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What certifications would be beneficial to pursue for an environmental scientist/biologist?

I know that just pursuing my degree and having it will likely not be enough for me to stand out to potential employers. I was wondering what sort of certifications or training would be beneficial to me, not just for finding a job, but as a scientist in general. What would you recommended? Thank you!

#environmental-science #biology #certifications #training #science

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Justin’s Answer


If I could go back an do it all over again, I would get a degree in strait biology, or some animal biology. I have a degree in environmental science, all the jobs I try to apply for, I am either unqualified for, because they are looking for a candidate with a more specialized degree, or they are hospital housekeeping or sanitation jobs. Yes we Environmental Scientists know a little of all the science disciplines, but I find HR people want hard, old-school, science disciplines. Try for yourself and see what pops up in your job hunt sites, search Environmental Science, then try biologists, I am positive you will find more jobs that are what you are looking for, with less backend work on top of getting the environmental science degree. Note that I also have my 40 hr hazwoper and 40hr oilspill certs, NIMS/FEMA Certs, numerous safety council certs, still, no help. Even some of the other jobs I found to be really interesting, needed engineering . so maybe pursue Environmental Engineering , or some public engineering cert, and they get more money than us Esci majors ever will

Thank you so much for your answer! The problem with going for a biology degree at this point for me would be that I am so close to completing my environmental science degree, and going back to take those courses and change my major would put me even further behind. I have done searches, and the majority do seem to want Biology or something more specialized. I will look into the certifications that were listed, however, and see if maybe. All I can do is try. Ashley H.

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Kent’s Answer

The most common certifications I come across in browsing job postings are the Registered Environmental Manager (REM) and the 40-hour HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response). 40 hour wetland delineation training is also a good start.

The REM designation through the National Registry of Environmental Scientists (NREP) requires five years of experience, but the organization offers entry level certifications as well. The Institute of Hazardous Materials Management (IHMM) also offers certifications for entry level professionals. Additionally, the National Environmental Health Association offers a Certified Food Professional if you are leaning towards the environmental health field.

Any of these certifications will most certainly make you standout among your peers!

Thank you so much for your answer! I have actually just gotten my HAZWOPER certification, but I cannot say that I have heard of the others. Thank you, again! Ashley H.

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