How To Land Your Dream Job As Environmental Scientist

The world needs more environmental scientists. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the number of jobs for environmental science majors will grow by 21% between 2016 and 2026. 

That means a lot more opportunities are available for people with your kind of background you just need to get started!

Environmental Jobs: 3 tips on getting your first job! – YouTube
Identify the necessary educational qualifications for becoming an Environmental Scientist.
Develop strong analytical and research skills to excel in the field.
Stay updated on environmental regulations and industry trends.
Cultivate effective communication skills to convey complex scientific concepts.
Seek practical experience through internships, research opportunities, or fieldwork.
Utilize specialized job boards and networking platforms for job searching.
Consider joining professional organizations and attending career fairs.
Build a strong network of professionals in the environmental science field.
Highlight your passion for environmental conservation and sustainability in job applications.
Continuously enhance your skills and knowledge through professional development opportunities.

Make A List Of Your Passions

Now that you know a little bit more about the career you want to pursue, it’s time to start thinking about what your job will actually entail. The first step is making a list of all the things that interest you and excite you the hobbies, activities, and interests that make up your personal passions.

What do I like to do? What am I interested in learning more about? What topics do I enjoy talking with my friends about? When I’m bored at home on Friday night, what types of shows am I drawn to viewing on Netflix? 

These are all great questions to ask yourself when trying to identify what truly gets your juices flowing. For example: If we look back at our environmental scientist as an example, she would probably be drawn toward highly scientific documentaries or nature-related films; 

She might also have strong opinions about conservation efforts and how humanity can better live within its means (i.e., if everyone switched from plastic bags to reusable ones).

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Discover Where You Want To Work

The first step to understanding what you want to do is to understand the different types of organizations you might want to work for.

You’ll need to decide if you would prefer to work in an academic setting as a professor, researcher, or teacher; 

An NGO (non-governmental organization) such as Greenpeace; private industry like oil companies or consulting firms; or government agencies such as the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

Once you have an idea of where your interests lie, it’s time to make some decisions about what type of job you’d like. Do you want something that focuses on environmental science research? 

Or maybe management? Or maybe policy? It’s important that before applying for any position, especially at a professional level, each candidate knows exactly what kind of role they’re interviewing for and why.

Figure Out Your Specialties

Environmental scientists are experts in a wide range of fields, including atmospheric science, marine biology, and conservation, natural resources management, and policy. 

Many people who study environmental science go on to work for federal agencies or private companies that help protect the environment.

To choose the right specialization for you as an environmental scientist, it’s important to look at your interests and strengths and also consider whether there is a need for more workers in your chosen field. 

For example: if you’re interested in coastal ecosystems but want to leave some room open for other opportunities (like working abroad), maybe marine biology wouldn’t be the best choice since there aren’t many jobs available near coasts. 

But if you’re passionate about protecting wildlife habitats and think your passion will lead you toward creating new laws or policies that protect these habitats from human impact within 10 years? Then becoming an expert on habitat protection may be worth considering!

If none of these options seem like good fits for your career goals after careful consideration, don’t worry there are plenty more specializations out there! Check out our list below so no matter what kind of job opportunity comes knocking at your door next week

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Acquire The Right Degree

You must understand that a bachelor’s degree is typically not enough to land your dream job as an environmental scientist. A master’s degree and sometimes even a Ph.D. are required for the best positions. 

This is because these positions require specialized knowledge and experience, which can only be obtained through advanced education.

If you don’t have the money or time for another degree, consider taking advantage of online certificates or short-term classes (also known as continuing education) offered by community colleges or universities near where you live. 

These types of programs provide students with professional development opportunities that are both affordable and convenient to access.

Break Into The Industry

The first step to starting your career as an environmental scientist is to choose which type of job you want. 

Do you want to work for a governmental organization, or perhaps a private environmental consulting firm? If so, there are different qualifications you need to meet depending on the position.

There are many different kinds of jobs in this industry: federal agencies often hire people with science and policy backgrounds; think tanks may need specialists who can conduct research and write reports, and universities will often hire graduates directly after they graduate with a bachelor’s degree in this field.

It’s also important to have some basic skills like computer programming (e.g., Python) or statistics (e.g., R).

Practice The Right Skill Sets

The practice of environmental science requires a wide range of skills. You will need to learn how to communicate with people, read and interpret data, use software, and use laboratory equipment, and computers. 

You should also be skilled at using maps and compasses. You must be able to work in teams or on your own as an individual.

There are many courses available that can help you acquire these skills before applying for a job as an environmental scientist such as:

  • Environmental Science 101 – This course teaches basic concepts about the environment including ecosystems and pollution prevention techniques
  • Geography 101 – This course will teach you how to interpret geographical information systems (GIS), aerial images, topographic maps, and GPS devices

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Gain Experience In The Field

If you want to land your dream job, start by gaining experience in the field. You can do this by working for an environmental group and getting involved in related activities such as volunteering or taking classes at a local college. 

If you’re interested in doing something even more specific like working on conservation projects, consider getting a job as an environmental scientist at a zoo or aquarium.

It’s also important to take care of yourself and make sure that you have the proper credentials before going after any jobs. The best way to do this is by taking courses online and making sure that everything is up to date so no one has any reason not to hire you right away!

Work With A Diverse Set Of Colleagues

Diversity is important in the workplace. It helps you learn, grow and understand different viewpoints. You’ll be able to work with a diverse set of colleagues if your university has an environmental science program. 

The school should give students real-world experience by offering internships at companies that are hiring entry-level employees with bachelor’s degrees. This will help you land an interview for a job after graduation, which means more opportunities for success!

If your university doesn’t offer this type of program, consider taking classes outside of school that relates directly to your career goals so that when you graduate from college as an environmental scientist (or whatever title fits best), you’ll have all the skills needed for success!

Get Certified And Licensed, If Needed

In addition to having experience, certifications and licenses can be good ways to prove your knowledge.

Certification can be obtained from a variety of institutions, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), professional societies, and independent organizations. Licensing is also available through organizations such as state or local public health departments. 

Both certifications and licenses are generally required for jobs in the environmental science field and vary by state. For example, you must be certified by the EPA if you want to work in groundwater remediation (i.e., restore contaminated groundwater). 

Many states have requirements that mirror those of the EPA but also have some unique requirements; it’s important to check with your state’s department of natural resources or environmental agency before applying for certifications or licenses in your area.

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Track And Benchmark Your Progress

You may want to keep a spreadsheet, journal, or calendar with information about each job application you submit. This will make it easy for you to see exactly how many applications you’ve sent out and how many interviews or offers you’ve received.

It’s also important that you set goals for yourself before beginning the search process so that once it begins, there is something tangible to work towards. If possible, these goals should be measurable (i.e., one interview per week) so that they can be easily tracked over time.

Be Ready For Hands-On Experience

A big part of landing your dream job as an environmental scientist is having hands-on experience. 

Hands-on experience will help you learn more quickly and avoid costly mistakes in the future. It’s also important to understand that to gain this experience, you might have to make some mistakes along the way.

What you do with those experiences is up to you! You can choose to learn from others’ mistakes or create your successes (or failures).

Get Involved In Curriculum Development And After-School Programs, If Appropriate

If you’re new to the field, getting involved in curriculum development and after-school programs, if appropriate, is a great way to build up your résumé and meet people. The more experience you have teaching environmental science in various settings, the better. 

If you can’t get hands-on teaching experience at a school or university level, look for opportunities to teach environmental science through community groups or non-profit organizations like Greenpeace or local food banks. 

You could also volunteer with local libraries or other agencies that offer courses on how to live more sustainably.

You’ll want the experience of working with different age groups to teach children can be very rewarding; however, it’s important not to underestimate adult learners either since they may have trouble grasping complex concepts when compared with their younger counterparts.

Join Professional Organizations

If you’re familiar with the professional world, you know that joining a professional organization is an important step in your career. 

It can be helpful to join multiple organizations and get involved at all levels, from volunteering on small projects up to serving as a board member for one of the biggest environmental organizations in your field. 

Most environmental science jobs are found through networking, so it’s important to find opportunities where you can meet new people who work in the industry and get their advice on how you could improve your resume or otherwise close a deal.

People love talking about careers, especially when they have good advice! Joining a professional organization will give them something real-world related (rather than just theoretical) to discuss with you when they ask about what makes up an excellent resume.

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Work With A Mentor To Develop Your Career Plan

A mentor is a professional who has the experience, knowledge, and resources to help you succeed. 

A good mentor is someone who’s been in your shoes before and can provide valuable guidance by sharing their understanding of what works and what doesn’t. So how can you find a mentor?

Ask your boss or other higher-ups at work if they’d be willing to serve as a mentor for you. You can ask them directly or approach them indirectly through someone who already knows them well (like an assistant). 

Keep in mind that not all bosses would want to get involved with mentoring because it’s time-consuming, so don’t take it personally if they say no!

Look for people outside of your company who are successfully working toward similar goals as yours and ask them if they’d be willing to meet up for coffee on occasion so you can pick their brains about how best to achieve those goals yourself! 

If necessary, offer something in return like free labor at their home since many companies offer some sort of work exchange benefits package (meaning employees get paid at least minimum wage even though they’re doing work outside normal office hours).

You can start developing your career as an environmental scientist now!

Now that you have an idea of the different career paths and their various roles, it’s time to explore how you can begin developing your career as an environmental scientist.

You can start developing your career as an environmental scientist now! The first step is creating a resume that highlights all of your accomplishments, skills, and education. 

Then, find out if there are any local job fairs or recruitment events happening in your area and attend them. If not, try to connect with someone at a company who works in the field so they can guide how to get hired.

Once ready to apply for jobs online:

  • Make sure there are no typos or spelling errors (this will cost you)
  • Use professional language and correct punctuation


When you’re ready to pursue a career as an environmental scientist, it’s important to have a plan. You can start developing your career now by studying the right classes, getting involved in extracurricular activities, and joining professional organizations. 

Once you have some experience under your belt and ideally certification or licensing you’ll be ready to take on a job that suits all of your passions!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources you can explore to learn more about how to land your dream job as an Environmental Scientist:

Indeed: How to Become an Environmental Scientist: Discover valuable tips and insights on the steps and requirements to pursue a career as an Environmental Scientist. Explore different educational paths, necessary skills, and job search strategies.

Idealist: How to Land Your Dream Environmental Job: This resource provides guidance on finding and securing your dream job in the environmental field. Learn about the key skills and experiences sought by employers, networking strategies, and tips for crafting a compelling resume.

wikiHow: How to Become an Environmental Scientist: This comprehensive guide offers step-by-step instructions on how to become an Environmental Scientist. From educational requirements to gaining practical experience, this resource covers various aspects of pursuing a career in this field.

Feel free to explore these resources for further information and insights on how to establish a successful career as an Environmental Scientist.


What qualifications are needed to become an Environmental Scientist?

To become an Environmental Scientist, a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in environmental science or a related field is typically required. However, some positions may require a master’s degree or higher for advanced research or managerial roles.

What skills are important for an Environmental Scientist?

Key skills for an Environmental Scientist include strong analytical abilities, scientific research skills, data analysis expertise, knowledge of environmental regulations, excellent communication skills, and the ability to work both independently and as part of a team.

What job opportunities are available for Environmental Scientists?

Environmental Scientists can find employment opportunities in various sectors, including government agencies, consulting firms, research institutions, nonprofit organizations, and private industry. They may work on projects related to environmental impact assessment, pollution control, natural resource management, climate change, and sustainability.

How can I gain practical experience as an Environmental Scientist?

Gaining practical experience can be beneficial for aspiring Environmental Scientists. Consider internships, research assistantships, volunteer work, or fieldwork opportunities to gain hands-on experience in environmental monitoring, data collection, research, and analysis.

How do I start my job search as an Environmental Scientist?

To start your job search as an Environmental Scientist, you can explore job boards specializing in environmental careers, such as environmental science associations’ websites, government job portals, and professional networking platforms. Additionally, reaching out to professionals in the field, attending career fairs, and joining relevant industry organizations can expand your network and job prospects.