Environmental Engineering

2022 Environmental Engineering Degree Guide

Majoring in Environmental Engineering combines an interest in the environment with engineering principles. If you're interested in natural environments, pollution control and improving the life of humans and animals, this could be an excellent major for you.

Environmental engineers help clean up the environment through the use of math and science. This major encompasses a wide range of subjects. Not only will you be taking engineering classes, but you will take in social sciences and environmental studies. These classes can include air pollution control, geology for engineers, hydrology and hydraulics, water pollution control and treatment, environmental engineering design, and environmental organic chemistry. You will learn how to design, create, and evaluate structures and equipment that will help protect, preserve or safely utilize environmental resources. Solutions to the issues in environment will include improving upon recycling, waste disposal, public health, and better ways to control both air and water pollution.

Environmental Engineering Degrees Shrinking in Popularity

#173 Most Popular Major
2.8k Degrees Awarded
-1.6% Increase in Graduates

Environmental Engineering was the 173rd most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 2,759 degrees in this year alone. This 43 less than the prior year, a decrease of 1.6%.

This year's Best Environmental Engineering Schools ranking compares 105 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of environmental engineering programs later in this article.

Best Environmental Engineering Schools by Degree

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Environmental Engineering

Students who are passionate about environmental issues are often drawn to this major. In addition, it will help you to have an interest in math and science. Be prepared to spend long hours studying in order to use valuable knowledge in the lab and in the field conducting research.

Much of your work, both in college and in your career, will involve working on a team. Be prepared to collaborate with team members to reach goals. You should also be comfortable speaking and writing about your findings.

Getting Accepted Into an Environmental Engineering Program

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Once you obtain your degree, additional environmental engineering certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Types of Environmental Engineering Degrees

There are various different levels of environmental engineering degrees. You can spend many years getting as high as a in environmental engineering to something that takes less time like a . Different environmental engineering degrees vary in how long they take.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to environmental engineering, with approximately 52.8% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for environmental engineering workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 57.8%
Master’s Degree 19.7%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 7.2%
Doctoral Degree 5.3%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 2.9%

Most workers in environmental engineering have at least a bachelor's degree. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in environmental engineering have obtained.


This of course varies depending on which environmental engineering career you choose.

Environmental Engineering Careers

Average Number of Jobs
$57.2k Average Starting Salary
8% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Both state and local governments are spending more money in efforts to increase efficiency of water use, waste disposal and pollution control. Environmental Engineers should also be able to find work in private business and corporations in order to maximize efficiency while following environmental protection laws.

Growth Projected for Environmental Engineering Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your environmental engineering degree? Environmental Engineering careers are expected to grow 7.7% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to environmental engineering.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Architectural and Engineering Managers 190,000 5.5%
Environmental Engineers 58,300 8.4%
Engineering Professors 54,600 14.7%
Health and Safety Engineers 28,100 8.5%

Environmental Engineering Degree Salary Potential

Recently graduated environmental engineering students earned an average of $57,242 in 2019-2020. Earnings can range from as low as $40,917 to as high as $80,029. As you might expect, salaries for environmental engineering graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for Environmental Engineering Majors

Salaries for environmental engineering graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers environmental engineering grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Architectural and Engineering Managers $148,970
Engineering Professors $113,680
Health and Safety Engineers $93,630
Environmental Engineers $92,640

Getting Your Environmental Engineering Degree

With over 284 different environmental engineering degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased environmental engineering school rankings to help you with this.

Study Areas in Environmental Engineering

Environmental Engineering is one of 40 different types of Engineering programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Mechanical Engineering 46,178
Electrical Engineering 28,844
Civil Engineering 21,388
Computer Engineering 17,987
Chemical Engineering 12,917

View All Environmental Engineering Related Majors >


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