Employment of environmental scientists and specialists is expected to grow by 19 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Heightened public interest in the hazards facing the environment, as well as the increasing demands placed on the environment by population growth, is projected to spur demand for environmental scientists and specialists. Further demand is also expected as a result of new and increasingly complex environmental laws and regulations.
Most employment growth for environmental scientists and specialists is projected to be in private consulting firms that help clients monitor and manage environmental concerns and comply with regulations.
More businesses are expected to consult with environmental scientists in the future to help them minimize the impact their operations have on the environment. For example, environmental consultants help businesses develop practices that minimize waste, prevent pollution, and conserve resources. Other environmental scientists are expected to be needed to help planners develop and construct buildings, utilities, and transportation systems that protect natural resources and limit damage to the land.
Environmental scientists and specialists should have good job opportunities. In addition to growth, many job openings will be created by scientists who retire, advance to management positions, or change careers.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition