What Can You Do With an Environmental Design Degree?

Imagine relaxing underneath the shade of a tree in a park, filled with the sounds of running water, birds singing and children playing on a jungle gym. Now imagine that it was you that designed the environment. Can you think of a better career? As an environmental design major, you will be prepared to design spaces where people live, work and play. This program teaches students how to use space and construct structures in an ecological sustainable, environmentally safe, and aesthetically pleasing manner.

Every college has its own requirements, but you would most likely be required to take classes such as architectural principles, design, landscape architecture, mathematics, CAD, interior design, management, physics, drawing, computer and urban planning. The classes will cover four main points: interior design, architecture, landscape, and urban planning.

Within the broad spectrum of environmental design, a skilled and aware professional might find green or environmental design jobs in several different sectors, including architecture, interior design, community development, local or regional government, landscape architecture, development or urban planning.


What courses does an environmental design degree cover?

Environmental design degrees cover topics like architecture, design and urban planning. Students often take courses like:

The specific classes you take can depend on the university you attend, but the program usually takes four years of full-time study to complete.

What is an environmental design degree?

An environmental design degree is an education program that teaches students how to design environmentally sustainable spaces. Students enrolled in this degree program learn to make design decisions that benefit both humans and the natural environment. This degree can prepare students for further education in architecture, urban planning, interior design and other fields.

What can you do with an environmental design degree?

Here are some jobs you can pursue with a degree in environmental design. For the most up-to-date Indeed salaries, please click on the links below:

Primary duties: An environmental graphic designer is responsible for using digital tools to create visuals. These professionals meet with their clients to create project plans, and they often work on teams to complete projects. Typically, environmental graphic designers focus on creating visual representations of architecture and urban planning projects.

Primary duties: A junior architect is responsible for supporting the lead architect and other professionals in the project team. Junior architects attend site visits to ensure compliance with the plans design and timetable. They research regulations and company procedures that may affect the project, and they communicate with clients regularly. Junior architects also prepare and organize documents like survey notes, drawings and reports.

Primary duties: An architectural technician is responsible for working with architects and engineers to develop structural designs and plans for buildings, open spaces and other constructions. Architectural technicians can create designs either by hand or with computer software. They often visit project sites to check the quality of the materials and meet with clients to discuss project details.

Primary duties: An environmental specialist is responsible for managing and protecting natural habitats. These professionals work to ensure that human activities, such as constructing transport systems or new buildings, dont negatively affect the environment. Environmental specialists visit sites to assess damages, carry samples for testing and create reports. They advise developers on land treatment, waste disposal and preserving the natural environment. They also hold forums and meetings to educate the public about conservation.

Primary duties: An urban planner is responsible for creating blueprints for either new or old urban areas requiring updates. Urban planners meet with the developers, the public and government officials to discuss project plans. They assess goals given by developers and determine whether they comply with regulations concerning zoning, boundaries and environmental laws. These professionals often attend public meetings and hearings that concern any changes in cities. They design and adapt the plans for urban areas to match development and population growth.

Primary duties: A landscape architect is responsible for designing aesthetically pleasing and functional outdoor spaces, such as parks, parking lots and gardens. The architects plans usually include buildings, trees, flowers and shrubs. Landscape architects consider the current environment and study its rainfall or wind patterns. They meet with clients, other architects and engineers to discuss plans and project expectations.

Primary duties: A sustainability analyst is an environmental professional who conducts research, writes reports and offers recommendations for environmental maintenance. The analyst works under a sustainability manager to maintain, track and analyze all sustainable indicators of a project, including greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions levels. They also meet with stakeholders to discuss sustainability goals and progress.

Primary duties: An environmental planner is responsible for studying plans for projects like roads and houses to gauge their environmental impact. These professionals try to mitigate any negative impact while following the relevant government regulations. Environmental planners prevent harm to humans, animals or plants by issuing building permits. They visit sites to ensure that companies follow all laws, health and safety precautions and directives during construction.

Primary duties: A water resources engineer is an environmental professional who plans and manages engineering plans involving water and wastewater amenities. These professionals collaborate with other engineers and construction contractors. They often work with the government and represent their states water department.

Primary duties: A site superintendent is responsible for supervising the construction activities of a project to ensure compliance with the established design, schedule and budget guidelines. The superintendent plans, directs and controls activities on-site. Site superintendents also conduct worker orientations and organize meetings to secure the construction area.

Skills students develop from earning an environmental design degree

Environmental design students can develop a range of valuable career skills, including:


What is environmental design major?

In 2019-2020, environmental design was the 255th most popular major nationwide with 728 degrees awarded. This represents a 4.3% increase in environment design degrees awarded over the prior year’s total of 697. There are 47 schools offering degrees in environmental design in the United States.

Is environmental design the same as architecture?

As its name suggests, the environmental design/architecture major combines aspects of landscape design with architecture. In this program, you’ll learn how to design indoor and outdoor spaces that are in ecological and aesthetic harmony with their surroundings.

What is a benefit of environmental design?

Environmental design can also refer to the applied arts and sciences dealing with creating the human-designed environment. These fields include architecture, geography, urban planning, landscape architecture, and interior design.

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