What is an MBA in Environmental Management?

In response to growing demand, today’s businesses have embraced higher levels of social and environmental responsibility. This shift in thinking has created new and exciting career opportunities for skilled professionals with specialized environmental management training.

The U.S. Department of Labor anticipates a far-above-average 11% growth rate for environmental specialists between 2014 and 2024. Begin your journey to a career in the field with an online MBA in environmental management. Here, you’ll build the kind of strong environmental assessment, green business planning, and natural resource management skills that employers value.

Online MBA graduates earn an average of 25% more at entry-level jobs and almost 50% more at mid-career.

Students who hold an online MBA with an environmental management concentration have an advantage over job-seekers with just an undergraduate degree. Online MBA graduates earn an average of 25% more at entry-level jobs and almost 50% more at mid-career. With an online MBA, you’ll have a broader, more advanced skill set and a wider range of available career paths.

Comparison of Environmental Management Master’s Degrees

The green economy is growing fast, creating opportunities for job candidates with graduate-level degrees in related fields.

Environmental engineers need strong problem-solving skills and an aptitude for solution-oriented systems development. Alternatively, environmental scientists examine the impacts of commercial activities on physical and human environments.

Combining advanced MBA training with an environmental science concentration allows you to translate your passion for business into a career with outstanding earning potential and strong job prospects.

Degree Description Average Salary (1-4 years experience) Length
Master’s of Environmental Engineering

Environmental engineers use scientific skills to solve problems and to design and deploy on-site systems and technologies. Typical program concentrations focus on topics like water resource management, environmental chemistry and/or microbiology, risk management, and the proper handling of hazardous materials and byproducts.

Graduates enjoy career opportunities in consulting, design, management, monitoring, research, and teaching.

$58,778 2 Years
Master’s of Environmental Science Graduate-level programs in environmental science help students develop marketable skills in several fields, including environmental health and safety, renewable energy, risk assessment and risk reduction, and the astute management of environmental resources. The broad range of specializations includes options like biogeochemistry, ecology, natural resource management, and qualitative analysis. $45,531 1-2 Years
Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) in Environmental Science Environmental science-oriented MBA specializations combine the essentials of sound business management with advanced skills in sustainability, environmental compliance, and the practical aspects of corporate and organizational responsibility. Students learn how to analyze data and evaluate activities to make viable business practice recommendations that account for complete range of perspectives. $55,929 2 Years

Completing an environmental management MBA online enables students to develop specific skills in highly specialized areas, including industrial hygiene, regulatory compliance, OSHA compliance, and more. Specific courses and subject matter vary by school. Below, you’ll find sample curricula curated from a representative range of samples.

Course Competencies Developed Occupational Skill Level
Industrial Hygiene Students explore the four fundamental aspects of sound industrial hygiene initiatives: anticipation of potential problems, recognition of existing problems, evaluation of risks, and control of both known and potential issues. TITLE: Environmental Health Safety Manager
SALARY: growth of 6%
Regulatory Compliance Compliance programs exist at all levels of government, and managing business requirements demands an advanced and highly specific understanding of regulatory objectives. Regulatory compliance courses teach the fundamental skills needed to interpret and implement compliance measures on an organizational level. TITLE: Environmental EngineerSALARY: growth of 9%
OSHA Compliance The Occupational Health and Safety Administration ensures on-site personnel are not exposed to serious health and safety risks. OSHA compliance courses align student learning with their requirements, enabling master’s degree candidates to apply OSHA objectives to real-world settings. TITLE: Environmental Health & Safety Consultant
SALARY: growth of 3%

An online MBA in environmental management prepares students for a broad range of careers in a growing area of focus for businesses and organizations. Here are three potential career paths for someone who has completed an environmental management master’s degree online.

Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) Manager Median Salary: $79,100
  • Power generation
  • Energy
  • Chemical/biochemical
  • Manufacturing
  • Pharmaceutical development & production
  • Construction
Environmental health & safety managers work with companies across industries to identify risks and take preventative action. They are also compliance specialists, who help private-sector organizations bring their activities in line with government regulations.
Environmental Engineer Median Salary: $63,111
  • Engineering design and consulting firms
  • Large businesses with commercialized field activities
  • Construction
Environmental engineers anticipate and solve problems related to system design, implementation, and management. In the private sector, they identify practical solutions in line with project-specific commercial objectives.
Research Safety Specialist Median Salary: $60,141
  • Mid-level to large organizations
  • Public sector
  • Private sector
Research safety specialists develop and implement environmental safety policies and operating policies and ensure full participation and cross-organization compliance. They work in both the public and private sectors.
Rank School Location Cost Toggle Logo Tuition % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population School Type Description

Bellevue University

Location Bellevue, NE Tuition Tuition $20,340 % Receiving Financial Aid 44% Student Population 9,760 School Type Private

Founded in 1966, Bellevue University offers 80 degrees and certificates, including a 36-credit MBA with a concentration in global economic threat environment. The MBA environmental management online degree features 19 optional concentrations that allow students to tailor their education to their specific career interests.

While the online MBA teaches students the fundamentals of business, marketing, and finance, the nine-credit global economic threat environment concentration enables students to understand the political and economic dynamics of different regions in the world. This Bellevue degree prepares students to work as financial analysts, human resource managers, and management analysts.

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Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

Location Winona, MN Tuition Tuition $19,500 % Receiving Financial Aid 61% Student Population 5,931 School Type Private

A Lasallian Catholic college, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota offers an accelerated 18-month online MBA in which students specialize in either data analytics, social media management and marketing, or sustainability and environmental management. The environmental management track teaches students about environmental law and ethics, and eco-friendly business practices.

This 30-credit degree from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota includes a capstone project, in which students develop a strategic plan for an organization. Students may complete the capstone abroad in Milan, Florence, Rome, Paris, or Barcelona.

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Southern New Hampshire University

Location Manchester, NH Tuition Tuition $22,572 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 61,285 School Type Private

A private, nonprofit college founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) offers an online MBA that students can complete in as few as 15 months. Students pick from more than 20 concentrations including sustainability and environmental compliance. The nine-credit concentration prepares students to navigate the environmental challenges that face businesses. Classes run on 10-week terms, and students must earn 36 credits to graduate.

The MBA program, which SNHU has offered for more than 40 years, is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

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University of Houston - Clear Lake

Location Houston, TX Tuition Tuition $20,844 % Receiving Financial Aid 39% Student Population 8,906 School Type Public

With its 500-acre campus enrolling more than 8,500 students, the University of Houston - Clear Lake offers 17 master's degrees, including an online MBA with a concentration in environmental management. Students must complete 36 credits, including courses in environmental law and environmental risk management. To complete a concentration students must take an additional 12 credits, including two courses in environmental law and environmental risk management.

MBA courses at the University of Houston-Clear Lake run in 16-week sessions. Students need a GRE to apply to the program, but eligible applicants can request a GRE waiver.

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University of Massachusetts - Boston

Location Boston, MA Tuition Tuition $23,892 % Receiving Financial Aid 55% Student Population 16,847 School Type Public

Enrolling more than 16,000 students, the University of Massachusetts-Boston offers 130 graduate programs, including a 36-credit online MBA. The program's core courses include economics, accounting, statistics, computer information systems, and financial management. The MBA online program allows students to specialize in one or more of 15 specializations. For example, a specialization in environmental management requires students to take courses in global warming and international business management or clean energy entrepreneurship.

Graduate-level classes at the University of Massachusetts-Boston commence in the fall and spring.

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Webster University

Location Saint Louis, MO Tuition Tuition $28,080 % Receiving Financial Aid 65% Student Population 15,256 School Type Private

A Catholic institution founded in 1915, Webster University teaches students in more than 100 countries. Webster University's Walker School of Business designs its online MBA for working professionals. The 36-credit program, which includes a capstone project, requires students to take marketing, finance, business statistics, and accounting courses. Students can specialize in environmental management and learn about environmental law, regulations, and management of air quality and pollution.

Notably, undergraduate students at Webster University who track to the master's program can graduate within one year.

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Wilmington University

Location New Castle, DE Tuition Tuition $16,776 % Receiving Financial Aid 48% Student Population 15,002 School Type Private

With locations in Delaware and New Jersey, Wilmington University offers 20 master's programs. Wilmington's online MBA requires students to take classes in organizational behavior, ethical leadership, and business strategy.

Students tailor their degree by choosing from 10 concentrations, including environmental sustainability. This concentration trains students to understand ethical leadership and environmental regulations and sustainability. Because courses run in accelerated seven-week sessions, students can complete the 36-credit program in one year. Required courses for MBA candidates include economics, accounting, finance, and mathematics.

Wilmington University's MBA program receives accreditation from the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.

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If you’ve decided an MBA in environmental management is right for you, it is time to start narrowing down the list of potential schools. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you through this process.

  • Search for schools in your area

    Even though you are looking for online programs, it can be helpful to choose a school within 100 miles of your home. Online students often report that they enjoy being able to visit campus. In addition, schools often partner with local businesses, meaning a school in your area can help you find a job close to home.

  • Compare student outcomes data

    Many schools provide this information on their website; however, if you can’t find it, contact the school and ask for it. This data should include graduation rates, employment rates, and the compensation levels of recent graduates. When viewed side-by-side, this information provides a glimpse at program quality.

  • Estimate the expected costs of your programs

    Prospective students often underestimate the total cost of their program. Multiply the total number of credit hours you will need to graduate by cost per credit hour. Do not forget to include the cost of supplies, internet, and factor in the time you will not spend earning an income. Also compare financial aid options; different schools may offer better financial aid packages or scholarships that can offset the cost of education.

  • Check that classes will fit in with your schedule

    One of the central benefits of online education is flexibility. However, some programs require set meeting times, synchronous workshops, and mandatory campus visits. Be aware of all time commitments, and be sure they fit into your current schedule.

  • Look for partnerships with local businesses

    The main objective of getting your environmental management MBA is to find a secure job with a healthy salary in a field you enjoy. Attending a well-connected school that has partnerships with local businesses can boost your employment opportunities after you graduate. Many of these partners offer internships that can lead to full-time employment. Regardless, these internships provide the network and experience you’ll need to get a job elsewhere.

  • Make sure the program is accredited

    Accreditation is the formal review process that ensures a school is offering a reputable program and adhering to minimum academic standards. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is the national agency that accredits undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs in business and accounting. By checking a program’s status with the AACSB, you can be confident you are receiving a recognized, quality degree. Employers generally will not hire job candidates who possess degrees from unaccredited schools. Nor will schools accept academic credentials from unaccredited programs.

  • Talk to current students and/or recent alumni

    Actual students and graduates are amazing resources to help you choose an online environmental management MBA program. They can give unbiased, real-world perspectives on how the program has served them, what they liked, and what they disliked. Ask an admissions counselor to put you in touch with a current student or recent alumnus. Alternatively, use LinkedIn or Facebook to find and reach out to people.

Search Programs by Concentration

Some career paths in environmental management require candidates to meet specific licensure requirements. In some cases, you’ll obtain these licenses separately from your MBA.

While licensure programs do require additional financial and time investments, they also open additional career paths. Here is a closer look at potential certifications for those who’ve earned their environmental management MBA online and the types of careers in which they are required.

License Description
Radioactive Materials License This license certifies professionals to safely manage and dispose of radioactive materials. It is a major asset to anyone considering a career path in chemical engineering or nuclear power generation. Airline and aerospace industry professionals may encounter radioactive materials, creating additional opportunities for properly licensed specialists.
REM – Registered Environmental Manager The Registered Environmental Manager (REM) designation is the highest professional license available through the National Registry of Environmental Professionals (NREP). Candidates should have minimum five years of work experience in environmental engineering, healthcare, science, or management.
Certified Public Water System/Public Wastewater System Operator Public water and wastewater systems are among the most important pieces of municipal infrastructure; they are essential to the safety and livelihood of cities. These certifications are essential to professionals considering careers in public water distribution, wastewater management, or municipal water system planning and expansion.

The best online schools for environmental management support external scholarship programs. A growing number of charitable, philanthropic, public, and private institutions offer scholarships to candidates in online master’s in environmental management programs, partially because the importance of related ecological issues are increasing at such a rapid rate.

Popular scholarship options include the National Garden Club Scholarships, the David S. Miller Young Scientist Scholarship, Annie’s Sustainable Agriculture Scholarships, and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), with each offering varying levels of financial assistance to eligible students.