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Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health Career

Career Description

Conduct research or perform investigation for the purpose of identifying, abating, or eliminating sources of pollutants or hazards that affect either the environment or the health of the population. Using knowledge of various scientific disciplines, may collect, synthesize, study, report, and recommend action based on data derived from measurements or observations of air, food, soil, water, and other sources.

What Job Titles Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health Might Have

  • Environmental Programs Specialist
  • Environmental Protection Specialist
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Environmental Specialist

What Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health Do

  • Provide scientific or technical guidance, support, coordination, or oversight to governmental agencies, environmental programs, industry, or the public.
  • Review and implement environmental technical standards, guidelines, policies, and formal regulations that meet all appropriate requirements.
  • Collect, synthesize, analyze, manage, and report environmental data, such as pollution emission measurements, atmospheric monitoring measurements, meteorological or mineralogical information, or soil or water samples.
  • Communicate scientific or technical information to the public, organizations, or internal audiences through oral briefings, written documents, workshops, conferences, training sessions, or public hearings.
  • Provide advice on proper standards and regulations or the development of policies, strategies, or codes of practice for environmental management.
  • Prepare charts or graphs from data samples, providing summary information on the environmental relevance of the data.
  • Conduct environmental audits or inspections or investigations of violations.
  • Monitor effects of pollution or land degradation and recommend means of prevention or control.
  • Design or direct studies to obtain technical environmental information about planned projects.
  • Analyze data to determine validity, quality, and scientific significance and to interpret correlations between human activities and environmental effects.
  • Develop the technical portions of legal documents, administrative orders, or consent decrees.
  • Evaluate violations or problems discovered during inspections to determine appropriate regulatory actions or to provide advice on the development and prosecution of regulatory cases.
  • Develop methods to minimize the impact of production processes on the environment, based on the study and assessment of industrial production, environmental legislation, and physical, biological, and social environments.
  • Determine data collection methods to be employed in research projects or surveys.
  • Process and review environmental permits, licenses, or related materials.
  • Supervise or train students, environmental technologists, technicians, or other related staff.
  • Plan or develop research models, using knowledge of mathematical and statistical concepts.
  • Investigate and report on accidents affecting the environment.
  • Conduct applied research on environmental topics, such as waste control or treatment or pollution abatement methods.
  • Monitor environmental impacts of development activities.

What Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health Should Be Good At

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

What Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health Should Be Interested In

  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

What Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health Need to Learn

  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.