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Environmental engineering is actually a very broad field of science that focuses on improvement of environmental conditions. These professionals are dedicated to the promotion of a healthy and safe habitat for humans. It involves reducing pollution and constraining or eliminating any other public health issues. Examples of this career field include designing a waste treatment system for a city or doing research on the effects of acid rain. A university education in this area will typically involve background in most all of the sciences, especially as they apply to nature.
Environmental engineering consists of three branches, each of which can be the focus of an undergraduate or graduate degree. Environmental systems focus on the engineering part of environmental science. This type of degree focuses on the structures and landscapes that protect the environment and blend city systems into their surroundings. Environmental chemistry provides you expertise in the effect of chemicals on an environment. This is important for cities and communities, but is also increasingly important for heavy industries, such as those that deal with petroleum, mining, and biochemical processes. The last major branch of this profession is environmental technology, which assesses and monitors environmental impacts from various sources.
What do environmental engineers do?
An environmental engineer may do any number of things based on his interest and education. It is a broad field that takes into account many issues concerning environmental services. Environmental impact assessment and mitigation started in 1970 with the National Environmental Policy Act. This bill mitigates the adverse effects of civilization on the surrounding natural environment. Scientists use their scientific background to evaluate the possible negative impacts. If they expect significant consequences, then these environmental engineers will develop a plan to minimize the encroachment and secondary effects of the proposed project.
Water supply and treatment is the study of how town, farms, or cities manage water supplies. Environmental experts in this field evaluate the available watershed and then create a plan that considers the various needs of the community. Water may develop for use in agriculture or as a potable source. In addition, the engineers aid in the design and implementation of an adequate water distribution system.
Wastewater conveyance and treatment focuses on designing, building, and maintaining appropriate waste treatment systems. It is common practice now to treat all water before its reentry to natural water sources. This is an important area of expertise since detoxification and disinfection of a water system are critical steps for minimizing the risk of water-borne diseases. Another specialization is air quality management, which minimizes air pollution caused by emissions from automobiles, industry, and other related sources. Air pollution problems are becoming more and more common in cities worldwide, and this means that environmental scientists in this field are becoming more and more essential.
How do you become an environmental engineer?
Any person who is creative, analytical, and detail-oriented can train to become a successful engineer. First, you must have the necessary education and experience. Most positions require at least a bachelor’s degree. You will need a strong background in chemistry, biology, mathematics, and engineering. Reputable undergraduate programs will help you find a summer internship. Many firms provide opportunities for student internships, since summer is often a peak period for new buildings and pollution.
After you achieve most your training and education, you will need to become certified in your state. Each state has different requirements for becoming an environmental engineer, but most require a 40-hour class, during which time engineers learn about exposure risks and first aid. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment will increase significantly in the future. They anticipate that there will be new technologies, and more ecological awareness. If you are concerned about these issues, enjoy doing fieldwork and theoretical modeling, and are willing to work hard, this may be an excellent career choice for you.