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Career and Education Opportunities for Environmental Planners in Los Angeles, California

Environmental planners can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Los Angeles, California area. Currently, 4,800 people work as environmental planners in California. This is expected to grow 25% to about 6,000 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for environmental planners, which sees this job pool growing by about 30.6% over the next eight years. In general, environmental planners design, plan, or perform engineering duties in the prevention, control, and remediation of environmental health hazards utilizing various engineering disciplines.

The income of an environmental planner is about $39 hourly or $83,090 yearly on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $35 per hour or $74,020 annually on average. Incomes for environmental planners are not quite as good as in the overall category of Green Engineering in California, and not quite as good as the overall Green Engineering category nationally. Jobs in this field include: reservoir engineer, environmental safety specialist, and automation engineer.

There are 274 schools of higher education in the Los Angeles area, including four within twenty-five miles of Los Angeles where you can get a degree to start your career as an environmental planner. Given that the most common education level for environmental planners is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become an environmental planner if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Environmental Planner

Environmental Planner video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, environmental planners design, plan, or perform engineering duties in the prevention, control, and remediation of environmental health hazards utilizing various engineering disciplines. They also work may include waste treatment, site remediation, or pollution control technology.

Environmental planners collaborate with environmental scientists, planners, hazardous waste technicians and other specialists, and experts in law and business to address environmental problems. They also inform company employees and other interested parties of environmental issues. Equally important, environmental planners have to design proposed project objectives and targets, and report to management on progress in attaining them. They are often called upon to furnish administrative support for projects by collecting data, providing project documentation and performing other general administrative duties. They are expected to help in budget implementation and administration. Finally, environmental planners inspect industrial and municipal facilities and programs to review operational effectiveness and insure adherence to environmental regulations.

Every day, environmental planners are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for environmental planners to request bids from suppliers or consultants. They are often called upon to advise industries and government agencies about environmental policies and standards. They also obtain and maintain plans, permits, and standard operating procedures. They are sometimes expected to assess the existing or potential environmental impact of land use projects on air and land. Somewhat less frequently, environmental planners are also expected to serve as liaison with federal and local agencies and officials on issues pertaining to solid and hazardous waste program requirements.

They also have to be able to layout and supervise the development of systems processes or equipment for control or remediation of water or soil quality and monitor progress of environmental improvement programs. And finally, they sometimes have to furnish technical-level support for environmental remediation and litigation projects, including remediation system layout and determination of regulatory applicability.

Like many other jobs, environmental planners must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Los Angeles include:

  • Energy Systems Engineer. Design, develop, and evaluate energy-related projects and programs to reduce energy costs or improve energy efficiency during the designing, building, or remodeling stages of construction. May specialize in electrical systems; heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems; green buildings; lighting; air quality; or energy procurement.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Environmental Planner Training

University of Southern California - Los Angeles, CA

University of Southern California, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089. University of Southern California is a large university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 33,747 students and an admission rate of 22%. University of Southern California has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering which graduated four, eight, and five students respectively in 2008.

East San Gabriel Valley Regional Occupational Program - West Covina, CA

East San Gabriel Valley Regional Occupational Program, 1501 W Del Norte St., West Covina, CA 91790. East San Gabriel Valley Regional Occupational Program is a small school located in West Covina, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 670 students. East San Gabriel Valley Regional Occupational Program has a less than one year program in Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering which graduated eleven students in 2008.

California Institute of Technology - Pasadena, CA

California Institute of Technology, 1200 E California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91125. California Institute of Technology is a small school located in Pasadena, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,133 students and an admission rate of 17%. California Institute of Technology has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering which graduated two, two, and three students respectively in 2008.

University of California-Irvine - Irvine, CA

University of California-Irvine, , Irvine, CA 92697. University of California-Irvine is a large university located in Irvine, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,899 students and an admission rate of 56%. University of California-Irvine has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering which graduated two and seven students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Energy Manager: Since its inception in 1981, the Certified Energy Manager (CEM®) credential has become widely accepted and used as a measure of professional accomplishment within the energy management field.

For more information, see the Association of Energy Engineers website.

Certified Energy Auditor: The Certified Energy Auditor (CEA) certification identifies professionals as having the required knowledge and experience needed to succeed in the growing field of energy auditing.

For more information, see the Association of Energy Engineers website.

Certified Water Technologist: The Certified Water Technologist (CWT) program represents the highest professional credential in the industrial and commercial water treatment field.

For more information, see the Association of Water Technologies website.

Environmental Professional Intern: The EPI credential is an opportunity for students who anticipate entering the environmental field, or for graduates who have entered the field within the last five years, to demonstrate personal knowledge of general environmental science.

For more information, see the Institute of Professional Environmental Practice website.

Ventilation System Mold Remediator: Ventilation System Mold Remediator (VSMR) Certification ensures an understanding of basic microbiological contamination, project assessment, and how to apply NADCA and other industry standards.

For more information, see the National Air Ducts Cleaning Association website.

Certified Ground Water Professional: The Ground Water Professional certification program began for AGWSE members in 1986.

For more information, see the National Ground Water Association website.

Geotechnical Engineering Technology Certification: This certification program was designed for engineering technicians engaged in soil investigation and determination of engineering properties prior to and concurrent with initial construction activities.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Associate Environmental Professional: Associate Environmental Professional is the entry level program of professional environmental certification.

For more information, see the National Registry of Environmental Professionals website.

Certified Mold Professional: The Certified Mold Professional (CMP) Program is a course of study which includes a series of three mold courses.

For more information, see the Restoration Industry Association website.

Certified Transfer Station Technical Associate: This certification was developed to address the increased interest in transfer stations and provide transfer station managers and others the opportunity to learn more about transfer station design and operation.

For more information, see the Solid Waste Association of North America website.

Certified Composting Technical Associate: Those earning this prestigious designation have specifically demonstrated their abilities in how to effectively plan, design, and operate composting sites.

For more information, see the Solid Waste Association of North America website.

Certified Collection Systems Technical Associate: By earning this certification, you will demonstrate knowledge and proficiency in designing and implementing efficient and effective collection systems.

For more information, see the Solid Waste Association of North America website.

Certified Municipal Solid Waste Management Technical Associate: By earning this certification, you will demonstrate knowledge and proficiency that only the top in a field can show.

For more information, see the Solid Waste Association of North America website.

Certified Construction & Demolition Materials Technical Associate: Professionals who have earned their C&D Certification have shown proficiency in all aspects of the disposal and reuse of C&D materials.

For more information, see the Solid Waste Association of North America website.

Municipal Solid Waste Management Systems - Technical Associate: By earning this certification, you will demonstrate knowledge and proficiency that only the top in a field can show.

For more information, see the Solid Waste Association of North America website.

Bioreactor Landfill - Technical Associate: By earning this certification, you will demonstrate knowledge and proficiency in this new technology.

For more information, see the Solid Waste Association of North America website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California photo by Diliff

Los Angeles is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 3,833,995, which has grown by 3.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Los Angeles, 166, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Los Angeles are valued at $361,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, seven hundred twelve new homes were built in Los Angeles, down from 1,551 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Los Angeles are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 25.5% of Los Angeles residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Los Angeles is 13.9%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Los Angeles residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. All Peoples Christian Church, All Saints Episcopal Church and All Saints Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Los Angeles. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Los Angeles is home to the Balboa Municipal Golf Course and the Angels Flight Railway as well as Hazard Park and State Street Recreation Center. Shopping centers in the area include Encino Junior Shopping Center, Encino Oaks Shopping Center and Encino Town Center Shopping Center. Visitors to Los Angeles can choose from Best Western Mid-Wilshire Plaza, Best Western Westwood Pacific and Alma Lodge for temporary stays in the area.