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Green Power

Environmental engineers assess and minimise environmental degradation caused by projects. Their work revolves around ensuring that environmental quality is maintained properly.

education Updated: Sep 22, 2011 11:30 IST

The lowdown
Environmental engineers assess and minimise environmental degradation caused by projects. Their work revolves around ensuring that environmental quality is maintained properly. An engineer’s job profile can range from managing waste to assessing environmental liabilities during mergers and acquisitions.

Determining for instance, the liabilities and cost of remediating soil and water contamination, as a part of the due diligence process during mergers or acquisitions

"With environmental concerns gaining prominence, the demand for environmental engineers is picking up"

Kamal Sharma, senior manager,
INDUS Environmental Services

Clock Work
An average day of an environmental engineer working with a company:
10am: Reach office. Ask team for status reports on weekly/ biweekly projects.
11am: Meet with team, work on project proposals, collect details on competitors’ technology
1.30pm: Lunch
2pm: Back to work
3pm: Participate in or conduct the weekly internal lectures series on topics related to the environment of
professional interest
4pm: Visit the project or work site
6pm: Back home

I often work out of home searching for new ideas, softwares, technologies, equipment and keep an eye on competitors, says Kamal Sharma

The payoff
About Rs 12,000 to Rs 15,000 or more a month, depending on your aptitude, expertise, and employer

Skills/TRAITS
.
Knowledge of various laws around environmental degradation
. A long-term, sustainable outlook on issues
. A proactive approach to solve ecological problems
. An interest in the profession
. Concern for the environment
. Should like travelling and explor ing diverse terrain

Getting there
Take up science in Class 12. After this, you can opt for a bachelor’s in environmental, civil, chemical or mechanical engineering, microbiology, or even biotechnology. Admission to these programmes is through competitive exams. After completing your engineering, you may pursue a masters in environmental engineering as well. Else, you could also do a BSc programme and follow it up with a masters (MA/MSc) in environmental studies

Institutes
. Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, Bachelors in EE
. Indian Institutes of Technology, multiple locations, various programmes
www.jee.iitd.ac.in
. University of Delhi
MA/MSc in environmental studies, MSc in environmental biology
www.du.ac.in
. National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI)
www.neeri.res.in
. Jawaharlal Nehru University,
School of Environmental Sciences,
www.jnu.ac.in
. Delhi Technological University,Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering,
www.dce.ac.in/departments/Civil
. HNB Garhwal University,
School of Environmental Sciences,
www.hnbgu.ac.in
. Teri University, Department of Energy and Environment, diploma, masters, and doctoral programmes
www.teriuniversity.ac.in

Pros and cons
.
Huge potential in the waste management sector
. Only for the technologically inclined
. Not well-paying initially
. Stigma attached to working with trash
. Satisfying profession
. Highly exciting profession
. Extremely challenging
. Requires long working hours
. Requires a lot of travelling
. Demanding in terms of time