Earth & Environmental Science

Earth and Environmental Science studies the interaction of the physical and biological processes that shape our natural environment, and the application of scientific methods to environmental problems. It focuses on subjects like landscapes, weather, climate, ecology, rivers, groundwater, soil, erosion, and the oceans. Geology studies the composition, structure, and history of the earth’s crust, including rocks and minerals, plate tectonics, earthquakes, and fossils. *Modified from the UNC Charlotte Department of Geography & Earth Sciences website, the College Majors Handbook, and the College Board Book of Majors

Sample Occupations

  • Environmental Compliance
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Regulatory Compliance Specialist
  • Health & Safety Manager
  • Climate Change Analyst
  • Industrial Ecologist
  • EPA Inspector
  • Soil Science
  • Horticulturist
  • Soil Conservationist
  • Planning/Conservation
  • Forester
  • Environmental Science & Protection Technician
  • Reforestation Specialist
  • Environmental Law
  • Lobbyist
  • Attorney
  • Geological Sciences
  • Geologist
  • Geophysicist
  • Mineralogist

Types of Employers

  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Research Laboratories
  • Agriculture Companies
  • US Geological Survey
  • Gas & Oil Companies
  • Water Treatment Plants
  • Private Farms & Ranches
  • Army Corps of Engineers

Preparing for your career in

Conservation: Volunteer with a state park and recreation department to learn how government is involved in maintaining natural habitats, identify volunteer opportunities with nonprofit conservation-related organizations (i.e., Carolinas Raptor Center, Latta Plantation), join student conservation organizations, seek research experience with professors or internships, participate on planning boards to stay current with local conservation initiatives, build negotiation skills for interacting with various stakeholders

Geological Sciences: Gain experience with computer software used for modeling, mapping, and other geological functions, develop strong analytical skills, seek licensure if required in your field, consider pursuing a masters degree for specialization and career advancement, gain a thorough understanding of federal and state government guidelines for solid, liquid, and gaseous waste management, develop speaking skills for public policy positions

Environmental Compliance: Conduct regulatory research regarding environmental issues in area of interest, seek experience with data management, analysis and regulatory/compliance software, gain experience through internships, OSHA HAZWOPER training may be required for some positions

How do I know if its right for me?

ASSESS: Take a career assessment, such as PathwayU, to see how your interests, values, and personality fit with majors and careers.

RESEARCH: Research the careers on this WCIDWAMI and thousands of other careers using O*Net Online, The Occupational Outlook Handbook or FirstHand.

EXPLORE: Learn more about a career field of interest by job shadowing, attending a career panel, or participating in a Career Trek. Further your exploration while gaining valuable skills by completing an internship, co-op, volunteer, or research experience.