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A Career As An Environmentalist

Feb 4, 2008
Most people who want to become environmentalists don't do it for the money, but do it to protect the environment. Environmentalists help people make better decisions about using limited natural resources frugally. They help research on how to improve the environment, write articles on the environment and the air, give press releases and campaign. There are various types of environmentalists in many different positions.

Necessary Education

Whatever type of environmentalist you want to be, you should have a background in science. It's not only necessary but also helpful. It helps in researching for scientific purposes, engineering, technical consultation, hazardous waste recycling and other technicalities. The education that you acquire depends on the type of environmentalist you want to become. A bachelor's degree in science, be it natural science or physical science, is necessary. If you want to pursue a career in environmentalism where you would be working with an NGO or doing social work, then you also require a bachelor's degree in humanities or sciences.

You can also opt for a Masters degree in other related fields of environmental science such as environmental studies, environmental planning, public policy and many more. Some popular universities like University of Michigan, Evergreen State College, University of Montana and Yale University offer courses in Environmentalism.

Getting Internships

Education is not the only thing that's important if you want to be an environmentalist. It is important that you get the right amount of exposure on the job. This is possible through internships. Internships usually do not pay but can give you enough experience and exposure to get a good job. Internships normally involve making internship reports based on a particular project or assignment. Most internships are a part of the degree program, whether it is an undergraduate or master's degree. There has to be satisfactory completion of the internship to complete your environmental studies.


Though education is important, experience has much more value. Experience in any given field can give you much more information and knowledge than in class training or education. Being an environmentalist, you can get great training by working in a non-profit organization or by volunteering. Internships also give sufficient experience in the field of environment. While doing an internship, it is important that you display your skills and learn as much as you can.

Most organizations will take make interns full time employees if they are good because they have spent time and energy training them and guiding them on the intricacies of the job. It is important that you get an internship or a volunteer's job at a reputable company or preferably a government agency, though getting into these places as an intern is as difficult as going for a job interview. Remember that the more experience you get, the better it is going to be for you to secure a good job a few years down the line.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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