What does the environmental engineer do
on everyday basis?

Along with the increasing interest on environmental topic, related to environmental protection,
renewable energy and an eco-friendly use of energy resources,
new professionals arose in Green Economy sector.

  • About the profession
  • Responsibilities
  • Pros & Cons

About the profession

The task of environmental engineers is to introduce new technologies for equipment, systems and installations in order to facilitate our lives and help protect the environment. The range of activities of environmental engineers also includes land protection and environmental resource management. The range of tasks for this profession is constantly expanding. As a result, environmental engineers are obliged to provide effective answers/solutions to numerous environmental and territorial problems including water resources management and control, land protection, energy resources and waste disposal, among others. Environmental engineers can find employment in consulting companies offering environmental audits concerned with environmental protection and potential dangers, as well as in manufacturing and service companies whose activities pose a potential threat to us and the environment.

Environmental engineers are required, among others to possess general knowledge of environmental protection, knowledge concerned with environmental protection in industry, analytical skills, and to be familiar with the rules of the wise usage of the environment.

In order to work as an environmental engineer, you must complete environmental protection studies. You can also attend postgraduate schools to broaden your knowledge and raise your qualifications. Security/safety management and environmental protection have become popular in the recent years. This applies to both companies whose activities pose a direct threat to the environment, a to many other manufacturing and service companies, since environmental protection also deals with waste management control and hazardous waste utilization. Environmental engineers can also run their own consulting businesses. In order to perceive the profession of an environmental engineer with regards to the reality of the contemporary national and European labor market, it is worth familiarizing oneself with the national Integrated Qualifications System and the European Qualifications Framework.

The national Integrated Qualifications System, created under the supervision of the Minister of National Education as a response to the recommendation of the European Parliament and the European Council, answers the changes in the European labor market and economy. Its goal is to increase the number of people interested in official competences and raising their qualifications. This in turn has an influence on one’s professional situation and sense of security in the labor market. The Integrated Qualifications System is to help employees with a credible presentation of their qualifications not only to employers inside the country, but also to European employers.

The point of reference for the national Integrated Qualifications System is the European Qualifications Framework. It facilitates communication and the credible comparison of qualification systems in European Union countries. As a result, students, graduates and employers have the opportunity to better understand and compare the qualifications given in different membership countries and in different educational systems.

You can find more information about the European Qualifications Framework at:
You can find more information about the national Integrated Qualifications System at:

1. www.eacea.ec.europa.eu (England)
2. www.eacea.ec.europa.eu (Northern Ireland)
3. www.scqf.org.uk (Scotland)
4. www.eacea.ec.europa.eu (Wales)
5. www.ncchomelearning.co.uk


An environmental engineer deals with every matter and activity related to environmental engineering and to the relationship between man, nature and territory. In particular, he/she deals with:


Monitoring water resources


Restoring an area & cleaning up polluted areas


Creating territorial information systems and planning actions aimed at defending a territory.


Securing areas and infrastructure and safeguarding people and property from environmental hazards.


Certifying environmental quality:
  • • Studying, assessing and managing the harmful effects of human activity on the environment
  • • Coordinating and managing different environmental projects
  • • Carrying out technical reviews and assessing the environmental impact of the industrial and business activities of a company.

Job description

  • Studying, developing, planning and creating new solutions for environmental problems
  • Preparing, inspecting and revising environmental investigation reports
  • Developing projects for environmental protection (e.g., water sanitation plants, control systems for air pollution and recycling systems)
  • Supplying technical support for cleaning up and environmental protection projects and for legal actions
  • Analysing scientific data and checking quality
  • Monitoring the progress of the environmental improvement programmes
  • Inspecting private and public programmes and structures in order to verify their compliance to environmental legislation
  • Counseiling companies and government agencies about the remediation of contaminated sites procedures

Annual average salaries

The salary of a environmental engineer depends mostly on:

  • Education
  • Problem-solving
  • Clear and specific verbal
    and written communication
  • Design skills
  • Knowledge of law
    and regulations
  • Ability to predict
    effects of actions
Similar jobs:

19,354 GBP
Junior environmental engineer
29,582 GBP
Environmental engineer (median)
44,149 GBP
Senior environmental engineer
34,088 GBP

Environmental Manager
26,000 GBP

Environmental Consultant


Typical phrases for the environmental engineer or engineering dictionary

  • Green Design

    Environmentally sustainable design that minimizes human impact on the environment.
  • Zero-energy building (ZEB)

    A building with no energy consumption or carbon emissions annually.
  • Renewable Energy

    Unlimited source of energy utilizing natural resources that include solar wind power.
  • Active solar design

    Solar designs that rely on the use of mechanical or electrical devices to convert sunlight into electricity.
  • Passive solar design

    Selecting design elements and materials that keep a building warm during the winter months and cool during the summer months. Designs do not incorparate electrical devices.

Educational path

In order to work as an environmental engineer, we need to graduate, preferably Environmental Engineering, and then specialize through further studies (for example, masters or Ph.D.)

Formal path:

Studies in one of the fields
Environmental engineering (its course of study has a 3-year duration,
at the end of which the students gain the 3-year degree;
then, 2 additional years are needed to gain the advanced degree).

The main subjects of this educational path are: Mathematics, Physics, Rational Mechanics, Hydraulics, Building Science, Geology, Geotech, Design, Structural Engineering, Load-bearing Dynamics and much more, including all the topics related to environment.

Postgraduate education

After graduation, we need to carry out practice at a professional firm, in order to gain the necessary expertise to take the Bar Exam. After passing the Exam and obtaining the license, the environmental engineer can enrol in Engineer Professional Register, so he can work either in private practice or as an employee.

The work itself often involves the development of whole new concepts in engineering and often helps turn environmental concepts into practical solutions to serious problems. Solar power, for example, was originally based on simple photovoltaic cells, with low yields and limited capacity. Environmental engineering has created vastly improved solar systems, which are now able to contribute power to national grids.

Career path

The largest employers of environmental engineers were as follows:

Federal government,
excluding postal service
Local government,
excluding education and hospitals
State government,
excluding education and hospitals

Management, scientific
and technical consulting services

Engineering services

Where can you work?

In recent years, there is a high level of market demand for environmental engineers, both in public and private sector, as they’re more and more projected into Green Economy prospect.

These new trends are related to a new legislative framework for waste disposal, restoring works and eco-friendly urban planning. These regulations have led to the emergence of experts in the sector of environmental engineering. Those professionals can be consulted for expert advice, counseling and to create engineering works in line with the new legalities.

An environmental engineer can also work for construction companies, professional firms, housing companies and associations, public bodies where there is an office for environmental control or monitoring.

Personal qualities


  • Extraordinary creativity in order
    to design systems operating inside larger projects
  • Ability to support or lead the staff
    in the field, conducting complex investigations
  • Extraordinary interpersonal and communication skills
    • Communicating in a clear way, in order to create a good work environment with clients and partners, and to supply a high-quality service;
    • Being capable to work side by side with technical teams, mechanics and other engineers with a view to common goals;
    • Being able to read, understand and draw up technical reports and other documents.
  • Math skills to apply concepts in engineering
    and other processes to developed projects
  • Critical and innovative spirit
    to see beyond what already exists
  • Organizational, time management and attention to detail related skills
  • Being capable to work both alone and in multidisciplinary teams, in a stressful work environment, coping with a quantitative workload;
    Being able to set priorities and responsibilities.
  • Analytical, problem solving and critical thinking related skills
    • Identifying and solving problems – from occupational safety to environmental protection – in a well-timed and judicious way;
    • Anticipating problems in order
    to prevent loss and to reduce the environmental damage;
    • Being accurate in analysis and calculation.
  • Knowledge of public relations and communication techniques,
    which are crucial to manage our interpersonal relations and our staff’s activity
  • Being enthusiastic, versatile and ready to assume responsibility

Did you know...?

1.The amount of water on Earth is constant, and continually recycled over time: some of the water you drink will have passed through a dinosaur.
2.40 percent of all bottled water sold in the world is bottled tap water.
3.Paper can be recycled only six times. After that, the fibers are too weak to hold together.
4.There is no known scientific way of predicting earthquakes. The most reliable method is to count the number of missing cats in the local paper: if it trebles, an earthquake is imminent.

Most popular words

Green design
Zero-energy building
Renewable energy

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