What Can You Do With an Environmental Science Degree?

Are you interested in diving into the mysteries of nature? From the depths of nature to the towering forests, environmental science is the perfect journey to take to learn all the intricate relationships between living organisms and their environment.

The great thing about this field is that it encompasses various scientific disciplines, including biology, chemistry, physics, geology, and more. Understanding each allows people to address environmental challenges.

Many environmental scientists study the intricate web of environmental data, ecological systems, climate patterns, and the delicate balance of our ecosystems in this field. Let’s explore the wonders of environmental science and discover how we can shape a sustainable future for generations to come.

What is an Environmental Science Bachelor’s Degree?

A degree in environmental science is an academic program that focuses on studying the natural world, the interactions between living organisms and their environment, and the impact of human activities on the Earth’s ecosystems.

Through this degree, students gain a deep understanding of environmental issues such as human health, climate change, pollution, conservation, resource management, and sustainability. They learn how to apply scientific principles and research methods to analyze and address these challenges.

The curriculum for this typically includes courses in biological processes, ecology, earth science, environmental health, environmental policy, and environmental law. Students may also have the opportunity to participate in fieldwork, research projects, and internships to gain practical experience and apply their knowledge in real-world settings.

A degree in this field equips individuals with the knowledge and skills to address pressing environmental challenges, like the increase in greenhouse gas emissions, make informed decisions about them, and contribute to creating a more sustainable and resilient future for our planet.

Programs provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the environment, natural resources, and sustainable practices. It equips individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to tackle complex issues and promote conservation efforts. Through a combination of theoretical coursework and practical fieldwork, students gain insights into topics such as climate change, pollution, biodiversity, and resource management.

What are the Benefits of a Degree Environmental Science?

Similar to other degrees, a degree in environmental science also has its own benefits. Here are the key benefits:

  • Career Opportunities: This degree opens up diverse career paths. Graduates can work in various sectors, including environmental consulting, government agencies, non-profit organizations, research institutions, and private companies.
  • Impactful Work: Professionals have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the planet. Through their knowledge and skills, they can contribute to solving environmental challenges, conserving natural resources, mitigating climate change, and promoting sustainable practices.
  • Interdisciplinary Approach: This is an interdisciplinary field that integrates knowledge from multiple disciplines, such as biology, chemistry, geology, and social sciences. This broad-based education equips graduates with a well-rounded understanding of environmental problems and the ability to approach challenges from various perspectives.
  • Personal Growth and Global Perspective: Studying this field encourages personal growth by instilling a deeper appreciation for the natural environment and an understanding of the interdependence between humans and the environment. It cultivates a global perspective, fostering awareness of issues on a local, regional, and global scale.

Jobs with Environmental Science Degree

Graduates with a degree in environmental science can pursue a variety of career paths. They may work in technical consulting services, government agencies, non-profit organizations, consulting firms, research institutions, or private companies, focusing on areas such as environmental assessment, conservation, environmental toxicology, environmental policy and planning, sustainability, or environmental education.

Here are some common job paths for graduates:

Environmental Scientist

An environmental scientist is a professional who studies the environment and its various components to assess and mitigate environmental concerns. They play a crucial role in understanding the impact of human activities on our world and developing strategies for sustainable practices.

As one, you can specialize in different areas, such as soil science, air quality, water resources, ecology and biodiversity, climate change and sustainability, and environmental policy.

Pursuing this career requires you to have strong communication skills, scientific knowledge and research skills, analytical and problem-solving abilities, proficiency in data analysis and modeling, knowledge of environmental laws, regulations, and policies, and fieldwork and laboratory experience.

Conservation Scientist

A conservation scientist is dedicated to the protection and preservation of natural resources and ecosystems. They conduct research on environmental factors, collect data, and develop strategies to manage and conserve habitats, species, and biodiversity.

Conservation scientists work closely with other environmental scientists, landowners, the federal government or local government, policymakers, and communities to develop solutions, like land-use plans, implement conservation initiatives, and ensure the long-term health and viability of ecosystems.

Their work involves monitoring wildlife populations, analyzing habitat conditions, and promoting sustainable practices. Conservation scientists play a vital role in preserving our natural heritage and balancing human needs with environmental sustainability.

Sustainability Specialist

A sustainability specialist is a professional who focuses on promoting sustainable practices and strategies within organizations. They assess environmental impacts, develop sustainability plans, and implement initiatives to reduce resource consumption, minimize waste, and promote social responsibility.

Sustainability specialists conduct audits, analyze data, and provide recommendations to improve sustainability performance. They collaborate with cross-functional teams, engage stakeholders, and raise awareness about sustainable practices. Their work involves identifying opportunities for energy efficiency, sustainable sourcing, waste reduction, and implementing sustainable policies and programs.

Sustainability specialists contribute to creating a more sustainable future by integrating environmental, social, and economic considerations into organizational decision-making processes.

Environmental Educator

An environmental educator is an individual dedicated to raising awareness and fostering environmental literacy. They design and deliver educational programs, workshops, and initiatives to inspire and educate individuals about ecological issues and conservation. 

Environmental educators work in schools, nature centers, museums, and community organizations, engaging learners of all ages. They develop curriculum materials, lead field trips, and conduct interactive activities to promote understanding and appreciation for the natural world.

By empowering individuals with knowledge and a sense of responsibility, environmental educators play a vital role in shaping environmentally conscious citizens who are motivated to protect and preserve the planet for future generations.

Job Outlook for Environmental Science Graduates

The job outlook for environmental science graduates is good. As societies become more environmentally conscious, the demand for professionals with expertise in this field is on the rise.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for environmental scientists and specialists is projected to grow by 5% from 2021 to 2031. This is as fast as the average of all jobs in the US.

Here’s a screenshot from the BLS website:

Average Salary of Environmental Science Graduates

The salary of graduates can vary depending on factors such as education level, experience, and job position. On average, entry-level professionals can expect a salary range of $45,000 to $55,000 per year.

With experience and specialization, salaries can increase to $101,000 or more annually. The average salary for environmental scientists is $66,326 per year.

Check out this screenshot from Glassdoor:

Job Satisfaction of Environmental Science Graduates

Careers in this field offer a high level of job satisfaction due to the meaningful nature of the work. Professionals in this field have the opportunity to contribute to environmental conservation, sustainability, and the overall well-being of the planet.

Being able to make a difference and create a positive impact can be incredibly fulfilling for individuals passionate about environmental problems. According to Payscale, environmental scientists are satisfied with their jobs. Here are the ratings from their website:

Are Graduates Happy With Their Careers in Environmental Science?

If you want to learn more about how graduates fare in the real world, here are some threads on Reddit that you might find useful. In these threads, you’ll read the opinions and personal experiences of other people in the same field.

Environmental scientists, what do you do, and how much do you make?

In this thread, people talk about the different aspects of being an environmental scientist, including salary, field of specialization, job position, years of experience, degree, location, and job satisfaction.

Here is the thread:

Environmental scientists, what do you do and how much do you make?

by u/heyidek in environmental_science

How hard is it to get a degree in environmental science?

In another thread, the OP wanted to know how hard it was to get a degree in this field. Check out the stories and opinions of Redditors in this thread:

The next threads talk about what people are doing with their degrees and OPs asking for advice on the next steps they should take to advance their careers in this field.

Check out the threads here:

Those who have a B.S in Environmental Science, what’s life like?

BS in environmental science, what do I do now?

byu/marmeeweasley from discussion
byu/marmeeweasley from discussion

Is a degree in environmental science worth it?

Lastly, in this thread, the OP wanted to know if taking up a degree in this field was worth it. Check out the opinions of his fellow Redditors in this thread:

Is a Degree in Environmental Science for You?

Determining whether this degree is the right fit for you requires careful consideration. Evaluate your interests, strengths, and career aspirations. Here’s a checklist you can use to know if you’re ready to take up the degree program:

INTEREST: Do you have a genuine interest in the field of environmental science?
JOB PROSPECTS: Are there good job opportunities in this field?
REQUIRED SKILLS: Do you possess the necessary skills to become an environmental scientist?
CURRICULUM: Is the curriculum something that you would like to pursue?
COST: Will the cost of pursuing this degree fit within your budget?
TIME COMMITMENT: Are you willing to commit the required amount of time to complete this degree program? 
PREREQUISITES: Have you completed the prerequisite courses necessary for this program?
ACCREDITATION: Is the program accredited by the relevant authorities?
FACULTY: Do you believe the quality of the faculty teaching the program is satisfactory?
CAREER GOALS: Does obtaining this degree align with your long-term career goals? 

Choosing the Best School for Your Degree in Environmental Science

When choosing a school for your bachelor’s degree in environmental science, there are some factors you need to consider. This includes curriculum, accreditation, and faculty quality. You need to look for a school that can offer hands-on learning opportunities and access to internships with their degree programs.


Knowing the curriculum of the degree in environmental science before enrolling is important. This allows you to know what subjects you’ll be able to take and which specializations are available for you.

In addition, it also helps you to carefully tailor the course you’re taking, which means you’ll get to pick the subjects that perfectly align with your interests.

Most schools display their curriculum for this degree online. So, you might want to check out their site to learn more. If you’re eyeing graduate school, you should also check if the school you picked offers these programs.


Another factor to consider is the accreditation of the school you’re going to. You’d want to pick schools with accreditation from reputable organizations. This means you’re getting into a school that has passed the rigorous requirements of accrediting organizations.

Faculty Quality

In addition, you also need to check out the faculty’s quality. A strong faculty would be a team of specialists with broad knowledge of its concepts. You’d also want to check out the credentials of the faculty to ensure that they really know what they’re teaching.

Cost of Education

The cost of education is another crucial factor that will affect your decision. If the school or university offers expensive courses but their faculty quality, accreditation, and curriculum are not up to your standards, then you should immediately cross that school off your list.

When deciding which school to pick, always ensure that the cost aligns with the curriculum offered, current accreditations, and faculty quality. This is to ensure that you get what you paid for.

​Pros and Cons of Environmental Science Programs

As with any degree, there are pros and cons to consider before pursuing this one:


  • This allows you to contribute to environmental conservation efforts and work towards a sustainable future.
  • Graduates can explore a wide range of career paths in government agencies, non-profit organizations, private companies, and research institutions.
  • This is a dynamic field with ongoing research and advancements. Pursuing this degree offers opportunities for lifelong learning and staying up-to-date with current issues.


  • While the demand for professionals is growing, competition for positions can be intense. Building relevant skills and experience is crucial for securing desired jobs.
  • Some careers in this field may require working in challenging outdoor environments or dealing with hazardous materials. It’s important to consider the physical demands and potential risks associated with certain job roles.

FAQs About the Degree in Environmental Science

What does a graduate with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science do?

A graduate with a bachelor’s degree in this field can work in various roles related to environmental protection and sustainability. They may conduct research, analyze data, develop environmental policies, work in conservation organizations, or contribute to environmental impact assessments for industries.

What courses are part of an environmental science degree program?

Courses in this degree program typically cover topics such as ecology, environmental chemistry, geology, climate change, environmental policy, conservation, and sustainability. Additional courses may include physical environment biology, environmental law, toxicology, and natural resource management.

Is environmental science part of STEM?

Yes, this is considered part of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). It involves the scientific study of the environment, focusing on understanding and addressing environmental issues through scientific methods and research.

What are the top scopes of environmental science?

This degree offers a wide range of career opportunities. Graduates can work in fields such as environmental consulting, renewable energy, environmental education, environmental policy and planning, wildlife conservation, sustainable agriculture, and environmental research.

What is the importance of an environmental science degree?

This degree is important because it equips individuals with the knowledge and skills to address pressing environmental challenges. It enables them to contribute to sustainable development, conservation efforts, and the preservation of ecosystems. The degree provides a foundation for making informed decisions and implementing solutions to protect the environment for future generations.

Final Verdict for a Degree in Environmental Sciences

This degree opens up a world of possibilities for individuals passionate about the environment and sustainability. It offers diverse career opportunities, the chance to make a positive impact on the planet, and the satisfaction of contributing to a greener future.

Salary | Score: 6/10

While starting salaries in this field can be low when you’re still fresh from university, the average salary is moderate. For entry-level jobs, salaries may range from $45,000 to $55,000 per year.

The average salary for environmental scientists is around $67,322 per year, but for senior positions, the salary can bump up to $101,000 per year. These are the reasons why I gave it a score of 6 out of 10.

Satisfaction | Score: 8/10

For job satisfaction, I assigned a score of 8 out of 10, considering the fulfilling nature of working in environmental sciences and the opportunity to contribute to environmental sustainability. Many individuals find satisfaction in making a positive impact on the environment and working towards a greener future.

Demand | Score: 6/10

Given the growing awareness and importance of ecological problems, I assigned a score of 6 out of 10 for demand. There is a steady demand for environmental scientists in various sectors, including government, consulting firms, non-profit organizations, and research institutions. In a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth rate from 2021 to 2031 for environmental scientists is 5%.

X-Factor | Score: 6/10

The reason why I assigned an X-Factor score of 6 out of 10 to graduates is due to the challenges and complexities associated with the field. Ecological problems are complex and require interdisciplinary approaches. Environmental scientists need to navigate scientific research, policy frameworks, and public engagement to effectively address environmental challenges.

Final Score for a Degree in Environmental Science: 6.5/10

Overall, this degree provides a pathway to a career that has a positive impact on the environment. It allows individuals to contribute to environmental research, conservation efforts, and sustainable practices. If you are passionate about environmental issues and want to work towards a greener future, pursuing this degree is a great option.

Alternatives to a Degree in Environmental Science

If you’re interested in a degree related to this degree but want to explore other options, here are some alternative programs you can consider:

  • Ecology
  • Conservation Biology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Policy and Management
  • Renewable Energy Engineering
  • Sustainable Agriculture
  • Geology and Earth Sciences
  • Marine Biology
  • Environmental Economics
  • Urban Planning and Sustainability

Here’s a video about environmental engineering, just for you:

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