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Environmental Policy Careers | Everglades University

If you’re like many students considering a career in environmental policy or management, you have a clear sense of purpose. You want to conserve natural resources for future generations while also meeting the needs of today’s society. While the issues are challenging and complex, it’s a critically important role that’s also quite fulfilling.

Despite your enthusiasm for protecting the environment, you may not know exactly what would suit your personality and skill set. You’re also probably wondering which careers offer the best prospects for job availability and income potential.

In today’s blog, we’ll highlight three of the top environmental policy careers you could pursue after completing a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Policy and Management. Learn the day-to-day responsibilities and job outlook for each career to decide what’s best for you.

Environmental Policy Analyst

What They Do

The goal of an environmental policy analyst is to help others (legislators, business owners, or communities) make informed decisions about policies or projects that will impact the environment. Although your duties will vary based on where you work, you can generally expect to:

  • Research environmental trends, policies, and laws
  • Consult with interest groups, including businesses, governments, and special interest groups
  • Coordinate public reviews and participate in public hearings on major projects
  • Analyze data, relationships, and policies (often using statistical models)
  • Prepare reports and make presentations to stakeholders
  • Identify problems created by projects and practices
  • Propose options for mitigating environmental impacts
  • Make recommendations that balance environmental conservation with social and economic needs
  • Develop regulations and guidelines for the implementation of environmental laws and policies

 

At Everglades University, our bachelor’s degree in Environmental Policy and Management is designed to help graduates analyze complex information and communicate their recommendations to others. In addition to the foundations of English Composition, Communications, Speech, and Statistics, our students take advanced coursework in Writing for Managers, Critical Thinking in Business, and Environmental Impact Analysis.

Where They Work

Many environmental policy analysts find work in federal, state or local governments. There are opportunities in the private sector as well. Businesses seek environmental policy analysts to manage environmental compliance programs, incorporate environmental concerns into business strategies, and improve performance by waste reduction and energy efficiency. You might also pursue jobs in the nonprofit sector, with organizations like the World Wildlife Fund or The Nature Conservancy.

Salary and Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics includes environmental analysts in the broader group of environmental specialists and scientists. Between 2016 and 2026, these professionals should see employment opportunities increase by 11%, faster than average. As of 2018, the median salary is $71,130. For another perspective, ZipRecruiter reports average annual pay of $74,343 for environmental policy analysts.

Top Careers in Environmental Policy and Management

An environmental policy analyst needs to analyze complex ideas and present recommendations to stakeholders, helping make better decisions.

Environmental Lobbyist

What They Do

An environmental lobbyist persuades politicians to pass laws, policies, and regulations for a cleaner environment. Their goal is to bring important environmental issues into the political spotlight and advocate for improvement through the legislative process. Your duties might include:

  • Speaking on behalf of special interest groups or specific industries
  • Consulting with scientists and environmental policy analysts for data to support the cause
  • Scheduling and directing meetings with legislators on behalf of clients
  • Representing clients at media events
  • Preparing press releases and informational literature
  • Testifying at public court hearings
  • Coordinating public events to raise awareness of a particular issue

 

Just like an environmental policy analyst, communication is a critical skill to succeed as a lobbyist. However, you must also have the ability to persuade – both one-on-one and through media campaigns. To help you succeed as a lobbyist, our Environmental Policy and Management program prepares students with courses such as Negotiation Communications, Communication, and Environmental Justice, The Science of Persuasion and Negotiation, and Global Environment Politics.

Where They Work

Lobbyists usually work for public interest groups like the Environmental Defense Fund or the Sierra Club Foundation. You could also work for a lobbying/public relations firm or a specific election campaign. If you want to change federal law, you’ll most likely need to live near Washington DC. Since networking is always a vital step in job searching, you might want to look into The Association of Government Relations Professionals or The Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists to find a mentor and watch their job boards.

Salary and Job Outlook

Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t have a category specifically for lobbyists, we can compare a similar position. Public Relations Specialists earned a median of $60,000 annually as of 2018, with a 9% projected growth rate through 2026. Looking at other data, Payscale reports that lobbyists earn an average of $72,017 annually.

Environmental Lobbyists must excel at negotiation and persuasion. Our Environmental Policy and Management bachelor’s program includes extensive coursework to build your communication skills.

Environmental Remediator

What They Do

The goal of an environmental remediator is to remove pollution and contaminants from soil and water in our environment and natural areas. Once complete, remediation teams utilize a number of strategies in order to undo the damage. Your duties could vary quite a bit depending on the type of management position. We’ve highlighted the manager-level positions you might pursue after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Policy and Management.

  • Management and business specialists plan and organize remediation projects, as well as those who supervise the workers onsite. Everglades University’s bachelor program includes courses such as Principles of Management, Principles of Supervision, and Operations Management to help our graduates successfully oversee complex projects.
  • Compliance officers must be aware of all local, state, and federal regulations related to environmental remediation. They ensure compliance and worker safety. To prepare you for the complex world of environmental regulations, our program includes coursework on Energy Policy, U.S. Environmental Policy and Management, and a capstone on Environmental Policy and Management. Coursework can also include preparation for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications.
  • Construction managers coordinate and supervise construction workers and heavy-equipment operators to ensure a productive and safe work environment. They make sure the job is completed on time and on budget. If this appeals to you, Everglades offers an option for interdisciplinary studies, allowing students to take 21 credit hours in any of our other programs. With bachelor’s programs in Construction Management and Crisis and Disaster Management, you can specialize in a certain area to make your resume stand out.

Where They Work

As the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics points out, ‘Environmental remediation is an important sector of the green economy.” The largest employer of environmental remediation is the Environmental Protection Agency. EPA’s Superfund program is responsible for cleaning up some of the nation’s most contaminated land and responding to environmental emergencies, oil spills, and natural disasters. However, there are a growing number of private businesses offering environmental remediation and/or consulting.

Salary and Job Outlook

Since there is no specific category for environmental remediation, let’s look at a few related careers. Construction Managers earned a median salary of $93,370 in 2018. Jobs are projected to grow about 11% through 2016, faster than average. Compliance officers earned a median salary of $75,220 in 2018.

 Careers in Environmental Policy and Management

Environmental remediation is an important part of the green economy. Management professionals are needed in the government and private sector to manage complex clean-up operations.

As you can see, we’ve designed our bachelor’s program in Environmental Policy and Management to give you the broadest set of options once you graduate. If you’re ready to explore one of these environmental policy careers, contact us today!