Career Development

What Does an Environmental Coordinator Do?

Find out what an Environmental Coordinator does, how to get this job, salary information, and what it takes to succeed as an Environmental Coordinator.

The Environmental Coordinator plays an essential role in ensuring that an organization’s operations comply with environmental laws and regulations, as well as promoting sustainability practices within the workplace. This position involves a blend of knowledge in environmental science, policy, and project management to effectively oversee and implement environmental programs and initiatives. By coordinating efforts across various departments, the Environmental Coordinator helps to minimize the ecological footprint of the organization, ensuring that it operates responsibly and contributes positively to environmental conservation. Through monitoring, reporting, and educating staff on environmental matters, this role supports the organization’s commitment to protecting the natural world while maintaining its operational goals.

Environmental Coordinator Job Duties

  • Develop and implement comprehensive environmental management systems to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal regulations.
  • Coordinate and oversee waste management programs, including recycling, hazardous waste disposal, and landfill operations.
  • Facilitate environmental impact assessments for new projects and expansions, ensuring minimal harm to ecosystems and compliance with environmental policies.
  • Organize and lead training sessions for employees on environmental practices, sustainability, and emergency response to environmental incidents.
  • Manage the collection and analysis of environmental data, such as air and water quality, to monitor performance and identify areas for improvement.
  • Liaise with government agencies, community groups, and other stakeholders to communicate environmental policies and address concerns.
  • Oversee the maintenance and calibration of environmental monitoring equipment to ensure accurate data collection.
  • Research and implement new environmental technologies or practices to reduce the environmental footprint of the organization.

Environmental Coordinator Salary & Outlook

Environmental Coordinator salaries vary based on factors such as industry demand, with sectors like renewable energy or waste management potentially offering higher wages. Experience level significantly impacts earnings, as seasoned coordinators command higher salaries. Additionally, the size and financial health of the employing organization can influence compensation, with larger or more profitable companies often able to offer more competitive salaries.

  • Median Annual Salary: $77,175 ($37.1/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $135,000 ($64.9/hour)

The employment of environmental coordinators is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

This growth is driven by increasing regulatory requirements for environmental protection, corporate sustainability goals, and public demand for greener practices. Environmental Coordinators are pivotal in implementing and managing these initiatives, ensuring compliance, and promoting eco-friendly operations across industries.

Environmental Coordinator Job Requirements

Education: An Environmental Coordinator typically holds a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Environmental Science, Environmental Engineering, or a related field. Coursework often includes biology, chemistry, physics, and specialized classes in environmental policy, resource management, and sustainability practices. Advanced degrees may focus on research, environmental law, or specific ecological concerns. Academic internships or project-based learning experiences are common to apply theoretical knowledge in practical settings, preparing graduates for the multifaceted challenges of the role.

Experience: Environmental Coordinators typically come with a background rich in practical experience, often having spent significant time in roles related to environmental management, sustainability projects, or conservation efforts. On-the-job training is common, allowing individuals to gain hands-on experience in environmental policy implementation, compliance monitoring, and project coordination. Many have also participated in specialized training programs that focus on environmental laws, waste management practices, and ecological conservation techniques. This blend of direct environmental work and formalized training programs equips them to effectively oversee and guide environmental initiatives within organizations.

Certifications & Licenses: Environmental Coordinators may benefit from certifications such as Certified Environmental Professional (CEP) or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accreditation. Some positions might require specific licenses related to environmental compliance or hazardous waste management, depending on local regulations and the nature of the job. However, not all roles will necessitate these certifications or licenses.

Environmental Coordinator Skills

Environmental Impact Assessment: Analyzing potential environmental effects of proposed projects is crucial. This involves a detailed examination of data and predicting outcomes under various scenarios. Environmental Coordinators use this analysis to recommend mitigation strategies that promote sustainable development while ensuring compliance with environmental regulations.

Regulatory Compliance: Knowledge of federal and state environmental policies is necessary for ensuring that organizations adhere to environmental laws. Environmental Coordinators interpret complex legal documents and implement strategies to keep organizational activities within legal boundaries.

Waste Management: Strategies for minimizing waste through reduction, reuse, and recycling are developed to align with environmental regulations and promote sustainability. Conducting waste audits and identifying eco-friendly disposal methods are part of this process, requiring collaboration across departments to enhance waste management systems.

Sustainability Initiatives: Environmental Coordinators are tasked with creating and executing strategies that conserve resources and improve eco-efficiency. Balancing organizational objectives with environmental standards, these initiatives aim to advance the company’s sustainability goals while ensuring legal compliance.

Ecosystem Management: Analyzing and integrating data from various scientific disciplines is essential for sustainable land-use planning and conservation. By working with stakeholders and managing natural resources wisely, Environmental Coordinators support ecological health and community well-being, ensuring projects comply with environmental regulations.

Environmental Policy Development: Developing strategies and guidelines that meet legal requirements and sustainability goals is a critical function. Through thorough analysis of environmental legislation and engaging with stakeholders, Environmental Coordinators integrate best practices into corporate operations, fostering a culture of sustainability.

Environmental Coordinator Work Environment

Environmental Coordinators often find themselves in a hybrid work environment, balancing time between office settings and fieldwork. The office space is typically equipped with computers and software necessary for data analysis and report writing, fostering a quiet atmosphere conducive to focused tasks. Fieldwork, on the other hand, introduces them to varied settings, from industrial sites to natural habitats, requiring the use of safety gear and environmental monitoring tools.

Work hours can be regular but might extend during project deadlines or environmental emergencies, demanding a degree of flexibility. The dress code varies, with practical attire for fieldwork and business casual for the office. The role encourages interaction with a range of stakeholders, from government officials to community members, necessitating strong communication skills.

The pace can be dynamic, reflecting the urgency of environmental issues. Opportunities for professional development are abundant, given the evolving nature of environmental regulations and technologies. Overall, the role offers a blend of technical, interpersonal, and fieldwork challenges, within a framework that values sustainability and compliance.

Advancement Prospects

Environmental Coordinators can progress to senior roles such as Environmental Manager or Director of Sustainability, overseeing larger projects and influencing corporate environmental strategies. Achieving this requires a deep understanding of environmental regulations, project management experience, and a proven track record in implementing effective sustainability initiatives.

To advance, coordinators should focus on leading successful environmental programs and demonstrating their impact on organizational sustainability goals. Specializing in areas like waste management, renewable energy, or environmental compliance can distinguish a candidate for higher-level positions.

Engagement in high-profile projects and the ability to work cross-functionally with other departments are crucial. This showcases leadership skills and a comprehensive understanding of how environmental policies integrate with overall business objectives, positioning the coordinator as a valuable asset for advancement.


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