Environmental Engineers assess the impact on air, water, soil and noise levels in the vicinity of engineering projects, plan and design equipment and processes for the treatment and safe disposal of waste material, and assess what may cause problems for the environment in the long-term.
Specialises in the provision and operation of facilities for potable water supply, wastewater and solid waste collection, treatment and disposal, and air pollution prevention to protect public health and the environment.
Designs sewage treatment, water supply and refuse disposal systems.
Develops environmental health standards and checks that these are met.
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Other Engineering Professionals, under the outlook section.
Earnings and hours
Around 82% of people employed as Environmental Engineers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 16 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 43 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Environmental Engineers||All Jobs Average|
Around 72% of Environmental Engineers live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
Victoria has a large share of employment relative to its population size.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Environmental Engineers is 36 years. This is younger than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 32% of the workforce. This is 16 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Environmental Engineers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||2.4||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A bachelor degree in engineering majoring in environmental engineering is needed to work as an Environmental Engineer. Many workers have a postgraduate qualification.
Registration may be required in some states and territories. In addition, Engineers Australia has a non-compulsory National Engineering Register.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Environmental Engineers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||32.6||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||0.0||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Other Engineering Professionals who can communicate clearly, work well in a team and have strong interpersonal skills.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Reading work related information.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
61%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
59%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Talking to others.
57%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Using maths to solve problems.
Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.
Teaching people how to do something.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Looking for ways to help people.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
85%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
70%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
69%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.
65%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
64%Building and construction
Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
63%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
58%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
56%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
56%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
54%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
49%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
45%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Listen to and understand what people say.
Read and understand written information.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Communicate by speaking.
Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.
57%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
55%Working with numbers
Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
50%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
See details that are far away.
Remember things like words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
82%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
82%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
81%Making sense of information and ideas
Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.
81%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
80%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
78%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
77%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
76%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
75%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
75%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
75%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
75%Giving expert advice
Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
73%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
71%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
69%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
66%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
66%Estimating amounts, costs and resources
Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.
65%Leading and encouraging a team
Encouraging and building trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
62%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Use electronic mail.
Talk on the telephone.
Talk with people face-to-face.
Work with people in a group or team.
87%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
86%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
86%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
85%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
84%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
79%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
78%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
77%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
76%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
Work to strict deadlines.
73%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.
70%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
68%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
65%In an enclosed vehicle or equipment
Work in a closed vehicle (e.g., car).
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 17-2081.00 - Environmental Engineers.