
- Physical Hydrology
- Modeling of air quality
- Air Pollution Control
- Energy Infrastructure
- Management of Air Resources
- Environmental Risk Assessment
- Pollution in Communities
- Chemistry of Pollution
- A Thesis or Capstone
In order to obtain a doctorate in environmental engineering, one of two options are accessible to students:
- An environmental engineer with a Ph.D. in philosophy
- In addition, he holds a D.Eng. in environmental engineering from MIT.
Despite the fact that the two programs of study might be very similar (depending on the school), a Ph.D. is normally a research doctorate, whereas a D.Eng. is a professional doctorate.
It is important to note that research doctorates differ from other forms of doctorates in that they place a greater emphasis on two factors:
- The training of future college professors in a certain subject area
- Students’ ability to do original research and present their findings in a dissertation
A doctorate candidate’s original research is summarized in a dissertation, which might be several hundred pages long.
Theoretically, a dissertation should be of sufficient quality to be published in a peer-reviewed publication. Doctoral candidates do not require to publish their dissertation in order to receive their degrees.
A professional doctorate, on the other hand, is more focused on abilities that may be applied to a job in business or government.
Not that D.Eng. schools don’t include opportunities for original research, and some even demand students to complete a dissertation.
The D.Eng., on the other hand, may be a better option if you’re seeking more of a focus on job preparedness and less research.
More options for specialization than with any other degree are available to students pursuing a doctorate, which is common. Environmental engineering PhDs are no different from those in other engineering disciplines.
On the list of pressing issues that students are concerned about:
- Wastewater treatment
- Water Pollution
- Air Pollution
- Sound Pollution
- Pollution and Community Dynamics
- Transport of Waste
- Management of watersheds
- And many other issues
Can I earn a degree in environmental engineering online?
There is a lot of environmental engineering work being done in the field, but that doesn’t mean that core science and engineering courses should be.
You may earn an environmental engineering degree entirely online, including an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree. A hybrid model is common for many Ph.D. programs, necessitating some in-person time.
However, just because you may earn a degree online doesn’t imply you should immediately begin the process of enrolling in classes.
Though many students have found success over the internet, it is important for them to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of both in-person and online learning before making a final decision.
For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of the most popular advantages and disadvantages of online education.
Programs in Environmental Engineering that may be completed online have advantages:
- There is no need to relocate or change or quit your work.
- You are awarded the same degree.
- Employers in the field of engineering are used to online degrees.
- Online degree support services are expanding.
- In many cases, online courses are geared toward adults.
There are certain drawbacks to taking Environmental Engineering courses online:
- Access to field-based education is becoming more difficult
- Less convenient for students and instructors to get to know one another
- There is a lack of support services and networking opportunities
- A self-starter mentality is required.
How can I gain entrance to a degree program in environmental engineering?
However, a master’s degree in environmental engineering has admittance standards that differ from those of other equivalent degrees.
There are several open admission circumstances for students at the associate’s level in community college settings.
Admission to these programs is predicated on a student’s residency within a certain district or state, as well as their possession of a high school diploma or its equivalent.
Maintaining a minimum GPA in associates-level coursework is the only way students may sustain their open enrollment status.
Unless they are open enrollment, many associate’s programs follow the same admissions procedures as four-year colleges and universities.
Open admission is available at the bachelor’s degree level at various state institutions in the United States.
Standardized test scores such as the ACT or SAT, high school transcripts, and essays are required for admission to the great majority of institutions. Interviews may be required by some schools.
A GRE standardized test score, a CV, a mission statement, and undergraduate transcripts are all required for admission to master’s programs.
The entrance criteria for some professional-focused courses may be limited to the applicant’s professional experience. With a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree, a student may apply to a doctoral program.
To acquire a master’s degree on the way to a doctorate degree, students must complete the necessary courses and write a master’s thesis before receiving their doctoral degree.
Research professors typically oversee the student research of a few students, and popular professors can quickly run out of room for mentees if students are considering a doctoral program focused on research.
Students should contact professors who share their research interests and inquire about whether they are accepting students.
What Am I Able to Do With an Environmental Engineering Degree?
When studying environmental engineering as an undergraduate or graduate degree, the goal is to become a practicing environmental engineer.
It is important to note that the term environmental engineer can refer to a wide range of job titles and responsibilities.
With an associate degree in civil and environmental engineering, students might become surveyors, researchers, grant writers, or other support staff in an engineering business.
A surveyor’s role in environmental engineering projects is critical since they collect specific information on a project’s physical location.
A project’s plans for eliminating potentially hazardous waste or materials are schematics, which are used in environmental engineering. Measurements of soil, water, or air pollution are examples of this type.
When it comes to drafting plans, surveyors should be familiar with computer-aided design software (CAD). Surveyors with an associate’s degree make, on average, $47381 per year.
However, salaries can vary widely based on your level of experience, your company, and the location of your job. An increase in top salary of $70,000 per year is seen.
For the Army Corps of Engineers and other federal engineering organizations, for non-profits, in research, and among others, environmental engineers work in consulting businesses.
Although environmental engineers aren’t needed on every project, they should be. The majority of large engineering businesses and public engineering organizations employ at least a handful of employees.
According to where they work, environmental engineers’ day-to-day activities will be different from one another. Educators and researchers often combine their efforts.
Environmental engineering researchers examine a wide range of engineering endeavors and their results in their work.
Research on how methamphetamine is incorporated into manufactured furniture and how microbes filter our drinking water are two of the more interesting topics we came across while drafting this guideline.
Even if environmental engineers don’t work in research, they may expect to help with site surveys, conduct testing, and make ideas to maintain projects ecologically friendly.
They can also expect to teach their coworkers how to engineer with less environmental harmful effects as well.
Depending on years of experience, educational level, and company, environmental engineers may earn anywhere from $64,586 to $81,050 a year on average.