majestic mountains

Earning an Environmental Science Degree in Utah

When you come from a state whose biggest attractions are its natural wonders, pursuing a career in environmental science is just a good fit. After all, chances are good that you've hiked its red rock cliffs (Angel's Landing trail, anyone?), camped in its awe-inspiring parks, and skied its mountains.

From its towering waterfalls to its fascinating salt marshes to the Colorado River's whitewater rapids that cut through Canyonlands National Park, there really is no place in the world like Utah; and lucky you, you have a front seat to this state's splendors.

Pursue a degree in environmental science and you'll be among Utah's valued researchers and scientists whose work inspires legislation and community action to ensure that this state's outstanding natural resources are protected for current and future generations.

What Can I Do with an Environmental Science Degree in Utah

The scientific study of the environment is valued in Utah, whether it's through the state's governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, or private companies.

The state's largest environmental agency is the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, which studies Utah's environment and oversees efforts to respond to and remediate environmental issues throughout the state. Within the last year, this state agency has overseen the cleanup efforts of two Superfund sites, provided more than $17 million in financial assistance to improve the state's drinking water, and participated in major land cleanups.

Some of the environmental nonprofits inciting positive change in Utah include the Utah Society for Environmental Education, which encourages literacy in environmental education, and Envision Utah, which has created a Quality Growth Strategy to help create and sustain Utah's communities. One of Envision Utah's biggest projects is overseen by their Clean Air Action Team, which explores options for achieving future air quality.

While your salary will vary depending on your education and experience, 2020 BLS statistics reveal that jobs in environmental science come with impressive salaries. For example, environmental scientists and specialists in Utah earned an average, annual salary of $68,590 and conservation scientists earned $69,520 in 2020. Geoscientists and hydrologists earned slightly higher salaries here, at $87,310 and $81,420, respectively.

2020 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary figures and job growth projections for the professions listed reflect state data not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed September 2021.

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Master's in Environmental Science in Utah

An environmental science master's degree is your opportunity to refine your skills, advance your knowledge, and secure your position as a leader in the field.

The University of Utah, one of the biggest names in post-secondary education and the state's flagship university, offers a Professional Master of Science and Technology. This unique interdisciplinary course of study includes your choice of specialization in environmental chemistry/biology, environmental hydrology, public and environmental health, Remote Sensing and GIS or, as of Fall 2019, Earth Resource Management.

The University of Utah also offers a host of other environmental graduate master's programs, including:

Bachelor's in Environmental Science in Utah

A bachelor's in environmental science is the foundation you'll need to enter the field and secure a position in the nonprofit, government, or private sector.

Choose the University of Utah's bachelor's degree in Environmental & Sustainable Studies and you'll have the opportunity to choose from a number of relevant emphases in land management and conservation; air, water & health; ecological literacy & social change; climate & energy; and food systems & community resilience.

Or, choose Utah State University's BS in Environmental Studies and you'll have the opportunity to focus your undergraduate course of study on topics like policy analysis, entrepreneurship, planning, and more. As a student of Utah State, you'll also enjoy unique, hands-on opportunities through the university's Ecology Center, home to a nationally and internationally renowned faculty and superb academic resources.

In the private sector, Westminster University's BA/BS in Environmental Studies is another great undergrad program that comes with exciting opportunities for field study at Zion National Park and volunteerism through partnerships with local nonprofits.