In the Indian scenario, until a couple of decades ago, environmental awareness was practically nonexistent. Back then, construction of infrastructure went on in full swing and people did not care about the possible repatriations of the same on the environment. However, after a certain point, things started changing. The effect of environmental awareness campaigns (like the Chipko Movement and the Narmada Bachao Andolan) and the growing awareness about the impact of human activities on the environment led to environmental engineering being considered as a worthy field of study.
With this came a rapid change in the mindset of people. A number of universities started offering this as a valid course. Companies started hiring candidates who were proficient in this field. As a cumulative effect of all of this, the career scope in the world of environmental engineering started increasing by leaps and bounds.
This article talks about the job scope of environmental engineers in the country and how you can make a career out of it.
Deciding On Environmental Engineering
India is a country where engineering is the common passion that runs across the veins of the country. In a scenario like this, choosing environmental engineering over all other branches would require one to be absolutely passionate about the environment and have the capability to be able to think on their feet.
The reason for this is because environmental engineers will be expected to come up with revolutionary ideas to challenge the existing environmental issues and that would require a lot of logical application on your part. However, compared to other streams like computer science or electronics and communication engineering, you will have a lot of on-field duty and if you are embracing this career option, you must be prepared for the same.
Cost Of Education
As stated earlier, there are a number of government engineering colleges offering this course. Compared to other streams of engineering, the cost of pursuing environmental engineering is a little lesser. The course fee for the entire four-year duration stands somewhere close to Rs 3 lakhs. For a postgraduate degree, the fee is about Rs 2 lakhs.
The values for the same are much higher if the college in question is a private institution. In case you want to go for a postgraduate diploma instead of a degree, you can choose to do that as well. The cost for the same will be much lesser than an MTech degree.
At the government level, there is a lot of promotion for the study of environmental engineering. Thus, if someone is really meritorious and wants to pursue a career in this field, money is not a factor. There is the Central Sector Scheme of Scholarships for College Students in India, the Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana, MHRD Scholarships and the Indian Oil Corporation Scholarship Scheme for students who want to make a career in environmental engineering.
Other than that, there is a whole host of options with respect to taking up of educational loans from commercial banks.
This is one career path where there is a greater prospect in the government sector. For a graduate engineer working with any of the state pollution control boards, the salary will range from Rs 15,000 to Rs 30,000. For a postgraduate engineer, the salary is close to Rs 15,000.
However, if you are qualified personnel and have a doctorate in this field, you can make up to 75,000-80,000 per month. You can also choose to work with NGOs and corporate firms. Though limited in number, the job opportunities here bring along good pay packages.
There is an acute dearth of professionals in this field. The reason for the same may be attributed to the fact that even today there is a lack of awareness about this field of engineering and not many colleges are seen offering this course. However, these days, before setting up an industrial establishment, the same has to be approved by an environmental engineer.
Similarly, with newer types of pollutants coming up and environmental pollution reaching an all-time high, it is obvious that the role and responsibilities of environmental engineers are increasing manifold. In such a scenario, both private as well as government organisations are looking to hire more and more environmental engineers for a wide array of job roles.
As this is an emerging sector, the competition or admission to these courses is comparatively lesser and jobs are better paid as compared to that of other similar professions.
The job of an environmental engineer is often in collaboration with that of a number of other people. Hence, in order to succeed in this field, you need to have very good interpersonal skills. At the same time, you must be a well-read individual and must be able to understand complex documents, plans, proposal descriptions and other details.
In the course of your job, you may have to draft many such plans yourself. Hence, it is important that you have good written skills and are proficient in the English language as well.
Scope Of Duties
As a fresher in the field of environmental engineering, you will have to perform quality control checks by analysing specific scientific data and inferring information out of the same. The items over which you will be performing the quality control tests may be varied.
A few months down the line you will find yourself providing support at the technical level for a number of environmental remediation projects. Over the years as you gain experience and seniority, you will be monitoring the progress of various environmental improvement programs.
Corporations and government agencies will hire you in various advisory positions to help them plan developmental activities, procedures and drives for cleaning up contaminated waterbodies and industrial areas.