An environmental sanitation engineer performs research and implements methods of treating, preventing, remediating, and controlling environmental hazards related to waste management. Waste management includes the management of water, solid waste, industrial waste and other pollutants.
What Does an Environmental Sanitation Engineer Do?
An Environmental Sanitation Engineer will identify environmental hazards in the workplace environment. These can include biological, chemical, radiological, or physical hazards.
The day-to-day duties for an Environmental Sanitation Engineer includes collecting samples for analysis, investigating accidents, and making recommendations to ensure the safety of the workplace environment.
Environmental Sanitation is particularly important for reducing disease and improving the health of the population, especially people living in large cities.
Where Does an Environmental Sanitation Engineer Work?
These specialists work in a variety of locations, and fieldwork and travel are required. An Environmental Sanitation Engineer will typically be employed by cities, towns, and rural municipalities or waste management organizations that are often contracted to work for municipalities.
Environmental Sanitation Engineer's work full time and may be required to work some weekends or long hours if an emergency occurs. These specialists are also exposed to dangerous locations, equipment, and materials and must wear protective clothing and gear to minimize risk of illness and injury.
There is a lot of work for Environmental Sanitation Engineers in cities due to the concentration of the population and the increased likelihood of contamination.
What Is the Average Environmental Sanitation Engineer Salary?
The salary for an environmental sanitation engineer will depend on level of education and experience. However, according to the BLS, the median salary for these professionals was $92,120 as of May 2020. The highest 10% among these professionals earned more than $144,670 during this time.*
Environmental Sanitation Engineer Jobs & Job Description
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Environmental sanitation engineers work with a diverse team of scientists and technicians to address environmental problems that arise due to the impact of humans life on a particular region. Commonly, the sanitation engineer works as part of a team to regulate and remediate waste. While jobs do vary, the average environmental sanitation engineer can expect to perform the following duties:
- Work with environmental scientists, planners, hazardous waste technicians, engineers, and experts in law and business to address environmental problems
- Draft quality assurance documentation and procedures
- Design systems, equipment and processes for the control, management and remediation of water, air or soil quality
- Administer environmental improvement programs and collect benchmark data on programs
- Formulate upcoming project budgets
- Inform stakeholders, company employees or other relevant parties of environmental issues
- Promote safe and sanitary water supplies
- Determine the quality and sanitation of private and industrial water supplies
- Control and regulate stream, lake, and tidal water pollution
- Conduct field surveys to determine the degree of pollution
- Collect physical field data to aid in reporting
- Examine samples of water, sewage, and industrial waste
Environmental sanitation engineers who have spent a number of years in the field are often good candidates for senior positions with expanded managerial, technical or administrative duties. Job duties vary from role to role, but senior environmental engineers may find themselves completing the following as part of their expanded role:
- Plan the most stringent sanitary condition of regional waters that can be feasibly attained
- Assist in determining the waste treatment facility projects, processes and human resources needed to achieve the planned condition
- Examine engineering reports concerning proposed sewage and industrial waste treatment plants, water treatment plants, swimming pools, submitted for approval by engineers and architects retained or employed by municipalities, industries, or private individuals
- Prepare engineering testimony for presentation at legal hearings and court discoveries
- Perform other engineering tasks and related work as required
- Request and approve bids from suppliers and consultants
- Maintain permit records and operating procedure documentation
- Evaluate the operational effectiveness of industrial or municipal facilities
- Assess the impacts of existing or proposed land use projects on the environment
- Offer professional advice on best practices in the industry or facility
- Supervise data for budget forecasting
- Supervise the design of systems, equipment and processes for the control, management and remediation of water, air or soil quality
- Edit quality assurance documentation and procedures
- Oversee records management and storage practices
- Create project proposals
- Prepare reports for submittal to external stakeholders and for management review
- Promote ethical behaviour concerning all environmental and safety regulations
- Develop a positive working relationship with employees, manager and external stakeholders
- Presentation of team findings, project progress and budgetary issues
- Research new technology and useful advancements
- Participate on committees for policy and regulatory development
What Is the Job Demand for an Environmental Sanitation Engineer?
The job demand for environmental sanitation engineers is projected to rise about 4% between 2020 and 2030.* This is mainly due to public interest in environmental sanitation and the growing population which requires greater management of sanitation.
What Do Environmental Sanitation Engineers Study?
Environmental Sanitation Engineers are required to have a bachelor's degree in an environmental engineering or related discipline. Once you have a relevant degree, you will need to become licensed in your province or state to be eligible to work as a sanitation engineer. There are unique requirements for licenses in each province or state. Subsequent license renewals will usually require additional training.
What Kind of Societies and Professional Organizations Do Environmental Sanitation Engineers Have?
- The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) is a professional, awarding, and campaigning organization at the forefront of environmental and public health and safety. The organization offers an annual membership which provides access to professional development opportunities, environmental health news, and publications. CIEH is a global membership community and a great tool for developing your career network.
- The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) is a US based organization with an aim to advance environmental health and protection professionals for the purpose of providing a healthful environment for all. Membership with NEHA will provide you with development opportunities, career credential programs and access to the Journal of Environmental Health.
*2020 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary figures and job growth projections for environmental engineers reflect national data not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed September 2021.