An Overview of Environmental Degrees

Make the World a Better Place with an Environmental Degree

If you are passionate about making the world a better place by preserving the environment, you might want to consider a bachelors or post-graduate degree in an environmental field. If you are not interested in pursuing a college degree, you might consider a field in which you can get a certificate. This could open doors to opportunities that might not be available otherwise.

An Overview of Environmental Degrees

Certificate and Associate Degree Programs

If you are already working in an industry whose activities have the potential to impact the environment and are looking for opportunities to advance within the organization, you might consider a HAZWOPER training course. The acronym stands for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response.

Companies who generate hazardous waste must have plans in place which provides for a timely and responsible reaction if there is a spill or other emergency that involves the waste. There are 24-hour and 40-hour courses with periodic 8-hour refresher courses required. This training would clearly put a person in a better position to move into an environmental job when one becomes available within the organization.

Other certificate or associate programs that might be worthy of consideration would include the field of waste water treatment. Many companies must pre-treat their waste water before discharging it to the publically owned treatment works. Operating these systems frequently requires a higher skill level than many other jobs. Consequently, training in this area can open career-related doors. This would also give individuals the opportunity to obtain a license for waste treatment operations.

Bachelors Degrees

Those who are interested in becoming involved with the regulatory compliance areas of their respective industries might want to give some thought to obtaining a degree in environmental science. The program would include courses that teach students about environmental laws. It would enable them to enter positions that take care of things like maintaining permits and completing the various reports that are required by those permits or other environmental regulations.

A bachelor’s degree could also open the door for going to work for a regulatory agency. These studies would help to prepare students for field operations that could include things like inspections and sampling.

Masters Degrees

Going after a masters degree will enable an individual to advance to higher levels of management and perhaps even teach those who are pursuing associates or bachelors degrees.

A masters degree would also give one the educational background to get involved in more detailed aspects of environmental management like soil, water and air chemistry.

A degree in environmental engineering would help in the design and installation of pollution prevention systems. These systems consist of things like scrubbers that remove pollutants from air emissions. The design of treatment systems would also fall into this category. Examples would include waste water systems or incinerators in which waste is burned.

Today’s focus on sustainability has opened doors in the environmental arena that were not in existence a generation ago. As companies have come to realize that good environmental management makes good business sense, taking care of the environment has become more of a value-added activity and not something that is done simply for compliance purposes. This has led to developments in things like returnable packaging and finding new ways to recycle.

If you want a career that enables you to make a positive impact on the environment in which we live and assist with the development of sustainable solutions, you might want to check with an educational institution on what they have to offer.