5 answers

Could someone have a career in a science field that is under the government, and what careers might these be?

Asked Wilmington, Vermont

I am a senior in high school, and I am interested in both a science related career as well as a government career. I am interested in both local and federal government, so a career under either would be fine. I am also interested in water resources, genetics, marine biology, and environmental science. Instead of choosing one or the other, I thought I could combine them if there was a career that I was interested in. #marine-biology #environmental #federal-government #genetics #local-government

5 answers

Daniela’s Answer

Updated State of Goiás, State of Goiás, Brazil

Hi Samantha,

You can think about a career in environmental studies.

  • The majority of environmental studies degree programs are designed with an interdisciplinary structure. Concentration areas may include topics such as sustainability, social advocacy, environmental communication, environmental policy reform, resource management, urban development or environmental education. Common environmental studies coursework includes multiple classes in the natural sciences, such as chemistry, biology and ecology. Students are also required to take courses within the social sciences, such as environmental management, environmental economics, world politics and global environmental issues.

Career Options:

  • Environmental Policy Specialist Often working for political advocacy organizations, environmental policy specialists work on redesigning laws and policies concerning environmental issues. Some policy specialists focus on individual environmental concerns, such as air pollution, ocean preservation, alternative energy or industrial waste. They also conduct research into various environmental causes and, if necessary, advocate for changing public policies.

  • Conservation Scientist Often working as consultants, conservation scientists help landowners and government officials determine the most efficient ways to use land and natural resources. They may make recommendations concerning the amount of livestock or agriculture that a piece of property can support or test soil and water samples to determine the quality and amount of natural resources within a given area.

Major in Environmental Studies and Political Science:

This degree will be of interest to students wanting to get involved in environmental issues from the world of politics. A sound grounding in environmental issues will be gained, but students will also develop a substantive understanding of how these issues are incorporated into various political processes and how political processes can be made to include environmental concerns.

More information in:




Thank you! This was helpful in learning what science and government careers are available and what I might have to take for courses.

Marina’s Answer

Updated New York, New York


There is no doubt that you can have a career in government as a scientist or an engineer. There are many federal agencies that hire staff with a science background, such as the U.S Department of Agriculture, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S Geological Survey and of course, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. You would be surprised at the number of other non-traditional agencies that also hire scientists and environmental professionals, including the Department of State and the Department of Defense. I think there is a wealth of options out there, including at the state level, where each state is required to have an environmental department or bureau to oversee their environmental programs.

From my own experience, I have a degree in Chemical Engineering but have been working as an Environmental Engineer with the U.S. EPA. I have worked in both the air and water programs, so sometimes it's not necessary to focus on a particular media for your degree, unless you are absolutely sure of the program you want to work in. EPA staff consists of a range of professionals, including Environmental Scientists, Engineers, Chemists, Geologists, Biologists, and public health professionals, among others.

I think you're on the right track and I wish you all the best in your school and future career.

Okay, thank you! This is good to know, and you are right, I am surprised at some of the agencies that hire scientists.

Elizabeth’s Answer

Updated San Jose, California


With a science degree there are many opportunities to apply your skills in U.S. Government (USG) positions. The USG has opportunities in a wide variety of science and technology fields, including cooperative research and development initiatives with universities and private industry.

As other professionals have suggested in their answers, if you strive for a broader degree in the sciences such as engineering, you may be able to begin working for the USG right out of college and then explore an advanced or specialized degree in areas such as environmental studies with support in the form of tuition reimbursement and possible career advancement.


Okay, I didn't know that. Thank you.

Ellen’s Answer

Updated Bayonne, New Jersey

Samantha,I have worked for the federal government, state government and private companies using my engineering degree in water resources, conservation, manufacturing and project management. Having a broad technical degree is important but with your varied interests, I would be careful about how specialized your choices become in your first year of college. You might want to focus on internships that allow you to explore one or two of your interests during this summer and next summer. You may find that the day-to-day grind of a specialty may be boring. With a good grades and any STEM degree you should have many options on graduation. The key for a company to hire you some graduation may be work experience you gain during the summers and the school year. Working for the federal government can be a great choice if you are interested in varied work. You can transfer to different types of jobs if you have a good reputation and are willing to travel.

Thank you! I will keep your advice in mind when I start college.

Maria Belen’s Answer

Updated Houston, Texas

If I were you I think that water treatment specialist and environmental are definitely linked and, in my opinion, they will become ones of the most important careers in in the future, so be an expert in those signatures, will make a different. I recommend you to focus on a thing, I wouldn't choose environmental science, for example because I think that is too general, I think that being for example civil or chemical engineer, may give you a practical and specific background , then you may focus on specific area, doing for example a master in environmental management.

Okay, thank you! I will try to focus on one thing, and not just a broad area.