Spotlight on Environmental Science Consultants

Hazardous waste management, ecosystem restoration, product development, land use and urban planning are just a few examples of government and private industry challenges in which an environmental science consultant’s professional advice would be required. This position is a good match for the the teamwork-oriented, ultra-organized, eco-minded person with a science background who is also capable of responding to problems while at the same time predicting potential future troubles and taking all of that into account when proposing new strategies. Was that a run-on sentence? Well, it's that sort of job, but it does have its rewards. If that description sounds like you, and if you’re willing to offer your services for an average annual wage of around $65k, then the following practicalities may be of interest.

According to College Toolkit, the need for environmental science consultants is projected to increase by 28% by 2018. This may be attributed to a number of factors – here are the top three:

1. Rapid population growth. Plain and simple: more people = more stress on the environment.

2. While disaster management has been the norm, the new trend in strategic prevention will be a large and on-going contributor to the continued growth of the environmental science/consultancy sector.

3. A heightened, global consciousness of pressing environmental issues has lead to demands for increased governmental regulations on a large, international scale. That means tighter industry standards, both at home and abroad. For instance, these days it is not nearly as easy (nor as kosher) to send non-compliant projects overseas as it once was. These new and widespread industry reforms will require major shifts both in the manner in which businesses operate and the way in which many produce their goods. This, in turn, will also result in an increased demand for environmental science consultants – particularly within within the private sector.

Scientists who go down the environmental consulting path can expect to working with teams of engineers in addition to bureaucratic and corporate administrative staff. Be prepared to wear multiple hats and risk the development of a personality disorder.

The takeaway: Environmental Science Consultants are in demand, play an important role in society, and are paid a liveable wage.

Photo credit: Ground Report