Career information

What advice do our faculty members have for your career planning?

Graduate school will open up so many options for you—see what comes to you through your graduate school experience and take opportunities as they present themselves. You don’t have to plan your whole career path in graduate school, but getting a postdoc position after your degree is a good idea in order to apply your research experience in a role with a higher level of responsibility.

What are the job prospects with a graduate degree in environmental science?

Employment of environmental scientists and specialists is projected to grow 15 percent from 2012 to 2022, based on an investigation by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Good information about careers in our field can be found through the Bureau of Labor Statistics and O*NET OnLine

What will your career options be?

There is a wide spectrum of career opportunities within environmental sciences and health.


Federal agencies (CDC, EPA, NIH, FDA, USDA and USGS) will hire for positions such as

  • Epidemiologists
  • Program directors
  • Physical scientists in the environmental arena—perhaps in the development of air and water regulations
  • Scientists working in USDA research facilities
  • Nutritionists for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Fellowships through the CDC that offer postings all around the globe

State and county jobs

Washoe County offers public health positions within the health department and the air quality management division. Some of our former students are currently working on an underground storage tank program for Washoe. Many of our alumni have also been hired by Clark County, Nevada (Las Vegas).

International agencies

  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • United Nations (UN)
  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)


Now is a good time for finding jobs in academia—there are currently a lot of opportunities nationwide. The postdoctoral route is the initial step after graduate school for going into research and academia, but having experience as a postdoc is also useful for consulting jobs.

Industrial sectors

Most large private sector corporations have environmental and health divisions that would hire Ph.D. graduates or have a need for consultants. Our students could also look to the mining and food industries for positions.


There are opportunities for environmental law jobs, as well as lobbying and policy work in Washington D.C.

What are some of our alumni doing now?

Professional development resources

In collaboration with the Graduate School, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, the Graduate Student Association offers a wealth of professions development resources such as a workshop series, job boards, training classes and more.