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How To Take the First Steps into An Environmental Engineering Career?

With the looming destruction that we have brought on the environment with industrialization and rapid urbanization around the world, there is a steep need for environmental engineers who would work towards supporting the environment for the better good.

The primary role of an environmental engineer is to combine the principles of science, maths, and engineering to devise ways that reduce ecological waste and promote a healthier and striving environment. The first step towards this career is to earn a degree in environmental engineering online.

engineering sector

We will discuss all that you need to know about the prospect of environmental engineering and the steps you need to take to flourish in this career.

Acquire a bachelor’s degree

Becoming an environmental engineer starts with the basic form of education, which is acquiring a bachelor’s degree in the field. Some colleges offer in-person and online courses, which you can choose based on your preference.

The bachelor’s degree primarily delves into and explores the concepts surrounding science, mathematics, and engineering. However, the curriculum also includes major environmental concerns related to subjects or topics, including air quality management, water treatment, environmental rehabilitation, etc.

Clear the Fundamentals of Engineering exam

Once you have acquired your bachelor’s degree, the next step is to clear the Fundamentals of Engineering exam (FE), which is conducted by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES).

Passing this particular exam is mandatory if you want to acquire your professional certification to then go ahead and work as an environmental engineer independently or with companies. The exam tests the students on basic and advanced topics related to environmental engineering.

Apply for an internship

The next step in your environmental engineering career is to gain relevant work experience. Not many people realize this but having an internship or an entry-level role right after graduation or during the last years of graduation is a great way to acquire basic practical knowledge about the subject.

Not only does this add to your experience, but having the mention of an internship in the resume gives you an upper hand in standing out among all the other applicants in the pool.

Obtain a license

This is not a mandatory step but if you wish to work for the federal, local, and state consulting firms or any agency that is directly associated with the government, you’d need to acquire your professional license to work there.

For that, you’d need to appear for the Principles and Practices of Engineering exam (PE), which is also conducted by NCEES.

Get a Master’s

The last step in the career trajectory as an environmental engineer is to acquire your Master’s. Again, this is not a mandatory step but if you want to propel your career in the right direction and climb the career graph, it can help.

Several offline and online Universities offer access to a Master’s in Environmental Engineering. We’d recommend checking out the specifics and affiliation before applying.


If you have been wondering how to get started as an Environmental Engineer, we’d recommend keeping these particular steps into account. They are simple but will require your due diligence and hard work to make it to the top of the graph.

Ishwar Deep
Ishwar Deep
Head of Content @ Whitedust (or, in plain English), I'm the guy responsible for ensuring that every blog post we publish is EPIC.

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