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In Focus: Career As An Environmentalist

Posted on December 8, 2010 in Alternative Careers

By Asim Mishra:

In today’s world of rapid industrialization, accelerated population growth, shortage of natural energy resources, deforestation and pollution there is a huge need of environmentalists — people who can help the public to take care of earth and save earth from destruction. Starting from developed nations to the poor nations almost all the countries along with the UN is very much concerned about environment safety. So it is one of the most challenging career options nowadays with a lot of scope.  An environmental scientist conducts research in order to identify, abate or eliminate pollutants and hazards to the environment or to the health of the population.

To become an environmental scientist you have to study environmental science, hydrology or a related natural science like life science, chemistry, geology, geophysics, atmospheric science or physics etc. For a job as environmental Scientist a bachelor’s degree in earth science or environmental engineering is needed; most employers require a master’s degree in environmental science, hydrology or a related natural science. Many people who want to enter this field earn their degrees in life science, chemistry, geology, geophysics, atmospheric science or physics too and apply their education to do research on the environment.

As today’s world is digitalized, each and every field requires application of computers. It is the most essential element to work with in every field. So to work as an environmental scientist one must needs very good computer skills. Good written and oral communication skills and strong interpersonal skills are also essential. Those with critical thinking abilities and great analyzing abilities are suitable for this career option. An environmental scientist begins his or her work in field exploration or sometimes in the laboratory as a technician or research assistant.

With experience, he or she gets more difficult assignments and eventually moves into research guide or to a supervisory role. As an environmental Scientist one has to do a lot of things like Collecting, synthesizing, analyzing, managing and reporting environmental data, such as pollution emission measurements, atmospheric monitoring measurements, meteorological and mineralogical information, and soil or water samples. Scientists also have to analyze data to determine validity, quality, and scientific significance, and to interpret correlations between human activities and environmental effects.

They need to communicate scientific and technical information to the public, organizations or internal audiences through oral briefings, written documents, workshops, conferences, training sessions or public hearings. Environmental Scientists also provide scientific and technical guidance, support, coordination, and oversight to governmental agencies, environmental programs, industry or the public, processing and reviewing environmental permits, licenses and related materials. Reviewing and implementing environmental technical standards, guidelines, policies and formal regulations that meet all appropriate requirements.

According to The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics the job outlook for environment scientists is excellent. This occupation is projected to experience faster growth, through 2020, than other occupations requiring at least a master’s degree. These days it is attracting a huge number of aspiring students towards this field. According to the median salary of an environmental Scientist in India is R.s. 3,60,000. In case of higher positions like Managerial post it is more than R.s. 7,00,000. A person can also chose to be a Conservationist, Geoscientist or Environmental Science and Protection Agent.

Image courtesy: smif