Environmental Engineering Makes the “Best Careers” List

US News BlogThis week, we heard from students and educators in the Environmental Technology/Environmental Science program at Cape Cod Community College, who are excited about the future of the field. And guess what? So is U.S. News & World Report!

In the magazine’s annual listing of the 50 best careers of 2010, “Environmental Engineering Technician” made the cut. Here’s what U.S. News had to say: “Demand for environmental engineering technicians is expected to increase significantly, with employment jumping 30 percent from 2008 to 2018.” And they note that a growing number of these “foot soldiers in the war against environmental hazards” will be needed to ensure compliance with environmental regulations.

Okay, this is interesting, but how can you learn more about the environment in general, the day-to-day responsibilities of an environmental technician and where, exactly, the jobs are?

Start with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a comprehensive overview of environmental issues, including water, air, climate, waste and pollution and green living.

Then, once you’ve got the “big picture” check out the website of the Occupational Outlook Handbook on the website of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here, you’ll find in-depth descriptions of various “environmental technicians” jobs, including overviews describing the work environment (will you be working indoors or outdoors?) the nature of the work,(examples of day-to-day responsibilities — setting up, operating and maintaining laboratory instruments or gathering and analyzing samples), education and training requirements, opportunities for advancement, and a breakdown of the projected jobs and earnings. The site also provides comparisons of related occupations and resources for additional information.

Finally, you can check out websites like the Green Collar Association and EcoOrg, both of which feature listings of “green collar jobs,” defined as those that provide a positive environmental impact.

Seems like what’s good for the environment is also good for the economy — that’s a win-win situation!

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