Environmental Engineer Mataaro Taiao

Environmental engineers assess and reduce the impact of engineering projects on water, soil and air. They also plan and design systems to treat and remove waste.

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Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) graduates may apply to gain registration as a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) with Engineering New Zealand.

Engineering technologists who meet set requirements may apply to Engineering New Zealand to be registered as an engineering technologist (CMEngNZ).

Environmental engineers may do some or all of the following:

  • report on environmental impacts of construction, infrastructure, farming and engineering projects
  • advise how to minimise environmental impacts of projects 
  • prepare reports, sketches, technical drawings and specifications for projects
  • plan and manage projects, and visit and check sites
  • design waste-management systems
  • take air, water and land samples, and get them tested for pollution
  • advise on pollution treatment methods
  • prepare environmental assessments for resource consent applications
  • supervise contractors carrying out work.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for environmental engineers includes:

  • drafting
  • surveying
  • engineering
  • environmental or outdoors work.

Personal Qualities

Environmental engineers need to be:

  • practical and logical, with good problem-solving skills
  • accurate, with an eye for detail
  • good at planning and organising
  • good communicators
  • able to work well as part of a team
  • able to work well under pressure and meet deadlines.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for environmental engineers includes:

  • drafting
  • surveying
  • engineering
  • environmental or outdoors work.

Subject Recommendations

A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include physics, chemistry, maths, geography, and construction and mechanical technologies.

Environmental Engineers can earn around $45K-$75K per year per year.

Chances of getting a job as a Environmental Engineer are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

Environmental engineers may progress to set up their own business and work as self-employed contractors, or move into managerial roles or become partners in an engineering firm.

Environmental engineers may specialise in:

  • wastewater
  • stormwater
  • overland flow and flooding
  • erosion and sediment control
  • contaminated land management
  • earthworks management
  • industrial trade activities. 
Environmental Engineer

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