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Career and Education Opportunities for Environmental Planners in Austin, Texas

For those living in the Austin, Texas area, there are many career and education opportunities for environmental planners. Currently, 3,350 people work as environmental planners in Texas. This is expected to grow by 24% to about 4,170 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. Environmental planners generally 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 $32 hourly or $66,950 yearly on average in Texas. 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 Texas, and not quite as good as the overall Green Engineering category nationally. Environmental planners work in a variety of jobs, including: pollution control engineer, public health engineer, and air pollution control engineer.

There are thirty-five schools of higher education in the Austin area, including one within twenty-five miles of Austin 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 Austin 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

The University of Texas at Austin - Austin, TX

The University of Texas at Austin, , Austin, TX 78712. The University of Texas at Austin is a large university located in Austin, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 49,984 students and an admission rate of 44%. The University of Texas at Austin has a master's degree program in Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering which graduated twenty-eight 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas photo by Wikidiculous

Austin is located in Travis County, Texas. It has a population of over 757,688, which has grown by 15.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Austin, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Austin are valued at $139,500 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, 1,928 new homes were constructed in Austin, down from 3,155 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Austin are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 40.4% of Austin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Austin is 6.5%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Austin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 46.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Pilgrim Rest Primitive Baptist Church, Adam and Eve Garden Baptist Church and Pleasant Hill Baptist Church are all churches located in Austin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Austin is home to the Morris Williams Golf Course and the Sixth Street Historic District as well as Wild Basin Wilderness Park and Rudolph Gamblin Field. Shopping centers in the area include Capital Plaza Shopping Center, Capital Plaza Shopping Center and Lamar Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Austin can choose from Club Hotel by Doubletree Austin University Area, Austin Folk House and AmeriPark at Austin for temporary stays in the area.