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Industrial Ecologists

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What Does it Take to Be an Industrial Ecologist?

Position 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.

Life as an Industrial Ecologist: What Do They Do?

  • Recommend methods to protect the environment or minimize environmental damage from industrial production practices.
  • Identify or compare the component parts or relationships between the parts of industrial, social, and natural systems.
  • Identify or develop strategies or methods to minimize the environmental impact of industrial production processes.
  • Review research literature to maintain knowledge on topics related to industrial ecology, such as physical science, technology, economy, and public policy.
  • Apply new or existing research about natural ecosystems to understand economic and industrial systems in the context of the environment.
  • Investigate the impact of changed land management or land use practices on ecosystems.

Industrial Ecologist Required Skills

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.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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.

Other Industrial Ecologist Job Titles

  • Forest Ecologist
  • Sustainability Consultant
  • Industrial Green Systems Designer
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Industrial Retrofit Designer

Job Outlook for Industrial Ecologists

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 89,500 jobs in the United States for Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 11.1% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 9,900 new jobs for Industrial Ecologists by 2026. The BLS estimates 9,500 yearly job openings in this field per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Industrial Ecologists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health are California, New York, and Texas.

Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, South Dakota, or Rhode Island. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Industrial Ecologists Make A Lot Of Money?

The salary for Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health ranges between about $42,520 and $124,620 a year. An Industrial Ecologist median salary is $71,130.

Salary Ranges for Industrial Ecologists

How much do Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health make in different U.S. states?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

District of Columbia

$115,190

Colorado

$93,010

California

$91,890

New Mexico

$87,200

Virginia

$85,550

Washington

$85,090

Connecticut

$83,220

Massachusetts

$82,580

Rhode Island

$82,160

Texas

$80,880

New Jersey

$80,350

Alaska

$80,220

New York

$79,340

Illinois

$78,640

Oregon

$77,980

Maryland

$77,300

Kansas

$76,780

New Hampshire

$75,520

Minnesota

$74,880

Ohio

$74,750

Pennsylvania

$74,430

Iowa

$74,140

Georgia

$72,860

North Dakota

$72,860

Tennessee

$72,470

Arizona

$72,150

Hawaii

$69,780

Michigan

$69,430

Wyoming

$68,940

Montana

$68,660

Louisiana

$68,570

Utah

$68,480

Alabama

$67,630

Maine

$67,390

Vermont

$66,440

Oklahoma

$65,490

North Carolina

$64,850

Nevada

$63,920

Indiana

$62,590

South Dakota

$61,250

Wisconsin

$61,030

Nebraska

$61,020

Idaho

$60,470

Delaware

$59,890

Florida

$58,790

Arkansas

$58,540

West Virginia

$56,380

Missouri

$53,820

Kentucky

$51,740

What Tools do Industrial Ecologists Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Industrial Ecologists:

  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Python
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Microsoft Office
  • SAS
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • Microsoft SharePoint

Who Employs Industrial Ecologists?

Industrial Ecologist Sectors

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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