Companies hire these professionals to identify risks, prevent hazards, and assure compliance with governmental regulations. EHS managers conduct evaluations, training, analyses, and reporting. They make a median salary of $82,042 annually, according to PayScale.
Top Online MBA Programs in Environmental Management
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Top online MBAs in environmental management offer an advantage over bachelor’s degrees. They prepare learners for leadership and/or consulting roles in the many industries striving to meet environmental sustainability goals, standards, and regulations.
Given the increasing demand for this specialized skill set, environmental managers can enjoy meaningful, high-paying careers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), environmental scientists and specialists earned a median salary of $71,130 as of 2018.
This page highlights the benefits, curricula, and characteristics of high-quality MBA programs in environmental management. It also familiarizes readers with scholarship programs and professional organizations for environmental management MBA students.
What Is an MBA in Environmental Management?
As climate change awareness grows and governmental regulations tighten, companies increasingly rely on environmental managers to help them meet new sustainability standards. MBA in environmental management programs prepare students for careers evaluating and aligning business practices with environmental regulations.
Like “green” MBAs, or MBAs in sustainable business or corporate responsibility, MBA programs in environmental management combine environmental science and sustainability coursework with core business skills in project, operations, financial, and marketing management.
Online MBA programs in environmental management can lead to lucrative positions, such as environmental manager, environmental scientist, environmental engineer, or environmental science and protection technician. The industries employing the most environmental managers include management and scientific consulting, government, and engineering. Top-paying industries include electronics, water transportation, and natural gas transportation.
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Why Should You Get an Online MBA in Environmental Management?
Environmental management MBA programs cultivate the knowledge and skills needed to expand learners’ career options and assist in career transition, promotion, or salary advancement. Business and scientific professionals may pursue this degree as part of a transition into another role, field, or industry.
Environmental technicians and related professionals may pursue this MBA to qualify for higher-level management positions. Entry-level environmental manager positions typically require natural sciences-related bachelor’s degrees, but the added specialization afforded by an MBA can lead to leadership positions. By enrolling in flexible, online MBA programs, working professionals often advance their careers without relocating or giving up their day jobs.
Professionals with advanced degrees and/or in leadership positions tend to make more money, as well. Environmental technicians make a median annual salary of $46,170, according to the BLS, whereas the environmental engineers, managers, scientists, and specialists who supervise technicians and lead projects often make $70,000-90,000 annually.
What Can You Do With an MBA in Environmental Management?
Environmental Health and Safety Manager
These professionals mitigate environmental damage by helping companies improve their practices regarding waste management, pollution control, and public health. Knowledgeable in environmental sciences and regulations, these professionals employ skills in communication, project design, data analysis, and technical support. As of May 2018, the BLS reported that environmental engineers earned a median annual salary of $87,620 and projected a 5% job growth from 2018-2028.
Research Safety Specialist
These specialists generate and implement environmental safety and operations policies to meet compliance standards. Research safety specialists require knowledge and skills in regulatory compliance, emergency response, and training program development. These professionals make a median salary of about $62,000 annually, according to PayScale.
Environmental Science and Protection Technicians
Usually supervised by environmental scientists or specialists, these technicians perform environmental health and safety inspections, which often involve using monitoring equipment, collecting samples, and analyzing samples in laboratories. According to the BLS, these technicians earned a median annual salary of $46,170 as of 2018, and they can expect a 9% job growth from 2018-2028.
Environmental Scientist and Specialist
This category of specialist includes industrial ecologists, climate change analysts, and environmental restoration planners. Many environmental scientists and specialists work for government agencies. These professionals design data collection methods, collect and analyze data, and create plans for addressing environmental issues. BLS data projects an 8% growth in jobs for environmental scientists and specialists from 2018-2028. Moreover, these professionals made a median annual salary of $71,130 as of 2018.
Online MBA in Environmental Management Curriculum
All online environmental management MBA programs cover foundational business administration topics, such as operations management, and specialized topics like environmental regulatory compliance. However, online environmental management MBA curricula vary by school and program, so compare curriculum options carefully.
This course introduces students to government compliance programs and corresponding business regulatory objectives, plans, and implementation strategies.
This course examines interconnections among social, environmental, and technological problems and solutions. Students learn how companies have changed their approach to environmental issues over time based on new data, theory, technology, and environmental changes.
This course familiarizes students with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s compliance objectives. Students learn to apply these objectives to actual scenarios.
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How to Choose the Right Online MBA in Environmental Management Program
Although environmental program titles can sound similar, these programs can differ widely in curricular focus. Master’s programs in environmental engineering typically focus heavily on scientific skills, systems, and technologies, while master’s programs in environmental science may cover more general concentrations such as renewable energy or health and safety. MBAs in environmental science, often synonymous with MBAs in environmental management, blend business management skills with advanced environmental science skills.
Online environmental science MBA programs also vary in terms of attendance timelines and formats. Some programs allow part-time enrollment options, ideal for busy professionals, while others offer intensive, accelerated timelines geared toward students with more available time. Many online programs allow asynchronous attendance, enabling students to view lectures at any time, while hybrid programs may require synchronous attendance, on-campus residencies, or on-site internships.
Since visiting campus can provide networking opportunities, even distance learners may want to consider schools within driving distance of home. Often more familiar to prospective employers, some schools may partner with local businesses to provide internship and mentorship opportunities.
Applicants should also consider program quality measurements such as accreditation and outcome data. Schools accredited by regional accrediting agencies garner more prestige than nationally accredited schools. Regionally accredited schools may charge higher tuition, but they often provide more financial aid, as well. Some schools boast higher graduation rates or salary outcomes, so check objective sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics to compare prospective programs.
Scholarships for Environmental Management MBA Programs
As you find ways to finance your degree, consider applying for the many scholarships offered by schools, governments, professional organizations, and private funders. Depending on the scholarship, you may qualify based on identity, financial need, academic merit, or some combination of these factors. The scholarships described below provide funding to students in environmental programs.
Water Environment Federation Canham Graduate Studies Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This scholarship provides financial assistance to WEF members enrolled in graduate programs related to water environments. Application requirements include official transcripts, recommendation letters, and degree/career objectives.
Rocky Mountain National Parks Research Fellowship
Who Can Apply: Graduate students enrolled in or currently graduating from natural and/or cultural resource-related programs at accredited schools may apply. Applicants must demonstrate excellent training and/or research skills in this field, plus effective communication skills and enthusiasm for assisting the National Park Service.
National Garden Clubs Scholarships
Who Can Apply: NGC offers up to 41 scholarships annually to legal U.S. residents enrolled full time in horticulture or environment-related, U.S.-based undergraduate or graduate programs. Applicants must hold a minimum 3.25 GPA.
David S. Miller Young Scientist Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Applicants must be undergraduate or graduate students who have completed four or more semesters in geo-environmental science-related programs. Applicants must have a 3.4+ GPA, financial need, and high potential in their fields.
Switzer Environmental Fellowship
Who Can Apply: New England and California graduate students studying environmental law, conservation, science, or technology full time at accredited schools may apply. Applicants must be U.S. citizens with demonstrated leadership capabilities and financial need.
Professional Organizations for Environmental Management
Professional organizations for environmental management help students and professionals stay abreast of current trends and opportunities in their field. The professional organizations described below offer continuing education, employment resources, networking, and leadership opportunities. These organizations also advance the field through research, publications, and conferences.
A nonprofit organization designed to support corporate leaders in improving environmental practices, NAEM offers current research, conferences, and webinars. It also provides blogs and reports on relevant topics, including sustainability management, health and safety, and software and data management.
This international society of 3,000+ conservation leaders engages in policy work, conservation projects, and professional development. SWCS also holds networking events, publishes journals and books, and collaborates with organizations providing public education on conservation.
This nonprofit provides professional development for environmental and safety industry professionals. The NREP maintains a job bank and runs many relevant certification programs and workshops.
Since 1968, this international organization has sought to integrate environmental teaching, research, and theory. To this end, EDRA offers publications, conferences, awards, and a career center.
NAEP provides networking, education, and other career resources for environment-related professions. These resources include conferences, training, awards, and a job board.
Top Online MBA Programs in Environmental Management for 2020
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