As a recent graduate with an environmental science degree, finding an entry-level job can be a daunting task. The good news is that the environmental science job market is growing, with many industries seeking qualified candidates.
In this article we’ll explore the job market, the types of entry level jobs, how to build a strong resume, and offer tips and strategies around how to find the right job for you.
Understanding the Environmental Science Job Market
Before diving into specific job opportunities, it’s important to understand the overall job market for environmental science graduates.
The demand for environmental science professionals is growing faster than ever. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the environmental scientist & specialist field is projected to grow 5% from 2021 to 2031.
Environmental science is a field that is constantly evolving, and as such, it offers a wide range of job opportunities. Environmental science graduates can work in a variety of industries, including:
- Government agencies
- Non-profit organizations
- Energy and utilities
- Construction and landscaping
- Environmental consulting (like FACS)
These industries are actively seeking candidates with environmental science degrees, and the demand for these professionals is only expected to increase in the coming years. This is largely due to the increased importance placed on environmental protection and sustainability.
There are many ways you can get into the environmental science field. So let’s get into some of the main industries for environmental science graduates.
6 Key Industries for Environmental Science Graduates
Environmental science graduates have many options when it comes to employment. Some of the key industries that are actively seeking candidates with environmental science degrees include environmental consulting firms, government agencies, non-profit organizations, energy and utility companies, construction and landscaping companies, and educational companies. Here is a table to break it down further.
|Industry||What it is||What you do|
|Environmental Consulting Firms||Environmental consulting firms (like FACS) provide a wide range of services, including environmental impact assessments, risk assessments, and compliance consulting.||You can work in various roles within these firms, including as a consultant, project manager, or environmental scientist.|
|Government Agencies||Government agencies at the federal, state, and local levels hire environmental science professionals to help them develop and implement environmental policies and regulations.||You can work in various roles within these agencies, including as an environmental scientist, policy analyst, or compliance officer.|
|Non-Profit Organizations||Non-profit organizations focused on environmental issues hire environmental science professionals to help them achieve their missions.||You can work in various roles within these organizations, including as a program manager, research analyst, or environmental educator.|
|Energy and Utility Companies||Energy and utility companies hire environmental science professionals to help them minimize their impact on the environment.||You can work in various roles within these companies, including as an environmental engineer, sustainability coordinator, or compliance specialist.|
|Construction and Landscaping||Construction and landscaping companies hire environmental science professionals to help them develop and implement sustainable practices.||You can work in various roles within these companies, including as a sustainability coordinator, landscape architect, or environmental consultant.|
|Educational Institutions||Educational institutions hire environmental science professionals to teach courses on environmental science and sustainability.||You can work as a professor, instructor, or researcher in colleges, universities, or other educational institutions.|
With the demand for environmental science professionals expected to grow in the coming years, there has never been a better time to pursue a career in this field. Now, let’s look at the types of entry-level environmental science jobs available.
5 Types of Entry-Level Environmental Science Jobs
There are a variety of entry-level jobs available to environmental science graduates. Below is a table explaining five types of entry-level environmental science jobs available, what each entails, and the main responsibilities.
|Entry-Level Job Position||What it Entails||Main Responsibilities|
|Environmental Consultant||Environmental consultants provide advice to businesses and organizations on environmental issues.||They can conduct environmental assessments, advise on regulations and compliance, and/or help companies develop environmental policies and practices.|
|Environmental Technician||Environmental technicians work alongside environmental scientists and engineers to collect and analyze environmental data.||They assist in the design and implementation of environmental monitoring plans.|
|Conservation Scientist||Conservation scientists work to manage and preserve natural resources, such as forests, rangelands, and wetlands.||They work to protect endangered species and restore damaged ecosystems.|
|Environmental Educator||Environmental educators work to educate the public on environmental issues.||They develop and lead educational programs and activities for schools, universities, and community organizations.|
|Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Analyst||GIS analysts use specialized software to analyze and visualize spatial data related to environmental issues.||They assist in the development of maps and other visual materials to support environmental planning and management.|
3 Tips to Building a Strong Resume for Environmental Science Jobs
Now that we’ve covered some of the job opportunities available to environmental science graduates, let’s discuss how to build a strong resume that will catch the attention of potential employers.
1. Highlight Relevant Coursework and Skills
When creating your resume, be sure to highlight any relevant coursework or skills you gained during your degree program. This may include coursework in ecology, environmental policy, or environmental law, as well as skills related to data analysis, GIS, and laboratory techniques.
2. Gain Experience Through Internships and Volunteer Work
Look for opportunities to work with environmental organizations, governmental agencies, or private companies. This will not only give you valuable experience but also help you make connections in the industry.
3. Network at Professional Associations
Joining professional associations, such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science or the National Association of Environmental Professionals, can help you make connections and learn about job opportunities.
3 Tips to Search for an Entry-Level Job for Environmental Science Graduates
With a better understanding of the job market and some strategies for building a strong resume, let’s discuss some specific job search strategies.
1. Utilize Job Boards and Online Resources
There are many online job boards and resources specifically for environmental science jobs, such as EcoEmploy and the EcoJobs website. Be sure to check websites like these regularly and tailor your resume and cover letter to each individual job posting.
2. Attend Job Fairs and Networking Events
Look for events specifically tailored to environmental science professionals or attend broader events to make connections with companies and organizations that may have environmental positions available.
3. Leverage Alumni Networks and Mentorship Programs
Finally, don’t underestimate the power of your alumni network and mentorship programs. Reach out to alumni who are working in the field and ask for their guidance and advice. They may be able to offer insight into specific companies or provide introductions to potential employers.
By building a strong resume, gaining experience through internships and volunteer work, networking, and utilizing job search strategies, you can find the right job for you in this exciting and important field.