Income and benefits
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for environmental engineer was $88,860 in 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $54,330, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $142,070. The top paying industry was the federal government, with a median annual salary of $105,410. This is followed by engineering services ($89,050), the local government ($86,540), management, scientific and technical consulting services ($84,300) and then the state government ($81,290).
Autonomy and Flexibility
Generally speaking, environmental engineers will have high autonomy. They are often a senior member in environmental projects, and therefore have control over many decisions. This level of autonomy only gets higher throughout an environmental engineers career, as they get more responsibility and experience.
Flexibility may be slightly lower as environmental engineers will have many strict project deadlines to work towards. This means that they may have little control over how they plan their day and what meetings to attend.
Locations and commute
According to Zippia, the best states to be an environmental engineer, based on average annual salary and number of job opportunities, are:
- Hawaii, where the average annual salary is $98,941
- California, where the average annual salary is $86,469
- Louisiana, where the average annual salary is $92,199
- Oregon, where the average annual salary is $80,510
- Washington, where the average annual salary is $78,812
The worst states, according to Zippia, are Rhode Island, Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin and Missouri.
The largest employers of environmental engineers in the United States was engineering services, which hired 26% of all environmental engineers in 2019. 20% of environmental engineers were employed by management, scientific and technical consulting services, 13% by the state government, 7% by the local government, 6% work for the federal government.
Environmental engineers will work in a variety of settings and may travel to different locations. When at work, they may work with other engineers, urban planners, lawyers and other businesspeople.