What Does an Environmental Engineer Do?

by Usama Chaudry on October 23, 2022

Environmental engineering is the discipline of engineering concerned with preserving and enhancing the environment for the welfare of the globe and the general population. It encompasses the methods, instruments, and technology required to reduce pollution and clean contaminants.

An occupation in this field can perfectly fit you if you have expertise in applied science and a passion for safeguarding the environment.

But what does an environmental engineer do exactly?

This article will discuss an environmental engineer’s job description, work environment, and average pay scale. In addition, we will highlight the educational requirements, skills and competencies, and the best way to search for a position in this field.

So without further delay, let’s begin our discussion right away.

Environmental Engineer Job Description

Environmental Engineer Job Description

Environmental engineers often work for civil works divisions and environmental consultancy firms to oversee trash management. They put measures in place to maintain air and water quality, conserve the land, and eliminate pollutants.

The environmental engineer job description entails monitoring potential construction locations, compiling data on the effects on the environment, and giving tips on how to carry out significant projects safely. They also establish the specific laws that public institutions must implement while handling potentially dangerous substances.

Duties and Responsibilities of Environmental Engineer

Duties and Responsibilities of Environmental Engineer

Following are the duties and responsibilities you will have to perform if you pursue a career in environmental engineering:

  • Obtaining the appropriate permits and ensuring that organizations adhere to standard operating practices.
  • Figuring out how planned industrial, commerce, and housing developments would affect the environment.
  • Revising current agricultural and industrial procedures to mitigate soil, water, or air pollution.
  • Researching the management of toxic materials and identifying strategies for contaminant cleanup.
  • Evaluating the reliability, efficiency, and safety of the current gear.
  • Assuring that facilities comply with environmental standards by checking them.
  • Studying concerns about the environment and preparing reports about them.
  • Keeping abreast of the latest environmental improvement initiatives, technology, laws, and scientific information.
  • Collaborating with companies to develop solutions to lessen their waste and pollution production.
  • Investigating how specific innovations and technological developments affect the environment.

Educational Requirements for Environmental Engineer

Following are the educational requirements that are essential and will be beneficial in becoming an environmental engineer in Canada:

1. Obtain a Degree

One must possess at least a bachelor’s degree in environmental, civil, or chemical engineering to secure an entry-level job as an environmental engineer. You can anticipate undertaking academic courses, laboratory activities, and fieldwork in a typical bachelor’s degree program. In addition, your ability to work in environmental engineering will be aided by your biology, engineering, calculus, and physics education.

Even though it is not mandatory, some environmental engineers can also attain a master’s degree in a relevant area. A master’s degree may be helpful for engineers wishing to pursue careers in research, education, or management and may open up more incredible employment options. 

2. Acquire Certifications

Although certification is not typically required for entry-level environmental engineers, it might help you stand out from other applicants. You can obtain any of the following credentials to work as an environmental engineer:

  • Certified Dangerous Goods Professional (CDGP) certification.
  • Board Certified Environmental Engineer Scientist (BCES) certification.
  • Certified Healthcare Environmental Services Professional certification.
  • Professional Engineer (P.Eng) license.

Skills Required to Become an Environmental Engineer

Here is a list of the skills and competencies required to thrive when performing duties in the environmental engineering job:

1. Problem-solving Skills

Solid problem-solving abilities are required for individuals interested in pursuing a career in environmental engineering. The capacity to evaluate various circumstances, detect issues, and seek solutions constitutes a significant portion of environmental engineering jobs. Hence, hiring managers expect you to demonstrate your problem-solving skills in this regard.

2. Investigative Skills

An environmental engineer’s ability to conduct research and spot problems will help them better grasp the environmental consequences of every possible solution.

3. Communication Skills

Effective communication skills are a must for environmental engineers. Because environmental engineers regularly have to convey information and outcomes to stakeholders in the workplace, it’s critical to understand how to articulate in both oral and written formats. It also involves hearing what other teammates have to say.

4. Attention to detail

Possessing a keen sense of detail is crucial in this sector because it demands high accuracy. Furthermore, precision is essential for performing environmental engineers’ work, which involves constantly developing designs. So, it’s crucial to be comprehensive, consider all the variables associated with a project, and make sure you don’t skip any specifics if you wish to have the best opportunity of landing a position in environmental engineering.

5. Technological Advancements

Individuals in the domain of environmental engineering must stay current with the most recent innovations and trends in the sector as it is continuously evolving. Therefore, the ability to comprehend novel ideas and get familiar with cutting-edge technologies is essential for environmental engineers.

How Much do Environmental Engineers Make in Canada?

Environmental Engineer Salary in Canada

The average environmental engineer salary in Canada is CAD 85,137 per year, which translates to CAD 43.66 per hour.

Entry-level jobs for environmental engineers have a starting salary of CAD 69,563 per year or CAD 35.67 per hour.

In contrast:

Salaries for the most experienced environmental engineering positions can go up to CAD 106,968 per year or CAD 54.86 per hour.

What Is the Working Environment for Environmental Engineers Like?

Environmental engineers usually function full time, but they sometimes work overtime in addition to their standard office hours to achieve project deadlines. They work in office settings when managing projects, obtaining approvals and preparing reports.

However, they may commute to meet with business owners and attorneys to convey details and research outcomes. Environmental engineers may also operate on-site at industrial or construction locations when conducting investigations or supervising a firm’s environmental practices.

Best Way to Find a Job as an Environmental Engineer in Canada

There are multiple ways to find jobs for environmental engineers in Canada. However, the best way is to navigate our job post page to search for your desired position in Canada.

Primus Workforce is an organization passionate about facilitating job hunters in finding the best oil and gas jobs in Canada. You can browse for open posts through our webpage and submit your application directly to the hiring managers.

Apart from that, you can complete apprenticeships and gain experience to double your chances of securing an environmental engineering job.

Ultimately, taking and passing the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) examination to obtain your PE license is also a beneficial way to gain an edge over other candidates and land your dream job. Also, you can check our specific guide on the best careers in Environmental Science.


Environmental engineer utilizes their expertise in environmental sciences to discover possible solutions for prevailing ecological issues. In addition, they can examine, assess, and enhance national, provincial, or municipal resources.

This is all we had to discuss regarding what does an environmental engineer do. If you want to read more informative articles, we suggest you go through our blog section.

Usama ChaudryUsama is a professional engineer and graduated from the University of Alberta. Computations of electrical and thermal characteristics are among his research interests. Usama's hobbies outside of professional work include reading, playing tennis, and trekking.


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