Everything we do has an impact on the environment, from construction to outdoor activities. Over the centuries, human behavior has had significant consequences, particularly in terms of carbon dioxide and other hazardous emissions.
Environmental engineering as a discipline measures the full range of impacts on the environment, from natural disasters and deadly weather phenomena like drought and flooding to man-made catastrophes caused by human activity. But that won’t necessarily be exactly what you do in your current job or the new job you are seeking.
Environmental engineers also manage natural resources and take steps to control pollution from manufacturing. They are also involved in increasing the safety and sustainability of waste disposal and in the recycling industry.
Many specialist environmental engineers become consultants who help their clients, often large industrial concerns, to comply with regulations or to undertake cleanup operations at hazardous waste sites.
It’s a vast and varied field that gives you the chance to pick and choose. But to get the job you really want you’re going to need a well-crafted resume.
You will find a complete environmental engineering sample resume at the end of this article.
Resume objective for environmental engineering
Many different industries hire environmental engineers because they have to satisfy environmental regulations and they have to make sure that they adhere to best practices.
It is a growing field and there are many opportunities. But there are some major differences in the application of skills and knowledge, and it is vital that your resume objective shows your potential employer that you have what he or she is looking for.
When you search for an environmental engineering job, you will be looking for a position that meets your background and experience, whether related to pollution, energy efficiency, water conservation, or anything else. If you find the perfect position, you shouldn’t have any trouble crafting a credible objective.
Be selective and keep it relevant.
Expert engineer specializing in environmental and energy management systems. Four years of experience in a challenging mining environment. Thorough knowledge of national environmental regulations. Good team player ready to build new skills.
Resume skills for environmental engineering
The skills required for environmental engineering are challenging. Jobs typically involve working in areas where technology is constantly changing. For instance, they often have to focus on the development of innovative and sustainable solutions to hugely complex problems that involve biological, ecological, chemical, and physical components.
This means that prospective employers are looking for candidates who are up-to-speed with technological advances that will help to improve their operations.
Additionally, environmental engineers need life skills including good communication and the ability to solve problems.
Many jobs also require software skills primarily to be able to draw plans, compile reports, check data, and, if nothing else, work on a PC.
Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills | Good project management skills | Ability to work under pressure | Above-average people and communication skills | Microsoft suite | AutoCAD | Excellent work ethic
Environmental engineering work experience
Environmental engineering is a relatively new branch of engineering that has developed largely because of the critical problems that have emerged as a result of environmental contamination from waste products and related human activity.
The science combines human health and environmental health and studies and analyzes how they come together, and the effects that they have on man and the planet.
Potential employers come from government, educational, and private firms and agencies, including many major corporations.
The jobs offered to qualified environmental engineers are diverse, even more so than you imagine. Clearly, the more experience you have the greater the choice will be, and the higher salaries will be.
The most common environmental engineering specialties include the control of air pollution, wastewater collection and treatment, and different types of waste management, including hazardous, agricultural, and solid waste management.
Each area is a career on its own so be careful to focus on your specialty.
Sample Work Experience
Robbinsville Consulting, 2010 – 2018
Conducted site assessments and feasibility studies. Developed work plans for site investigation and remediation. Prepared remedial action plans. Managed wastewater and stormwater compliance, including permitted discharges. Coordinated sampling and analysis.
- Trained six new trainee engineers for a new wastewater project
- Introduced a worker safety program for those involved in the above project
- Developed solutions for a major project involving wastewater that won an innovation award
- Developed a hugely successful waste management system for the local council
Environmental engineering education
There are undergraduate and graduate degree options for those opting to study environmental engineering.
Many universities offer four-year Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees in Environmental Engineering, which is the best option for anyone serious about pursuing a professional career in this field. Some Civil Engineering degrees offer environmental engineering as a specialization.
There are also engineering degrees that are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), Inc. in the US. For instance, an ABET-accredited BS. offers an even more demanding engineering degree qualification than a standard BS.
Equally, many offer a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Engineering Sciences (Environmental). Typically, students who take this type of degree need environmental engineering skills, but they don’t intend to make it the focus of their career. Students who opt for this kind of BA. degree are often aiming to get jobs in the business or public service sectors. They may even be studying law or medicine.
Graduate studies are also popular and both masters (MS) and doctorate (Ph.D) degrees enable those with a BS or equivalent degree to specialize even further.
Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science, 2014 – 2017
Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering
There are many certifications that help to promote environmental engineers and authenticate their qualifications and experience. They do, though, have minimum requirements for certification and there are various reviews, examinations, and work assessments that come into play.
For example, to become board-certified in environmental engineering by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers & Scientists (AAEES) you need to have at least eight years of experience in the sector and be professionally employed full-time.
If you don’t want to take a written exam, you might be certified if you have at least 16 years of experience plus other requirements.
The National Registry of Environmental Professionals (NREP) has certifications for environmental professionals who have specialized skill sets. These include registered environmental managers or professionals. You need at least a BA degree in a field that is related to environmental expertise as well as at least five years of experience.
- Board Certified Environmental Engineer (BCEE) from AAEES
- Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) certification from the NCEES advancing licensure for engineers and surveyors
- REP certification from the NREP
- Occupational Health, Safety, and environmental Control (OSHA) certification
Complete environmental engineering resume sample
Mid-career environmental engineers will have at least four years of experience in the industry, and some decide to change direction at this stage in their career, while they still can. You just need to decide what type of job you are aiming for.
The sample job posting below is for an environmental engineering position that will tick all the boxes for many applicants.
The qualification requirements are relatively fundamental and include both environmental design and knowledge or preferably experience in the field of engineering construction. See how the previous work experience with MLJ Consulting (see below) qualifies this applicant for the job. Of course, the applicant’s educational qualifications are also spot on.
The company is looking for a qualified and experienced environmental engineer who is passionate about the very basic environmental concerns – contaminated soil and water, soil erosion, stormwater pollution, the critical need for waste management plans, and so on.
Your resume will need to address all of the issues mentioned and show how your experience and commitment to them make you the best possible candidate.
Qualified environmental engineer with construction experience and six years experience in the field. Strong commitment to eliminating pollution and contamination of all kinds. Proven team leader willing to take sustainable initiatives.
Leadership skills | Project management | Communication skills Microsoft Word | Excel | AutoCAD | Unbeatable work ethic
MLJ Consulting, 2015 – 2019
Responsible for planning projects from design to completion under supervision of the company’s senior environmental engineers. Involved in costing and accumulation of data for pay estimates, and also cost control.
- Collaborated with state agencies and performed geological surveys on three problematic sites
- Involved in numerous projects relating to the restoration of buildings and other historic structures
- Instituted use of new drafting software
- Ensured all projects were on deadline and within set budgets
EWMA, 2013 – 2015
Entry Level Engineer
Conducted various project tasks that were related to phased environmental site assessments, risk assessment, environmental compliance monitoring, and site remediation. Liaised with clients, contractors, and subcontractors, as well as regulators.
- Assisted with hazardous building material screenings and produced assessment reports
- Field investigations on several projects revealed issues that the lead engineers didn’t know about
- Spoke at several community events on the importance of environmental conservation
- Input in the realm of client relationship management resulted in a formal commendation and annual bonus
New York City Department of Environment Protection, 2012
Project manager engineering intern
Worked with civil engineering construction documents including site plans. Responsible, under supervision, for site grading, earthworks, erosion control design, hydrology and hydraulics analysis, storm drains, and sustainable storm management systems.
- Prepared plans as well as profile designs, reports, analysis, specifications, and cost estimates
- Undertook critical tasks that included CAD design, construction inspection, and interaction with public agencies
- Organized a series of community events to draw attention to the effects of environmental degradation
- Won a community award for environmental activism
Columbia University, 2012
Master’s degree (MS) in EEE
- Concentration in Sustainable Waste Management
Columbia University, 2008 – 2011
Bachelor degree in Earth and Environmental Engineering (EEE)
Environmental engineering takes commitment and energy. It requires intense training and dedication. But the personal and global rewards are intense and worthwhile.
You need to decide which niche of the industry you want to be involved in and then write a resume that shows potential employers why you are an ideal candidate.
Some key takeaways include these:
- As global demands for food, clean water, fresh air, and efficient energy increase at a rate that is almost impossible to imagine, environmental engineers and those working in aligned sciences are doing what they can to meet these challenges. Identify which of your skills can help do this.
- Engineering degrees are technical and challenging but they equip engineers with the tools and skills they need to do the job. List the tools and skills you have on your resume.
- Environmental engineering is a young, relatively new field of expertise, but it offers significant solutions and is growing daily. Use this to your advantage.
- To succeed in an environmental engineering career you need the right education, skills, and experience. These are the elements that you need to highlight on your resume, together with new challenges you are willing to embrace.
Tips from Experts
“Environmental engineers ensure that there’s clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, clean soil in which we can grow our crops, and we have clean energy to support our society.” – Dr. Paul J. Van Geel, Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carleton University
“To get a job as an environmental engineer you need a convincing resume that highlights your competencies, skills, and knowledge in the field.” – Senior university lecturer in environmental engineering
The environmental challenges facing the world right are overwhelming. The only way we will ever overcome them will be to join ranks and take global action. As we get closer and closer to the net-zero energy deadlines of 2030 and 2050 it becomes increasingly clear that there is still a huge amount of work to be done if we are going to reach these goals.
While governments and world leaders play a crucial role, certain professionals can do a lot to help. Environmental engineering is one of the careers that provide the opportunity to take really meaningful action.
And this means that there is an increasing demand for good environment engineers. Get your resume right and you’ve got a good chance of landing a very good, well paid job.