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Environmental Engineer

Environmental engineers design and evaluate systems, processes and equipment for air, water and soil pollution assessment, prevention and control, solid and hazardous waste management, and remediation of contaminated sites.

Related Video(s)
Environmental Engineer (5:07)

  • Avg. Salary $99,194.00
  • Avg. Wage $50.43
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed 9,200
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Engineer, Hazardous Waste Management Engineer, Professional Engineer, Remediation and Reclamation Specialist, Solid Waste Management Engineer, Water Quality Specialist, Waste Management Specialist

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Civil Engineers (2131) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Civil Engineers (C031) 
  • 2011 NOC: Civil engineers (2131) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Environmental Engineer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Civil Engineers

Interest in synthesizing information to conduct research in order to determine project requirements, to develop construction specifications and procedures, and to conduct feasibility studies, economic analyses, municipal and regional traffic studies, environmental impact studies and other investigations


Interest in precision working to conduct technical analyses of survey and field data for development of topographic, soil, hydrological and other information; in conducting field services for civil works; and in monitoring air, water and soil quality and developing procedures to clean up contaminated sites


Interest in supervising technicians, technologists and other engineers; and in overseeing land surveys and construction work, in approving survey and civil design work, in evaluating and recommending building and construction materials, in approving designs, calculations and cost estimates, in ensuring that construction plans meet guidelines and specifications of building codes and other regulations, and in establishing and monitoring construction work schedules

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Apr 10, 2017

Environmental engineers work closely with facility managers and other professionals in the assessment, design, operations and planning of site operations. They may be involved in activities ranging from providing expert testimony in an environmental lawsuit to working on environmental assessments, site development, water purification, wastewater treatment, soil remediation, air pollution control or hazardous waste assessment. They may:

  • conduct environmental audits to assess operating industrial sites to determine if operations satisfy environmental quality criteria and guidelines (for more information, see the Environmental Auditor profile) 
  • conduct environmental site assessments to determine whether past operations created environmental liabilities that need to be mitigated 
  • advise companies and governments about the clean up necessary to protect the health of human beings and the environment
  • develop waste management plans for municipalities and industries for safe handling, waste transfer, waste minimization (reduce, reuse, recycle programs), waste treatment (including biological methods such as composting or anaerobic digestion or thermal methods such as gasification) and disposal facilities (for example, sanitary and secure landfills)
  • conduct water quality assessments of rivers, lakes and groundwater (including surface water and ground water quality modeling)
  • monitor and predict water quantities, including analysis of both flooding and water shortages
  • develop and design potable water supply, distribution and treatment systems, or wastewater collection and treatment systems
  • conduct air quality assessments at local, regional and global levels (including air quality modeling)
  • develop air pollution prevention plans for industrial clients
  • develop and design air pollution control systems
  • assess the potential environmental impact of land use projects (for example, pipelines, gravel pits), new and existing manufacturing facilities (for example, chemical plants), and large infrastructure projects (for example, airports) on air, water and land
  • research and develop methods for minimizing the generation of air, liquid and solid wastes, and treating existing wastes
  • advise industry and government regarding environmental policies and standards
  • work with others in their organizations to acquire permits to operate or construct new facilities.

Often, environmental engineers work in co-operation with environmental scientists, plant operations and production staff, planners and hazardous waste management technicians as well as lawyers, bankers and regulators.

To plan and manage systems, environmental engineers use computers and computer simulation models, and monitoring instruments and techniques. Constant skill and knowledge upgrading is required to keep up to date with new developments in engineering and environmental science.

Working Conditions
Updated Apr 10, 2017

Working environments for environmental engineers are as varied as their projects. They may spend most of a working day at a computer workstation, on a project work site or participating in a public hearing. They usually work with a team that may include professionals from other engineering and scientific disciplines, contractors, project owners, architects, bankers, lawyers or government officials.

When working in hazardous conditions, environmental engineers must wear personal protective equipment. Travel for extended periods of time may be required.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Apr 10, 2017

Environmental engineers need the following characteristics:

  • the ability to think logically and solve problems, sometimes working with limited data
  • willingness to deal with unidentified hazards
  • patience, organization skills and comfort with detailed work
  • an interest in working with mechanical devices and instruments
  • effective written and verbal communication skills to deal with a wide range of stakeholders.

Environmental engineers should enjoy:

  • making decisions
  • working independently
  • solving problems
  • variety
  • creativity
  • helping to promote public health and a safe, clean environment.
Educational Requirements
Updated Apr 10, 2017

The minimum education requirement for environmental engineers is a degree in environmental engineering or a related discipline (for example, civil or chemical engineering). They should be able to use advanced technology (for example, computer models and geographic information systems) in assessing environmental contamination.

Environmental engineers are required to maintain high levels of knowledge of regulations and the ability to provide guidance to businesses on interpretation and acceptable operation and management systems.

Required Education

The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Grande Prairie Regional College

Grant MacEwan University

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Apr 10, 2017


Professional Engineers design, construct, evaluate, advise, monitor and report on the performance of materials, equipment, systems, works, processes and structures.


Under Alberta's Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act, you must be a registered member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) to practice as a professional engineer. You do not have to be registered if you work under the direct supervision of a professional engineer and do not call yourself a professional engineer or use the word engineer in your job title.

What You Need

Registration as a Professional Engineer requires: (1) a 4-year bachelor's degree in a recognized engineering program and at least 4 years of acceptable work experience under the supervision of a Professional Engineer, or an equivalent combination of education and experience, (2) a minimum of 3 acceptable references and (3) successful completion of an approved examination in law, ethics and professionalism. A new Provisional Member category has been introduced. For official, detailed information about registration requirements, visit APEGA's website or contact APEGA.

Working in Alberta

Engineers who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered engineers in the 2 jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory? and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

To find more information on the certification process for internationally educated engineers, see Professional Engineer Licensing Process on

Contact Details

Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta
1500 Scotia One, 10060 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T5J 4A2
Phone number: 780-426-3990
Toll-free phone number (within North America): 1-800-661-7020
Fax: 780-426-1877

Employment & Advancement
Updated Apr 10, 2017

Environmental engineers may work in:

  • consulting engineering firms
  • municipal, provincial and federal government departments
  • manufacturing industries
  • chemical and petrochemical industries
  • waste management companies
  • academic and research institutes
  • resource industries (for example, mining, oil and gas).

Some environmental engineers move to related fields such as recycling management or environmental auditing. Those who have M.Sc., M.Eng. or PhD degrees may work in consulting, research or teaching positions at the university or college level.

Environmental engineers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2131: Civil Engineers. In Alberta, 83% of people employed as civil engineers work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Apr 10, 2017

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $24.95 $53.24 $36.96 $34.86
Overall $30.00 $75.97 $50.43 $47.77
Top $36.30 $88.00 $64.08 $62.74

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Public Administration
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
  • Media, Design and Communication Arts
    • Design Studies
  • Natural Resources
    • Environmental Stewardship
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering, Architecture and Related Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Apr 10, 2017

Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) website:

Canadian Society for Bioengineering (CSBE) website:

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 20, 2014. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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