Careers in Earth and Environmental Science

*Careers in Earth and Environmental Science

What is Earth and Environmental Science?
Earth and Environmental Science is a discipline in the natural sciences that will research environmental and health problems both human and eco systems to determine their causes and suggest solutions. They investigate issues like mysterious deformations in frog physiology, unexplained cancer occurrences in a neighborhood, or disease in the former asbestos mining towns.

Environmental scientists conduct research to identify the causes of these types of problems, and how to minimize or eliminate them. They also conduct theoretical research that increases our understanding of how the natural world works. They use what they learn to make recommendations and develop strategies for managing environmental conditions.

Environmental science is a holistic and multidisciplinary field that integrates the biological, physical, and earth sciences. Its goal is to understand how Earth works and how it supports life. It also aims to identify, control, and prevent disruption to its systems and species caused by human activity.

Where would an Environmental Scientist Work?
Most environmental scientists work for federal, state, or local governments, and academic institutions where they conduct research, advise on policy, and verify that businesses are following regulations. As of 2012, most environmental scientists (22%) worked in state government. Another 21% worked for companies providing management, scientific, and technical consulting services. These professionals usually help companies comply with regulations. 14% worked for local government agencies. 10% provided engineering services, and 7% worked for the federal government.

Environmental scientists work in offices and laboratories. While some may gather data and monitor conditions in the field, this is more likely to be done by technicians. Those who do work in the field understand that it can be physically demanding, and work in all kinds of weather. Travel to client sites or conferences may be required. Most environmental scientists work full time. They may work long or irregular hours in the field. The main theme for all careers in Earth and Environmental Studies, is a passion for Science.

How much can an Environmental Scientist expect to earn?
The average annual salary for environmental scientists was $63,570 in May 2012. Those working for the federal government earned the highest salaries ($95,460). Those working in engineering services earned $67,770. Environmental scientists providing management, scientific, and technical consulting services made $64,940. Those working for local government made $60,280, while those employed in state government made $56,640.

What Is the Job Demand for Environmental Scientists?
The job outlook for environmental scientists for the next decade is excellent. Employment is projected to grow 15% from 2012 to 2022, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Issues like climate change and fracking have spurred more public interest in the environment. The country's aging infrastructure will also have to be replaced which will require environmental assessment and regulation knowledge. These issues will likely fuel job growth.

Many of the new jobs will be in private consulting firms that help clients manage environmental concerns and comply with regulations. However, most of the jobs will still be in government and academia.

What job could I get with a degree in Earth and Environmental Science?
A degree in Earth and Environmental Science trains you in these highly desirable skill sets and sets you on a path to become an expert in an issue area of your interest.

  • Geologist                      
  • Science Teacher                                                                                                
  • Agronomist      
  • Forensic Science Technician
  • Ecologist
    • Marine
    • Artic
    • Tropic
    • Terrestrial, and Freshwater
  • Museum Curator                                                                                               
  • Paleontologist                                                                                                               
  • Anthropologist                                                                                                  
  • Archaeologist
  • Human Culture, Language
    • Archaeological/Paleontological sites
  • Food Science Technician
  • Agricultural Scientist
  • Chemists
  • Biological & Chemical Technicians
  • Agronomist (Soil Scientist)
  • Atmospheric Scientists
  • Environmental Protection
  • Environmental Attorney
  • Environmental Economists
  • Conservation Scientist
  • Forest and Conservation Technicians
  • GEO scientists
    • Volcanologist
    • Geochemist
    • Radiological Scientist
  • Geographers/ GIS specialists
  • Urban Planning
  • Nuclear Medicine
  • Wildlife Biologist
  • Zoologist

* Careers

Contact Dr. John T. Tanacredi, at or at 516.323.3415 to discuss careers noted here, and to obtain some guidance on career paths after obtaining a B.S. in Earth and Environmental Studies at Molloy College.   


CERCOM By the Numbers



on the Great South Bay


Cooperative partners and advisory

council member groups


HSC Monitoring Sites from the Tip of Montauk to the Tip of Brooklyn


Species of crustacean named

after CERCOM's director

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Dr. John T. Tanacredi
1000 Hempstead Ave. Rockville Centre, NY 11571-5002