Life As an Industrial Ecologist
Career Description Apply principles and processes of natural ecosystems to develop models for efficient industrial systems. Use knowledge from the physical and social sciences to maximize effective use of natural resources in the production and use of goods and services. Examine societal issues and their relationship with both technical systems and the environment.
A Day in the Life of an Industrial Ecologist
- Plan or conduct studies of the ecological implications of historic or projected changes in industrial processes or development.
- Perform analyses to determine how human behavior can affect and be affected by changes in the environment.
- Provide industrial managers with technical materials on environmental issues, regulatory guidelines, or compliance actions.
- Recommend methods to protect the environment or minimize environmental damage from industrial production practices.
- Forecast future status or condition of ecosystems, based on changing industrial practices or environmental conditions.
- Research sources of pollution to determine environmental impact or to develop methods of pollution abatement or control.
What an Industrial Ecologist Should Know
Below is a list of the skills most Industrial Ecologists say are important on the job.
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Types of Industrial Ecologist
- Eco-Industrial Development Consultant
- Industrial Green Systems Designer
- Sustainable Systems Analyst
- Product Development Ecologist
- Environmental Consultant
Job Opportunities for Industrial Ecologists
There were about 89,500 jobs for Industrial Ecologist in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 11.1% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 9,900 new jobs for Industrial Ecologist by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 9,500 job openings in this field each year.
The states with the most job growth for Industrial Ecologist are Utah, Nevada, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Alaska, or Maryland. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
How Much Does an Industrial Ecologist Make?
Industrial Ecologists make between $42,520 and $124,620 a year.
Industrial Ecologists who work in District of Columbia, California, or Colorado, make the highest salaries.
How much do Industrial Ecologists make in different U.S. states?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$115,190|
Tools & Technologies Used by Industrial Ecologists
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Industrial Ecologists:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Web browser software
- Email software
- Autodesk AutoCAD
- Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
- Microsoft Visio
- Microsoft SharePoint
- Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
- The MathWorks MATLAB
- Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
- StataCorp Stata
- Wolfram Research Mathematica
- ESRI ArcGIS software
- Online databases
Becoming an Industrial Ecologist
What education is needed to be an Industrial Ecologist?
What work experience do I need to become an Industrial Ecologist?
Where do Industrial Ecologists Work?
Below are examples of industries where Industrial Ecologists work:
Image Credit: Lynn Betts via Photo by Lynn Betts, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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