In a typical work setting, environmental engineers:
- Have a moderately high level of social interaction. They spend most of their time working with others but also work alone when writing reports.
- Are responsible for the health and safety of people working on their projects.
- Are responsible for the work outcomes of coworkers.
- Are sometimes placed in conflict situations.
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- Work as part of a team. This is very important because they coordinate the activities of many people.
- Communicate with clients and coworkers daily by telephone, e-mail, and in person.
- Write letters and memos on a weekly basis.
Physical Work Conditions
- Mostly work indoors. Some indoor work sites may not be temperature-controlled.
- Sometimes wear protective gear when visiting sites.
- Sometimes travel to and from work sites in an enclosed vehicle such as a car, truck, or van.
- Are occasionally exposed to contaminants.
- Must be accurate in performing their job. This is very important because they must follow guidelines and make sure procedures and standards are met.
- Meet strict weekly deadlines.
- Rarely consult a supervisor before setting tasks and goals.
- Repeat the same physical or mental activities. They may need to work at the computer all day writing. They may also do repetitive tasks in the field, such as sampling.
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- Can make most decisions without talking to a supervisor.
- Often make decisions that impact their company, coworkers, and clients.
- Usually work more than 40 hours per week.
- May travel to conferences or sites.