University of California, RiversideUCR


Environmental Engineering

Environmental Engineers work on projects that seek to maintain and improve the quality of our environment and protect human health.

The demand for Environmental Engineers is expected to grow at a much faster rate than other occupations. If you have a strong foundation in biology, chemistry, and physics, combined with a well-rounded set of environmental engineering courses, and an internship while in college, you can expect to make very good money while doing something that benefits society.

Representative Job Titles and Areas of Specialization

*See Training section

Nature of the Work

Travel and field work are necessary for Environmental Engineers to solve problems related to the environment.They study and develop strategies to minimize the effects of acid rain, global warming, automobile emissions, and ozone depletion. They design municipal water supply and industrial wastewater treatment systems. They analyze field data to assess environmental impacts of pollution and conduct research to develop new technologies.As consultants, Environmental Engineers may help their clients comply with environmental regulations or deal with manufacturing issues such as hazardous waste disposal.

Places of Employment

Environmental Engineer Solid Waste or Sanitary Engineer
Environmental Consultant Project Engineer
Air Quality Manager Assistant or Associate Engineer
Water Quality Engineer Pollution Control Engineer
Environmental Designer or Planner Environmental Program Manager
Civil Engineer Hydrological Engineer
Water Treatment Manager Professor/Teacher *
Hazardous Waste Engineer  
Environmental consulting businesses Management and public relations services
Electrical and electronics industries Transportation industry
Engineering firms Universities and colleges
Research and development entities Local/state/federal governmental agencies
Automobile industry Testing laboratories
Energy and natural resources companies Aerospace industry
Industrial materials and manufacturing firms  


Some entry-level positions in Environmental Engineering may be obtained with a bachelor's degree depending on the type of coursework you completed and experience you gained as an undergrad.

A Ph.D. is usually required to work in research laboratories, but there are some opportunities for those with a master's degree. If you are considering a career in teaching and research at a university, you will need a Ph.D.

Environmental Engineers will need to obtain a professional engineering license from the appropriate state agency in order to advance in their careers. Certification by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers in an environmental engineering specialty may also be to your advantage.

For further information and/or career counseling contact the UCR Career Center, (951) 827-3631.

Supplemental Material

The following documents may provide further ideas for exploration.

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Career Center
Career Center Plaza

Tel: (951) 827-3631
Fax: (951) 827-2447
Student Questions: careercounseling@ucr.edu
Employer Questions: careerrecruiting@ucr.edu