Online Environmental Sciences Degree Programs

Online Environmental Sciences Degree Programs

Environmental science is a vast and constantly evolving field that is increasingly becoming more important. Online environmental sciences degree programs prepare students to find ways to maintain a thriving and livable environment despite the effects of human development and pollution that occurs worldwide. The programs provide students with a solid and well-rounded environmental science education to lead a lucrative career and make a difference to the environment. Students learn a solid grasp of the fundamentals and develop strong critical thinking, communication, and writing skills. Read more about online environmental sciences degree programs.

Some Stats

In 2006, there were 1,989 bachelor degrees, 582 master degrees, and 96 doctorate degrees conferred in environmental science (1). In 2006, environmental scientists and hydrologists held 92,000 jobs with 91% being environmental scientists. Environmental science and protection technicians held 37,000 jobs in 2006 (2).

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook for environmental sciences jobs varies greatly on degree, field, and position. Employment of environmental scientists is expected to grow much faster than average for all professions from 2006 to 2016, increasing 25% and adding 21,000 new jobs. Environmental science and protection technicians are expected to experience much faster than average job growth, increasing 28% and adding 10,000 new jobs (2). Environmental scientists with less than 1 year experience earned average annual salaries between $33,196 and $39,535 (3).


Environmental sciences are a large and interdisciplinary field that combines physical sciences and social sciences. Students can choose for a wide variety of specialties to pursue an interesting career. The environmental sciences specialties include ecology, atmospheric science, environmental chemistry, environmental geology, environmental soil science, oceanography, hydrology, air pollution, organic chemistry, earth science, food and water chemistry, botany, geography, botany, zoology, global warming, environmental management, fire science, waste management, environmental technology, and environmental education. Students interested in a specific specialty should select institutions that offer a strong program in that area.

What to Expect

Environmental sciences degree programs enable students to gain in-depth knowledge of science practices and the current and potential environmental aspects. All undergraduate environmental sciences degree programs include a strong foundation in general education courses such as English, composition, mathematics, science, history, art, and electives. Core coursework varies by program and specialty, but most environmental sciences programs require courses in principles of environmental science, biology, chemistry, ecology, geology environmental law, environmental research, energy and environment, conservation. Students must also participate in require lab or field coursework to gain hands-on experience. Graduate environmental sciences degree programs focus on more advanced instruction and research and allow students to further their specialization.

The End Result

Undergraduate environmental sciences degrees provide students with a variety of career options. Graduate degrees prepare students to transition into advanced and upper-level positions in areas such as academia and research. Career opportunities for environmental sciences degree graduates include:

  • Environmental Scientist
  • Environmental Science and Protection Technician
  • Environmental Project Manager
  • Environmental Engineering Consultant
  • Environmental Health and Safety Manager
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Geoscientist
  • Science Teacher
  • Oceanographer
  • Water Protection Specialist
  • Environmental Health Specialist
  • Wildlife Biologist
  • Environmental Resource Management Specialist
  • Natural Sciences Manager

A career in the environmental sciences field will be rewarding for individuals who have a strong interest in helping to maintain and improve the Earth’s environment. Environmental sciences professionals are constantly seeking new ways to conserve and improve the ways people use natural resources and energy. They constantly come up with new ways to make maintaining and conserving resources to protect the environment more appealing to the general public.

(1) SOURCE: U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics
(2) SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition
(3) SOURCE:, Salary Survey Report