Environmental jobs for many may call to mind clean energy such as wind and solar, electric cars, or carbon credits, which are often used by companies to account for industrial activity. These are great opportunities to advance society into a new age of “green” thinking for our energy needs.
But first, green thinking requires the cleanup of previous pollution (brownfields), waste, and industrial accidents at sites across the country. The environmental remediation and hazardous materials response companies springing up for the challenge are seeking workers to fill a variety of roles.
What is Environmental Remediation?
Any spill of hazardous material such as diesel, oil, and/or chemicals, is a serious event. It can endanger the public’s health and safety and devastate natural resources. The Feb. 3 train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio – which released hydrogen chloride and phosgene into the air – comes to mind as a prime example. It is the responsibility of those companies to keep their employees and communities safe. And the importance of taking the necessary measures to prevent air, land, or waterway pollution.
The global environmental remediation market size was valued at $105 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach $200.1 billion by 2031. This places the industry at an annual growth rate of 6.7% from 2022 to 2031, according to one market study. In the US alone, nearly 6,000 companies employ about 94,000 workers and share a market worth $24 billion. Which means workers are needed – now.
Once dispatched to a site, environmental remediation and cleanup companies take the necessary steps to implement a safe procedure. They must ensure that the procedure complies with environmental, management, and regulatory policies – often on short notice.
These companies got a big boost with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed by President Biden in November 2021. Of the $1.2 trillion package, $21 billion was allocated to environmental remediation. This included the reclamation of abandoned coal mines, the cleanup of Superfund sites, and the revitalization of brownfields. Additional funds are allocated to other environmental projects such as the upgrade of local waste management and recycling programs.
Cleaning up the environment is an important focus of the green economy. Brownfield sites that are polluted because of industrial activity, the use of pesticides and fertilizer, or the release of other pollutants must be cleaned up to redevelop them or return them to their natural state.
What Types of Workers are Needed?
Several types of workers are involved in each step of a remediation project. Managers oversee the project at each stage. Business specialists who work in environmental remediation are experts in regulation issues, cost estimation, and/or public relations.
Cartographers and photogrammetrists create maps and charts of the contaminated areas. Scientists and engineers determine the most effective methods of cleaning up a site and perform tests to determine the extent of the contamination and to monitor the progress of the remediation project. Construction workers and operators of various types of heavy equipment carry out the day-to-day work on the project.
Workers in environmental remediation might be employed by companies in architectural, engineering, and related services industries; by management, scientific, and technical consulting firms; or by state, local, or federal government agencies.
Remediation occupations require a broad range of education and experience levels. While some require college degrees, there are many that don’t. With the right training and experience, workers can find good-paying jobs throughout the United States. The average salary of environmental remediation and recovery jobs will vary depending on the location, department, and job description.
Growing Your Workforce
Focusing on scaling talent and implementing necessary technologies will be key in both the short and long terms as firms continue to hire. These roles are crucial for protecting communities and their residents as employees take on projects that transform unusable land into sites capable of hosting new opportunities.
Ensuring qualified candidates are available makes staffing agencies like EnviroStaff a go-to resource for companies as they join the growing field of environmental remediation and cleanup. Contact EnviroStaff today to learn how we can fill key positions on your team.
EnviroStaff is a division of LGC that focuses on making placements in the environmental industry. We build partnerships with clients to fill open positions on their team and have recruiting capabilities within multiple markets throughout the U.S. Working closely together, EnviroStaff will recruit environmental industry professionals based on your job description and requirements. By making direct hire placements, EnviroStaff can help clients save time and money often associated with recruiting.