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Career and Education Opportunities for Environmental Planners in Las Cruces, New Mexico

Las Cruces, New Mexico provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for environmental planners. There are currently 540 working environmental planners in New Mexico; this should grow by 36% to 730 working environmental planners in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for environmental planners, which sees this job pool growing by about 30.6% over the next eight years. Environmental planners generally design, plan, or perform engineering duties in the prevention, control, and remediation of environmental health hazards utilizing various engineering disciplines.

Income for environmental planners is about $38 hourly or $79,220 annually on average in New Mexico. Nationally, their income is about $35 per hour or $74,020 per year. Earnings for environmental planners are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Green Engineering in New Mexico and not quite as good as general Green Engineering category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: solid waste management engineer, sanitation engineer, and hazardous substances engineer.

There are six schools of higher education in the Las Cruces area, including one within twenty-five miles of Las Cruces 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 studying to be 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 Las Cruces 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

New Mexico State University-Main Campus - Las Cruces, NM

New Mexico State University-Main Campus, 2850 Weddell Street, Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001. New Mexico State University-Main Campus is a large university located in Las Cruces, New Mexico. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 17,198 students and an admission rate of 61%. New Mexico State University-Main Campus has a master's degree program in Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering which graduated five students 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.

LICENSES

Professional Engineer Environmental

Licensing agency: New Mexico State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Surveyor
Address: 4001 Office Court Drive, Suite 903, Santa Fe, NM 87507-4962

Phone: (505) 827-7561
Website: New Mexico State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Surveyor

Professional Engineer Sanitary

Licensing agency: New Mexico State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Surveyor
Address: 4001 Office Court Drive, Suite 903, Santa Fe, NM 87507-4962

Phone: (505) 827-7561
Website: New Mexico State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Surveyor

LOCATION INFORMATION: Las Cruces, New Mexico

Las Cruces, New Mexico
Las Cruces, New Mexico photo by Yassie

Las Cruces is situated in Dona Ana County, New Mexico. It has a population of over 91,865, which has grown by 23.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Las Cruces, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Las Cruces are valued at $133,900 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, six hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Las Cruces, down from nine hundred eighty the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Las Cruces are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 28.4% of Las Cruces residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.1%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Las Cruces is 5.6%, which is less than New Mexico's average of 7.5%.

The percentage of Las Cruces residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 77.3%, is more than both the national and state average. Mesilla Park Baptist Church, Greater Saint John Church of God in Christ and Valley View Baptist Church are among the churches located in Las Cruces. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Las Cruces is home to the Mesquite Street Original Townsite Historic District and the Walden Hall as well as Frenger Park and Preciado Park. Visitors to Las Cruces can choose from Scoggin Blue LLC, SpringHill Suites Las Cruces and Villa Del Telshor Apartments & Corporate Suites for temporary stays in the area.