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The Best Environmental Science Internships To Get You Started On A Career In Sustainability

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Job opportunities for environmental scientists and specialists are expected to grow by 11% in the following years, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

Geology and Earth Science college degree is still the most popular choice in the niche, while Environmental Science and Biology follow.

If you’re planning a career in environmental science, get your foot in the door by applying for an internship.

An internship will help you enter the professional environment with little or no experience and get to know more people who’re interested in protecting the environment through their career choices.

Let’s look at the most attractive internships in the field of environmental science today.

17 Best Environmental Science Internships

Product Environmental Assessment Internships

In these internship programs, you’ll conduct an environmental Lifer Cycle Assessment (LCA) for select components and products.

To apply, you need to have enrolled in a Master’s degree program in Industrial Ecology, Sustainability, Environmental Engineering, or a related field.

Landscape Architectural Intern

These intern jobs are for students in pursuit of a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture. You will support designers, architects, engineers, and project managers in their assignments, and work on research for products and construction methods under mentorship from senior designers.

Corporate Sustainability Intern

In this environmental internship program, you’ll learn to analyze evolving customer, investor, and government ESG expectations and conduct ESG risks and impact assessments.

To apply, you need to be pursuing a business degree, sustainability, engineering, or environmental discipline and be able to work both independently and in a team environment.

Corporate sustainability intern talking beside a man

Environmental Planning Intern

You’ll learn how to interpret and record data, conduct research and analyses, as well as to contribute to environmental documents and compliance processes.

If you’re a graduate in Planning, Environmental Policy, or a related field, submit a cover letter, and kickstart your career in a dynamic work environment.

Environmental Education Internships

A classroom with kids being taught by a man

These environmental internships help you develop and implement 6th-grade programs that promote Environmental Literacy. You’ll be delivering science lessons and activities for students virtually, through class visits, and field trips.

To be qualified, you need to be enrolled and in good standing at an accredited college of Environmental or Social Sciences.

Corporate Safety Intern

Interns will be involved in establishing the company’s Corporate Sustainability Program. You’ll be gathering research data and measuring current sustainability initiatives to determine their effectiveness and alignment with the overall corporate initiatives.

To apply for an internship in this vibrant business environment, you need technical writing skills and the ability to work with teams.

Environmental Health Intern

In this intern program, you’ll be assisting environmental educators in planning and presenting programs to various groups and individuals in summer camps, schools, and special events.

You should be able to work some weekend and evening hours and you need to attend a college in the Conservation or Education field.

Corporate Social Responsibility Customer Service Internships

These environmental internships are ideal for future Bachelor’s and Master’s of environmental studies who want to become leaders in corporate social responsibility and show interest in customer support.

You’ll be assisting with CSR risk assessment and status tracking, as well as completing customer surveys and queries.

Female customer service agent in an office

Environmental Scientist Intern

In this summer internship, you’ll gain experience through assisting with the environmental investigation, characterization, and clean-up services for federal clients. This includes the evaluation and remediation of sites contaminated with hazardous waste.

Environmental Intern Technician

Environmental internships for technicians are ideal for physically fit individuals with an interest in science and technology, and who are majoring in a Science field and scoring at least a 2.5 GPA.

You’ll monitor and sample groundwater, surface water, and stormwater, as well as provide water remediation services and treatments. [1]

R&D Environmental Horticulture Internships

Pumpkins being examined by a man

Agriculture and horticulture environmental internships are popular with students of Environmental Horticulture, Horticulture Sciences, Botany, and Agriculture because they offer a ton of training and hands-on experience on sticking, pinching, trimming, application of fertilizers and growth regulators, as well as collecting data and creating reports.

Environmental Biologist Internships

This environmental internship can provide a professional experience with wetland monitoring, conducting and reviewing wetland delineations, USACE 404 Permitting, and tree/shrub mitigation. To apply, you must be enrolled in an environmental, natural, or physical science or related undergraduate degree program.

Environmental Intern for Health Safety

These environmental internships give you an opportunity to assist the Environmental Health Safety and Security (EHS&S) group department in the planning and implementation of safety and health, as well as environmental and security programs.

To apply, you must be majoring in the Environmental Health and Safety, Environmental Science, or Environmental or Chemical Engineering field.

Man wearing a white protective suit among plants

Environmental Engineer Internships

Environmental engineer internships are available for highly-motivated students of Environmental Engineering or a related degree who are willing and able to perform outdoor field sampling activities.

Interns receive a variety of environmental engineering assignments including, soil, soil gas, and groundwater sampling and remediation.

City Planning Intern

City Planning internships offer a rewarding and valuable experience for students with strong planning, research, and communication skills, so make sure your cover letter makes the first impression.

Interns will conduct research, collect and analyze data from the environment, and prepare documents for urban planning, related to housing, historic and cultural resources, zoning compliance, etc. [2]

I have certainly noticed that private sector employment opportunities seem to be on the rise and often overlooked by students. I often place my environmental geographers and GIS specialists in companies including engineering consultant firms and those in the transportation sector.


Dr. J.M. Shawn Hutchinson Ph.D., Director, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences Secondary Major, Kansas State University

Bike Parking Intern

This internship program requires you to show up at the office once a week for 3-4 hours and commit for at least 8 weeks. Your duties include data entry using Google Sheets, updating Google Map of bike parking spaces, and help organize bike parking environment.

In return, you get to learn the ropes of working in a small environmental nonprofit.

Natural Resource Management Summer Intern

A plant being measured by a man using a ruler

These summer environmental internships might be interesting to students pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in an environment-related field, who want an opportunity to work on projects such as rare species and wildlife surveys, botanical surveys, environmental permitting, erosion control projects, as well as wetland mitigation and restoration.

FAQ

How do I get experience in environmental science?

You get experience in environmental science by landing an internship in one of the environmental sciences fields. Environmental internships can be for paid or volunteer work, full-time or summer internships, or sometimes only one day per week.

What do you do with an environmental science degree?

With an environmental science degree, you can be an environmental scientist and work at a university or research center. You can also work as an environmental engineer, environmental lawyer, environmental consultant, or environmental manager.

What is the best way to find an internship?

The best way to find an internship is through networking, visiting career fairs, and browsing through internship listings online. Keep in mind that many companies have early deadlines and recruit and hire as early as November for the next year.

Is environmental science a good career?

Yes, environmental science is a good career with excellent job prospects and opportunities for further study. About a fifths of students enroll in postgraduate studies or research, while the demand for environmental science jobs is rising.

Is environmental science a useless degree?

No, environmental science is not a useless degree. It is a very interdisciplinary subject that brushes against biology, geology, chemistry, engineering, and other disciplines that focus on one specific area of study. The undergraduate degree in environmental science is an excellent stepping stone to a more specific specialization.

Is environmental science a hard major?

Yes, environmental science is a hard major — but it’s totally worth it. It involves studying elements of biology, chemistry, physics, geography, and social sciences, which can be challenging as these disciplines require different skills and knowledge. The benefit is that students have more fields to choose from — for both further research and jobs.

Are environmental scientists in demand?

Yes, environmental scientists are in demand. The employment in this sector is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations in the next decade.

What is the highest paying job in environmental science?

The highest paying job in environmental science is the Chief Sustainability Officer. Only high-rolling companies like Verizon, Dow, DuPont, AT&T, Alcoa, and Coca-Cola employ one. According to the employment site OwlGuru, the average income for a CSO is $194,350.

Final Thoughts

Businesses across the country, as well as federal, state, and local agencies, have invested a lot in becoming more environmentally responsible.

As a result, any graduate student in environmental studies has plenty of attractive internships to choose from.

But where to start looking?

You can start by checking out our Green Jobs Board for the best environmental science internships at companies and institutions that are nearest to you.


References

  1. https://opportunities.aises.org/job/summer-2021-environmental-technician-intern/55490610/
  2. https://www.planning.org/jobdescriptions/planningintern/


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