Online Masters Degree in Environmental Engineering

As technology and industry expand, environmental engineers can serve as advocates for the environment amid significant change. These specialists rely on engineering and science to solve environmental challenges, such as air and water pollution.

Master's degrees in environmental engineering can open up doors to research and development positions, allowing you to study the effect of industry on a particular piece of land, economy or society. You may also gain more insight into how businesses and industries handle their responsibilities to the world around them.

Master's degrees in environmental engineering

Those who choose the master's degree in environmental engineering should have a strong background of engineering and environmental science, including a bachelor's degree in a related field. The master's degree can often be earned entirely through online courses, though some specializations might require a hybrid educational approach.

Your specialization can determine your curriculum -- here are a few of the potential concentrations:

  1. Environmental chemistry
  2. Environmental fluid mechanics
  3. Environmental microbiology
  4. Geo-technical engineering
  5. Hazardous waste management

No matter the specialization, master's level courses place a strong emphasis on environmental contaminants of industrial origin, legal/ ethical issues, treatment technologies, wastewater management and environmental toxicology. An in-depth research project and thesis are typically required. Some schools offer a combined, extended program that allows you to complete your bachelor's and master's degrees at the same time.

Career options, outlook and salary

The master's degree can broaden your horizons and open paths to management roles, where you can have a much more powerful say in the way a company or organization approaches their environmental responsibilities. In addition, your specialization can give you the skills to move into related fields, such as chemical engineering, city or regional planning, environmental science and more.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a mean annual wage of $78,740 for environmental engineers in 2010. The field is growing at a significant pace, with an increase in employment of 22 percent projected from 2010 to 2020.

Going beyond the master's degree

Because technology and environmental impacts evolve quickly, staying active in the environmental engineering field requires continuing education courses. Many of these courses can be taken online, which can give you the education you need while not taking away from your employment duties. Earning the Ph.D. in environmental engineering can open doors to higher research roles, teaching opportunities and management positions in the private sector.

Featured Online Environmental Engineering Degree Programs

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