Environmental ScientistSample Job Descriptions, Salaries, and Interview Questions

Environmental scientists do the vital work of conducting research, analyzing data, and developing plans on how to avoid, repair or minimize hazards that affect the environment and public health. Their research typically involves collecting and analyzing samples from the environment, examining published data from fellow scientists, and exploring ways to help solve pressing issues as broad as deforestation, pollution, and the quality of our water, soil, and air.  

After doing scientific work, environmental scientists often have to present and defend their findings and conclusions. Government agencies, policymakers, and business leaders depend on these findings to inform positive actions to help the environment. 

Sample job description

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for an environmental scientist is $82,700 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$82,250$111,250
Los Angeles, California$92,800$125,550
Denver, Colorado$77,350$104,600
Washington, DC$94,200$127,450
Miami, Florida$76,950$104,150
Orlando, Florida$71,000$96,050
Tampa, Florida$71,700$97,000
Atlanta, Georgia$75,200$101,750
Chicago, Illinois$86,450$117,000
Boston, Massachusetts$93,500$126,500
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$74,500$100,800
New York City, New York$98,400$133,150
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$80,150$108,400
Dallas, Texas$78,050$105,550
Houston, Texas$77,350$104,600
Seattle, Washington$90,000$121,750
National Average$70,300$95,100

Sample interview questions

  • What does an environmental scientist do?
  • What are the principal characteristics of the environment?
  • What interests you about this position?
  • What motivates you?
  • Can you describe when you had to overcome a challenging work situation?
  • What are your greatest strengths and your greatest weaknesses?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • What is your greatest accomplishment as an environmental scientist?
  • How would you describe your teamwork skills?
  • How familiar are you with the soil types found in this area?
  • What do you think is the most important environmental issue we are currently experiencing?
  • How would you determine the pollution level in a given body of water?
  • What’s the most rewarding experience you’ve had while working as an environmental scientist?
  • Have you ever conducted fieldwork? If so, where?
  • What is the Toxic Substances Control Act?
  • Are you familiar with the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts?
  • How do you assess the risks to plants and animal species in a given area?
  • What experience do you have preparing and submitting field research reports?
  • What are the most common contaminants present in the area?

Environmental Scientist Jobs in Ashburn

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