Choosing a Career as an Environmental Engineer

What to choose? Which subject to take? Shall I get good job opportunities? What would be the earning potential?… Etc.

These are some of the common concerns that we have before embarking on further education, but take a deep breath and consider environmental engineering as a career option. Isn’t it fascinating to learn more about the world in which we work or to solve the problems that our environment faces on a daily basis? Obviously, it’s interesting! Let’s get started on gathering as much information as possible about our environmental studies. Environmental engineering is a branch of engineering and scientific knowledge of strategies to apply to the practical improvement of the environment. Another thing to say about an environmental specialist: it can provide a cover or assurance for our current situation, as well as strengthen the relationship between humans and the natural climate. Natural engineering gave us the ability to interact with both nature and individuals. As a result, create a capable undertaking that can have a long-term result. Difficulties and significant issues are present in each venture, which requires great understudies and a workforce. An environmental engineer is attempting to develop a new device, a natural structure plan, EIA planning, and is also developing a new monetary model, though environmental management improvement is more satisfactory than theories are the use of the premises.

Why is it necessary to conduct further research into environmental engineering?

 It is past time for us to become more rational and calculative as a result of the novel objective for environmental engineering. There are many research, programs, and realistic applications that we cannot overlook. In master’s programs, environmental engineering is a multidisciplinary topic with a lot of theory papers and lab work, project work, and seeing how the hypothesis applies with your own experiences. Other skills, such as technical reading and writing, critical thinking, and board ability, are required in addition to the hypothetical material.

 We can likewise choose between two sorts of Experts degrees:     

  • If there is someone who is more concerned about the natural arrangement builder planner, they may pursue a master’s degree in natural engineering.
  • If anybody is interested in the exploration field, they can go for M. Tech in Environmental Engineering.

Who Are We and What We Do?

In the current period, we can see an increase in demand in the engineering sector across various divisions. If we look at the previous survey results, we can see that environmental engineering is receiving the same attention and opportunities as other fields. Many of us believe that saving the earth is a task for the future, so why bother doing it now? This is not the case; it is having a positive and direct effect on people’s daily lives all over the world.

Now comes the issue of how an environmental engineer can assist in achieving a healthy and sustainable climate, and what positions do they play in this regard.

 Environmental engineering, as we all know, is closely connected to environmental science in that it employs scientific and engineering concepts to protect and enhance the environment. It also includes the design and technology for improving environmental quality. The working areas for environmental engineers are air pollution control, radiation protection, hazardous waste management, industrial hygiene, recycling, toxic material control, wastewater management, solid waste disposal, and public health and land management, protection of wildlife, prevent the production and repercussion of acid rain, global warming, and ozone depletion. Life will be difficult without environmental engineers because we can only live and continue our work if our world is clean and secure. The most fascinating aspect of this subject is that students who want to study environmental engineering will gain a broad understanding of a variety of topics including mathematics, engineering design, biology, microbiology, computer science, ecology, public health, economics, and geology.

Let us move on to the job opportunities after learning about the course specifics. What kind of job will an individual get after completing a B. Tech or M. Tech in environmental engineering?

There are many fields where environmental engineers are been appointed, are:

  • Environmental related projects with national & international firms.
  • Universities or colleges where they can teach, conduct research, and share knowledge on environmental control acts.
  • Industry or company for handling wastewater treatment system, treat and dispose of hazardous waste, etc.
  • Municipal agencies for water supply system.
  • Laboratories
  • Government sectors
  • And plenty of opportunity in fertilizer plants, refineries, food processing industries, etc.

Job Outlook of Environmental Engineering is Great!!!

When we think of studying and pursuing a career in engineering, we usually think of mother streams like civil, mechanical, or electrical engineering, but there is one branch that is becoming increasingly relevant today: environmental engineering. Nothing can be better than to having a career which is meaningful, satisfying, as well as rewarding, and environmental engineering fits perfectly on these criteria. Environmental engineers are extremely satisfied with their careers because they know what they are doing has a major impact on our future; and they are able to fulfill their responsibilities towards our nature and society.

With increasing environmental issues, our young generations are getting aware; as a result, colleges and universities have started offering environmental engineering programmes. The master’s program in this regard will help to better understand the environmental problems and find solutions with the help of technology as well as to raise awareness among the students. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average growth rate for employment of environmental engineers is going to exceed 15% by 2014 to 2024, which is way faster than the average for all other occupations. Why? Because with the modernization and development, our environment is also getting polluted and we are becoming more aware to save the world. As a result, job opportunities for environmental experts will increase. It’ll help us to find a job anywhere in the world, from India to Australia to Europe and beyond, this is truly a global career.

Talking about salaries, environmental engineers get paid pretty well. Although money is not everything, but we live in a world where we need money to survive. Based on a survey of salaries in India, the results show that an experienced environmental engineer receives an average compensation of Rs 10,19,862. So, they can lead a beautiful life.

This was some of the most valuable knowledge about environmental engineering; hopefully, after reading this, the majority of your questions will be answered. Ergo, time to come forward and ‘Be a part of solution not a part of the pollution’.

A gateway to clean and green energy

India’s economic revival post the two-and-a-half-month lockdown period could be channelized into searching for cleaner sources of energy that would benefit both nature and its inhabitants. To start with, the central government should look for ways to utilize abundant solar energy available in most parts of the country. In this case, the focal point should be to energise the nearly 39,000 non-electrified healthcare centres as well as numerous primary and secondary schools in the Indian countryside.

As of now, the Indian government hands out heavy subsidies to the fossil fuels sector. Instead of this, in an effort to kick-start the much needed clean energy revolution, the government may transfer the subsidies to the renewable energy sector, thereby enabling it to take small strides that could lead to giant leaps in the coming decades. United Nations climate body chief Patricia Espinosa said on April 22, “With this restart, a window of hope and opportunity opens, an opportunity for nations to green their recovery packages and shape the 21st-century economy in ways that are clean, green, healthy, safe and more resilient”. In fact, India’s own energy research centres, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), echoed similar views. A research fellow at CEEW, Karthik Ganesan, said, “There is a phenomenal opportunity for India in re-thinking if there is a better way of spending these (coal and oil and gas) subsidies to make them investment-worthy”.

Utilization

The present realities exhibit that organization enrichments for limitless power have trebled over the last five years to Rs 9,930 crore in 2019 from Rs 3,224 crore in 2014, as it were, driven by India’s assurance of setting up plants that could help generate an estimated 175 Giga Watt (GW) by 2022, according to the CEED report. In comparison, India spent more than Rs 80,000 crore towards subsidies for the coal, oil and gas industry. It is, therefore, apparent that, at present, India is spending an enormous amount of money towards non-renewable energy sources, which needs to change soon. In fact, the subsidies for the non-renewable sources exceed by seven times when compared to the renewable sources. Unless this is reversed, it will be extremely difficult to promote clean energy in India.

As of now, 56% of India’s electricity needs are generated from coal, 36% from oil and gas while about 3% is obtained from cleaner sources. However, India has made rapid strides in terms of utilizing renewable sources of energy – Renewables now amount to around 20% of India’s total installed power capacity, up from just 13% in 2014.

A good time to promote the use of renewable energy is now, after the resumption of industrial activities, post removal of lockdown, in an effort to meet any shortfall through renewable energy. Decisions and strategies made now will define the future since the benefits from these decisions will be visible only after 1-2 decades from now. Therefore, judicious use of fossil fuels on one hand and aggressive promotion of renewables are a good way forward. 

Volatility of fossil fuels

Industries that are mostly run from power generated by coal and other fossil fuels had a period of nearly 10-15 years that were quite stressful. Case in point is the underperformance of the Indian coal-mining and coal-fired companies. In December 2018, Greenpeace reported an average loss of 10% per year from 2013, costing a total of Rs 25,000 crore in losses.

One among several research set-ups that study the usage and financial benefits of renewable energy source, Matt Gray from Carbon Tracker estimated the economic feasibility of countries that have invested their energy dependence on coal and also in order to recover from the effects of the lockdown imposed by COVID-19. In fact, he specifically cautions India against using coal to spur its industries back after the lockdown and cites a reason for it to support his claim. In India, 2% of the current 222 GW coal fleet is running at a loss; an additional 66 GW is in the pipeline anyway 23% of this will enter the market with a negative cash flow, the Carbon Tracker report said. Matt Gray’s report also adds, “51 per cent of operating coal power costs more to run than building new renewables”.

Setting up the renewable energy network

In order to effectively distribute the benefits of renewable energy, small units of solar power supply units may be supplied to small and medium scale industries as well as small residences in towns and cities. On the other hand, in remote rural areas of the country, electricity generated from solar cells could be used to power small rural schools, hospitals, etc. Although relatively higher initial capital costs tend to deter people from using solar or other renewable energy, funding for these may be allotted from government agencies as well as from Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds in order to popularize such schemes. In fact, massive funding schemes, called KUSUM (meant to promote solar pumps), have been launched in order to promote the use of solar power in far-reaching areas of the country.

Some caveats must also be mentioned which deal with strengthening the existing electricity grid so that the grids are able to absorb the introduction of electricity supply from renewable energy sources. Moreover, it may take at least a few years before tangible benefits from renewable energy are financially visible. In addition, adequate training needs to be provided to workers who would be at the forefront of this massive changeover from conventional energy sources to unconventional sources. Ultimately, these actions could help steer India towards a path of recovery, make the air cleaner and, make sure that the inhabitants may experience clean, breathable air in the recent future.

Worldwide coal use in power generation must fall 80% below the 2010 levels by 2030 in order to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C, as per an examination conducted by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The hitherto unexpected benefits obtained from a prolonged near-global lockdown will go to a complete waste unless coal and fossil fuel usage is limited and more and more renewable energy sources are promoted at an aggressive rate. It would only be possible if more countries realise the benefits as well as the urgency of the situation in tackling the disastrous effects of global warming and, therefore, take necessary steps that can mitigate damages done to the environment from unabated use of fossil fuels.