Climate change analysts do laboratory and field tests to monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution, including those affecting health. Many work under the supervision of environmental scientists and specialists, who direct their work and evaluate their results.
Climate change analysts typically do the following:
Many climate change analysts work under the supervision of environmental scientists and specialists who direct their work and evaluate their results. In addition, they often work on teams with scientists, engineers, and technicians in other fields to solve complex problems related to environmental degradation and public health. For example, they may work on teams with geoscientists and hydrologists to manage the cleanup of contaminated soils and ground water.
Most climate change analysts work either for the government or for private consulting firms. In the government, climate change analysts enforce regulations that protect the environment and people’s health. They spend a lot of time inspecting businesses and public places and investigating complaints related to air quality, water quality, and food safety. They may issue fines or close establishments that violate environmental or health regulations. In private consulting firms, climate change analysts help clients monitor and manage the environment and comply with regulations. For example, they help businesses develop cleanup plans for contaminated sites, and they recommend ways to reduce, control, or eliminate pollution. Also, climate change analysts conduct feasibility studies for, and monitor the environmental impact of, new construction projects.
Climate change analysts need an associate’s degree or comparable postsecondary training for most jobs. New technicians are often trained on the job by more experienced climate change analysts.
Most employers prefer applicants who have at least an associate’s degree, or 2 years of postsecondary training, in a natural science or science-related technology. However, some entry-level positions require a high school diploma. Many technical and community colleges offer programs in environmental studies or a related technology, such as remote sensing or geographic information systems (GIS). Associate degree programs at community colleges are traditionally designed to provide easy transfer to bachelor degree programs at colleges and universities because a bachelor’s degree can be useful for future career advancement. Technical institutes usually offer technical training but provide less theory and general education than community colleges offer.
A well-rounded background in natural sciences is important for climate change analysts, so students should take courses in chemistry, biology, geology, and physics. Coursework in mathematics, statistics, and computer science also is useful because technicians routinely do data analysis and modeling. Many schools offer internships and cooperative-education programs, which help students gain valuable experience while attending school. Internships and cooperative-education experience can enhance the students’ employment prospects.
Climate change analysts must be able to carry out a wide range of laboratory and field tests, and their results must be accurate and precise. Climate change analysts reach their conclusions through sound reasoning and judgment. They have to be able to determine the best way to address environmental hazards. Climate change analysts need to be able to work well with others as part of a team, because they often work together with scientists and other technicians.
Climate change analysts must carefully follow instructions given to them by environmental scientists and specialists, because any mistakes can invalidate the results of their experiments and investigations. They must be able to discuss their results with clients and colleagues. They also must document the results of their work in written reports.
Most climate change analysts receive on-the-job training. The length of training varies with the new employee’s level of experience and education. Typically, experienced technicians teach new employees proper methods and procedures for conducting experiments, inspections, and other tasks. Technicians usually learn about relevant environmental and health regulations and standards as part of their training. Technicians who have a bachelor’s degree are often able to advance to environmental scientist positions.
Climate change analysts work in offices, laboratories, and the field. Most work for professional, scientific, and technical services firms or for the government. Climate change analysts work in laboratories, offices, and the field. Fieldwork offers a variety of settings; for example, a technician may investigate a chemical spill inside a manufacturing plant or spend time outdoors testing the water quality of lakes and rivers. In the field, technicians spend most of their time on their feet, which can be physically demanding. Also, they may need to set up monitoring or testing equipment, which can involve some heavy lifting and frequent bending and crouching.