Environmental Engineer

Environmental Engineer

Environmental engineers assess the impact of engineering projects on the environment, including waterways, soil, air and noise levels, and advise on ways to minimise this impact. They may be involved in:

  • Looking at ways to balance flood protection with fish habitats
  • Designing low-impact stormwater solutions such as wetlands and rain gardens
  • Designing landfill sites to safely contain waste products
  • Upgrading water infrastructure, including: collection, treatment and distribution of drinking water; collection and treatment of wastewater; and collection and discharge of stormwater

Most environmental engineers work for engineering consultancies and construction companies; others may be employed by utilities companies, local and regional councils, and government agencies.

New environmental standards mean that many local authorities are upgrading their water infrastructure, so environmental and water resources engineers are in demand. Many kilometres of water pipes and pumping stations were damaged in the Christchurch quakes and need to be repaired or replaced.

Environmental engineers generally earn:

  • $45-55,000 starting salary for graduates
  • $70-115,000 for more experienced engineers

Key tertiary qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Engineering Technology in Civil Engineering, specialising in Water & Waste or Environmental Engineering
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering, with electives focused on Environmental, Water Resources and Sustainability Engineering, or in Natural Resources Engineering

Required and recommended school subjects:

  • Calculus (required)
  • Physics (required)
  • Chemistry
  • Statistics & Modelling
  • English
  • Technology subjects


Careers New Zealand: Environmental Engineer


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Environmental Engineer: People who work in this role

  • Amanda Kirk

    Environmental Engineer, Amanda Kirk at work

    Richard Parkinson

    Environmental Engineer, Richard Parkinson at work

    Marnie Fornusek

    Environmental Engineer, Marnie Fornusek at work

    Maria Eliza

    Network Engineer, Maria Eliza at work
  • Katie Goode

    Environmental Engineer, Katie Goode at work

    Beth Parkin

    Environmental Engineer, Beth Parkin at work

    Michaela Sherratt

    Environmental Engineer, Michaela Sherratt at work

    David Chau

    Environmental Engineer, David Chau at work
  • Ingrid Cooper

    Environmental Engineer, Ingrid Cooper at work

    Hamish Smith

    Hydraulic Engineer, Hamish Smith at work

    Charlotte Brown

    CPIT Lecturer, Charlotte Brown at work

    Brendan Gorman

    Environmental Engineer, Brendan Gorman at work
  • Francis Stewart

    Engineer , Francis Stewart at work

    Andrew Congalton

    Environmental Engineer , Andrew Congalton at work

Environmental Engineer: Companies that employ people in this job role

  • Ministry for Primary Industries
    Ministry for Primary Industries
    Rayonier Matariki Forests
    Rayonier Matariki Forests
    McConnell Dowell
    McConnell Dowell
    Western Bay of Plenty District Council
    Western Bay of Plenty District Council
  • Jacobs
    Jacobs
    HEB Construction
    HEB Construction
    Tonkin & Taylor
    Tonkin & Taylor
    Marshall Day Acoustics
    Marshall Day Acoustics
  • Cardno
    Cardno
    LHTDesign
    LHTDesign
    Pattle Delamore Partners
    Pattle Delamore Partners
    Stormwater Solutions
    Stormwater Solutions
  • Hawke's Bay Regional Council
    Hawke's Bay Regional Council
    Hastings District Council
    Hastings District Council
    Stantec
    Stantec
    Dunedin City Council
    Dunedin City Council
  • Opus International Consultants
    Opus International Consultants
    Beca
    Beca
    URS New Zealand
    URS New Zealand
    Holcim Cement
    Holcim Cement

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