*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Environmental Engineers, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/environmental-engineers.htm (visited March 24, 2022).
You can complete a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering degree online in approximately four years, if not less. Also, if you are taking courses online, you may be able to integrate academic learning with real-world, experiential learning. Once you have completed an associate's degree, you might seek out employment with an engineering firm. You might be able to work on isolated projects and then take time after those projects to complete more courses. In this way, you will prolong the time it takes to graduate, but you will accrue invaluable experience along the way.
Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.
It is important to align your career goals with the school and program that you select. If you wish to enter a field like Environmental Engineering, then you should select a school that offers coursework in Environmental Engineering. Further, you can look for schools that provide hands-on experiences like internships and projects with real-world companies.
Before you declare a major in Environmental Engineering, you should have an idea of what kind of timeframe you're looking at. If you are trying to achieve an associate degree, you will only need to finish about 60 credit hours over 2 years. However, if you are going for you bachelor's (B.S. or B.A.) degree in Environmental Engineering, you will need to complete 120 credit hours over four years. And, if you want to attain a master's degree as well, you will have to finish your bachelors first and then spend around 2 years completing 60 more credit hours. Some of the coursework you will find in typical Environmental Engineering degrees are:
Only 41% of students actually manage to finish their Environmental Engineering degree on time. There are a variety of factors that could potentially play a part in unexpectedly extending your college career, such as:
Work. Working over 25 hours per week can get in the way of academics.
Credit Hours. Most colleges will define a full course load as 12 credit hours per semester. If you do the math, you will see that you actually need to take 15 credit hours per semester in order to graduate on time.
Transferring. Many students end up transferring during their college career. Many times, there are hiccups with transferring credits. This can put you behind, or even cause you to end up losing your credits altogether.
Be aware of these common mistakes, so that you don't make them yourself.
Accreditation is an important part of selecting a school for Environmental Engineering education. Much depends on accreditation and the type of accreditation. There are two main types of accreditation; regional and national. Regional accreditation agencies work with research-based schools, private schools, public schools, and some for-profit schools. National accreditation works primarily with for-profit and career-related education.
There are two types of regional accreditation; they are Environmental Engineering program accreditation and institutional accreditation. Institutional accreditation uses a group of states as the base to compare the school with other colleges and universities; the group of states comprises the region assigned by the Department of Education.
Programmatic Accreditation looks at specific programs or parts of a college or university. This type of accreditation has the same type of respect and acceptance as regional accreditation for institutions. Regional employers and other educational institutions regard regional accreditation as proof of high-quality education.
National accreditation has a Faith-based branch and a career- related education branch. Faith-based institutions have a different set of standards that recognize the role of faith in instruction. The for-profit branch of national accreditation covers the special purpose and non-traditional schools such as vocational schools. The career-related education requires standards that place appropriate weight on general knowledge and education. Some regionally accredited schools do not accept credits from career-related schools.
Did you know that your salary is not always just based on what level of degree you received, but it also could be based on what school you attended? Many employers actually have their own rankings and rating systems of schools. That is to say, if you received your degree from a college that was accredited by a low rated agency, your salary may actually be decreased by a certain percentage where a high-ranked, well-known, accredited school, can raise that mark significantly.
The cost of a Environmental Engineering degree depends on the type of school and the amount of coursework required. Private schools typically charge more than public institutions. Online education reduces the costs of living on campus or in an expensive location. For-profit schools may charge less than the other types. Many public institutions have a two-tiered system of fees with lower fees for in-state students and higher fees for out-of-state students. National averages shed some light on costs and help students understand the costs charged by institutions they might select.
According to the US Department of Education, the average, annual out-of-state cost for a bachelor program in Environmental Engineering will vary based on the following factors: public, private, in-state or out-of-state and state of the school you are attending.
Below are The National Center for Education Statistics reports for average annual undergraduate cost estimates, in current dollars, for the 2016–17 academic year. The NCES surveyed the average annual costs for undergraduate tuition, fees, room, and board for public and private institutions. Keep in mind this is an average cost and does not factor in any financial aid like scholarships, grants and loans a student may be receiving.
The average cost of tuition: $19,488 at public in-state institutions or about $77,952 for four years. $24,854 at public out-of-state institutions or about $99,416 for four years. $41,468 at private nonprofit institutions or about $165,872 for four years.
If you are going to spend a lot of time and energy to attain an Environmental Engineering degree, you will certainly want some job placement assistance as you near graduation. Discuss this with your admissions counselor when you are considering the right program. In fact, you might want to broaden that discussion by asking about how your school handles internships and if co-op programs are available. Experiential learning can help you not only gain the skills needed to land a job, but you can also cultivate a professional network that will help you build the career you deserve.