- Working as an Environmental Engineer
- Skills, Education and Experience
- Finding Jobs
- Applying for a Job
- Getting Help from Industry Sources
Working as an Environmental Engineer
Environmental engineers help maintain clean and healthy surroundings through the protection of air, soil, and water quality.
Working as an Environmental Engineer you perform the following duties:
- Assess the environmental impact of government and private sector projects
- Advise companies on environmental laws or policies that affect their projects
- Create project plans to clean up air, water, soil contamination
- May help design and build landfills or water filtration and sewage treatment
- May be involved in the treatment and storage of toxic materials
Environmental engineering is a new type of engineering that is related to civil engineering, chemical engineering, environmental sciences, and other related disciplines. You may be involved in a wide variety of projects and activities.
The environmental engineering sector is one of the most promising areas for employment opportunity growth. Protecting the environment has become a major concern that has generated new activities and job openings.
Job Outlook in BC
In British Columbia, environmental engineers are considered to be a specialization within the field of civil engineering.
Job prospects for Civil Engineers (NOC 2131)
Chart from WorkBC
WorkBC provides job openings in BC regions from 2015-2025:
|Region||Expected # of
|Lower Mainland /Southwest||2450||1.3%||890|
You can learn more about working as an environmental engineer from:
- Career Cruising database [profile for Environmental Engineer]
Types of Employers
Environmental engineers work for:
- government agencies
- engineering consulting firms
- companies in resource industries such as forestry, mining, petroleum, and pulp & paper
- environmental companies that deal with problems such as oil spills and toxic chemical leaks
- property management companies
In BC, the median annual salary for civil engineers (including environmental) is $75,186. Senior engineers or those in management positions may earn more.
Your salary is affected by your level of education. If you have a bachelor’s degree in engineering you tend to earn less than if you have a master’s degree or PhD.
In addition to your salary, full-time engineers often receive benefits such as pension plans, dental coverage, sick leave, and paid vacations.
Sources: WorkBC & Career Cruising
Across B.C. regions you can expect to earn:
Source: Job Bank, Wage Report
In its 2016 Report on Members’ Compensation and Benefits, Engineers & Geoscientists British Columbia (formerly APEGBC) provides these salary figures:
|Engineering Consulting – Environmental||$92,399||$65,000||$75,000||$115,500|
|Bachelor’s degree – Base salary – Environmental Engineer||$87,446||$85,000|
Engineers work between 8 and 10 hours a day, 40 to 50 hours a week.
You may need to work nights and weekends if an important deadline is approaching.
Skills, Education and Experience
- Critical thinking and problem solving
- Oral communication and public speaking
- Planning and organizing
- Team project work
- Project management
- Proposal writing and financial management
- Committee work- industry ethics
Education and Experience
- Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or related engineering discipline is required.
- Master’s degree or doctorate in a related engineering discipline may be required.
This occupation is regulated in British Columbia
This means that if you are working as an engineer you must either:
- be registered as a Professional Engineer in BC
- work under the direct supervision of someone who is registered as a Professional Engineer in BC
Licensing Requirements for Civil Engineers
You must be licensed by Engineers & Geoscientists British Columbia (formerly APEGBC) to use the title “Engineer.” This allows you to approve engineering drawings and reports and to practise as a professional engineer (P.Eng.).
- graduation from an accredited educational program
- four years of supervised work experience in engineering
- successfully passing the professional practice examination
- completion of the law and ethics seminar
Internationally trained engineers: if you have completed your P. Eng application process you may qualify as a “Provisional Member” with Engineers & Geoscientists British Columbia. This designation provides member status to internationally trained engineering graduates who have completed the academic, experience, professionalism, character, and residency requirements.
For more information:
- Engineers & Geoscientists British Columbia Online Resource for Internationally Trained Engineers and Geoscientists
- International agreements between professional engineering associations
- Introduction to Engineering in BC – Langara College
These courses are designed to provide you with industry specific skills in order to find employment in an engineering environment. They also help you gain a good understanding of Canadian workplace culture.
You’ll find job advertisements in local newspapers, trade journals, and electronic sources, as well as through professional associations’ publications.
You can look at the Vancouver Sun & The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily, the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays and in The Province on Sundays.
- Also available in print at the Central Library
NOTE: You can only access this database from the Central Library or VPL branch libraries. Access is NOT available from home or outside the Library.
Online Job Postings
Professional Associations’ Career Resources
Identifying the Right Position
When you browse job advertisements, you’ll find a wide range of different job titles that are relevant.
For Environmental Engineers, look for these related job titles:
- Environmental Consultant
- Municipal Engineer
- Water and Sewer Engineer
- Irrigation and Drainage Engineer
- Ocean Engineer
- Pollution Control Engineer
- Public Health Engineer
- Systems Treatment Engineer
Creating a List of Potential Employers
You can use directories to produce lists of employers in Vancouver or the Lower Mainland. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.
- Association of Consulting Engineering Companies British (ACEC-BC),
Directory of Member Firms
- Business in Vancouver. Book of Lists.
Biggest Engineering Firms in BC
Also available at the Central Library 338.9711 B97b
- Reference Canada
Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
In the top search box enter “environmental engineering” and click LOOKUP.
Select the appropriate headings.
Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).
Applying for a Job
In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume or curriculum vitae and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your relevant experience.
Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.
To learn about applying for jobs in Canada, choose the following links:
Getting Help from Industry Sources
Associations for professional engineers in BC and Canada provide information & assistance. Registration and fees are required for membership.
Industry Journals & Books
Search the Vancouver Public Library catalogue for journals or books related to your profession. Examples at Central Library:
- Canadian Environmental Resource Guide
Available at VPL Central Library 363.70025 C21
Canada’s most complete listing of environmental associations and organizations, government regulators, product and service companies.
- Canadian Consulting Engineer
Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada, ACEC news
Also available at the Central Library, 620.5 C212
- Environmental Science and Engineering Magazine
Also available at VPL Central Library 620.805 E61
- Innovation / Engineers & Geoscientists British Columbia
Also available at the Central Library, 620.5 B86