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ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEER: Thought I Was Bad At Math In High School

About this video 

Jody is an Environmental Engineer for the City of Austin, Texas, who oversees the processing of waste water sewer sludge, which can be converted into electric power, and also the city's composting and recycling. In high school he thought he was terrible at math, and wasn't that interested in science, until years later when he got excited about helping the environment and obtained degrees in Agronomy and Environmental Engineering. He uses all of his schooling in his current job, and advises young people to follow whatever interests them greatly, even if they don't see a career path yet.

Degree: Agronomy - Environmental Engineering - Business Management
Job Title: Environmental Engineer
Employer: City of Austin, Texas

Job Summary: Environmental Engineers

Job Description

Environmental engineers use the principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems. They are involved in efforts to improve recycling, waste disposal, public health, and control of water and air pollution.

On-the-Job Training

None

Additional Info

At some colleges and universities, a student can enroll in a 5-year program that leads to both a bachelor’s and a master's degree. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as an instructor at some colleges and universities or to do research and development.

Certification Requirement
Recommended by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers.

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$50,000 - $120,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
20 to 30 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Office, Outdoor, Indoor
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Detail oriented, Problem solving skills, Written communication skills, Verbal communication skills, Teamwork, Mathematical skills

Educational Path

Education requirement
Education Requirement
Bachelor's degree
View Detailed Career Data

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='380'>I</span> <span m='570'>am</span> <span m='780'>an</span> <span m='980'>environmental</span> <span m='1490'>engineer.</span> <span m='2740'>I</span> <span m='3010'>work</span> <span m='3220'>for</span> <span m='3290'>the</span> <span m='3380'>city</span> <span m='3620'>of</span> <span m='3700'>Austin,</span> <span m='4170'>Texas.</span> <span m='5370'>And</span> <span m='6180'>I</span> <span m='7590'>oversee</span> <span m='8530'>the</span> <span m='8640'>processing</span> <span m='10090'>of</span> <span m='10780'>waste</span> <span m='11090'>water</span> <span m='11440'>sewage</span> <span m='11690'>sludge.</span> <span m='12940'>We</span> <span m='13530'>digest</span> <span m='14260'>that</span> <span m='14560'>like</span> <span m='14810'>our</span> <span m='15130'>digestive</span> <span m='15740'>systems</span> <span m='16260'>work,</span> <span m='16600'>producing</span> <span m='17140'>gases</span> <span m='17505'>that</span> <span m='17870'>are</span> <span m='18100'>flammable,</span> <span m='19170'>and</span> <span m='19350'>we</span> <span m='19490'>can</span> <span m='19660'>burn</span> <span m='20040'>those</span> <span m='20380'>in</span> <span m='20500'>an</span> <span m='20640'>engine</span> <span m='21130'>to</span> <span m='21210'>produce</span> <span m='21640'>electric</span> <span m='22070'>power.</span> </p><p><span m='23450'>So</span> <span m='23880'>the</span> <span m='24020'>other</span> <span m='24130'>thing</span> <span m='24390'>we</span> <span m='24510'>do</span> <span m='24730'>at</span> <span m='24850'>the</span> <span m='24930'>site</span> <span m='25490'>is</span> <span m='25680'>composting.</span> <span m='26520'>We</span> <span m='26650'>take</span> <span m='26950'>all</span> <span m='27210'>the</span> <span m='27280'>yard</span> <span m='27610'>trimmings</span> <span m='28100'>and</span> <span m='28200'>tree</span> <span m='28555'>trimmings</span> <span m='28910'>from</span> <span m='29050'>the</span> <span m='29130'>city,</span> <span m='30080'>and</span> <span m='30270'>compost</span> <span m='31120'>that</span> <span m='31580'>to</span> <span m='31770'>make</span> <span m='32020'>a</span> <span m='32090'>finished</span> <span m='32580'>product,</span> <span m='33150'>which</span> <span m='33310'>is</span> <span m='33390'>sold</span> <span m='34280'>and</span> <span m='34420'>used</span> <span m='34680'>all</span> <span m='34880'>over</span> <span m='35050'>town.</span> <span m='35450'>So</span> <span m='35590'>it's</span> <span m='35730'>a</span> <span m='35790'>total</span> <span m='36050'>recycling</span> <span m='36780'>system.</span> </p><p><span m='37990'>I</span> <span m='38090'>go</span> <span m='38280'>out</span> <span m='38550'>in</span> <span m='38640'>the</span> <span m='38730'>field.</span> <span m='39200'>My</span> <span m='39390'>job</span> <span m='39860'>is</span> <span m='39990'>a</span> <span m='40080'>mixture</span> <span m='40660'>of</span> <span m='40750'>office</span> <span m='41280'>and</span> <span m='41430'>field.</span> <span m='42280'>So</span> <span m='42440'>I</span> <span m='42530'>have</span> <span m='42700'>some</span> <span m='42990'>office</span> <span m='43440'>work,</span> <span m='43760'>because</span> <span m='44080'>I</span> <span m='44160'>maintain</span> <span m='44970'>the</span> <span m='45060'>records</span> <span m='45710'>that</span> <span m='45840'>show</span> <span m='46100'>compliance</span> <span m='46830'>with</span> <span m='46960'>regulatory</span> <span m='49710'>legislation.</span> <span m='51460'>But</span> <span m='51690'>I</span> <span m='51820'>also</span> <span m='52230'>go</span> <span m='52460'>out</span> <span m='52640'>in</span> <span m='52740'>the</span> <span m='52820'>field</span> <span m='53470'>to</span> <span m='54100'>oversee</span> <span m='54880'>and</span> <span m='55050'>watch</span> <span m='55500'>what</span> <span m='55740'>is</span> <span m='55940'>happening.</span> <span m='56610'>And</span> <span m='57220'>I</span> <span m='57380'>help</span> <span m='57650'>plan</span> <span m='58470'>what</span> <span m='58750'>we</span> <span m='58880'>do,</span> <span m='59950'>and</span> <span m='60080'>how</span> <span m='60300'>we</span> <span m='60420'>do</span> <span m='60610'>it,</span> <span m='60990'>as</span> <span m='61150'>well.</span> </p><p><span m='62040'>How</span> <span m='62480'>did</span> <span m='62720'>I</span> <span m='62820'>get</span> <span m='63120'>here?</span> <span m='63640'>Yeah,</span> <span m='63930'>that's</span> <span m='64220'>a</span> <span m='64290'>really</span> <span m='65450'>interesting</span> <span m='66010'>question.</span> <span m='68710'>My</span> <span m='68960'>perspective</span> <span m='69820'>on</span> <span m='69990'>things,</span> <span m='70430'>looking</span> <span m='70830'>back,</span> <span m='71390'>is</span> <span m='71740'>I'm</span> <span m='71920'>not</span> <span m='72160'>sure</span> <span m='72480'>we</span> <span m='72640'>can</span> <span m='72780'>easily</span> <span m='73270'>predict</span> <span m='74320'>when</span> <span m='74490'>we're</span> <span m='74620'>moving</span> <span m='75090'>forward</span> <span m='75750'>where</span> <span m='76020'>we're</span> <span m='76190'>going</span> <span m='76350'>to</span> <span m='76400'>go,</span> <span m='77280'>or</span> <span m='77520'>what</span> <span m='77740'>we're</span> <span m='77840'>going</span> <span m='77980'>to</span> <span m='78040'>be</span> <span m='78180'>doing.</span> </p><p><span m='79730'>One</span> <span m='80040'>of</span> <span m='80110'>the</span> <span m='80200'>things</span> <span m='80760'>I</span> <span m='81420'>would</span> <span m='81750'>want</span> <span m='82010'>to</span> <span m='82140'>say</span> <span m='82660'>see--</span> <span m='82890'>even</span> <span m='82970'>though I'm an</span> <span m='83340'>engineer,</span> <span m='84280'>when</span> <span m='84490'>I</span> <span m='84540'>was</span> <span m='84720'>in</span> <span m='84810'>high</span> <span m='85140'>school,</span> <span m='85570'>I</span> <span m='85700'>thought</span> <span m='85950'>I</span> <span m='85990'>was</span> <span m='86200'>no</span> <span m='86380'>good</span> <span m='86630'>at</span> <span m='86750'>math.</span> <span m='87900'>I</span> <span m='88060'>had</span> <span m='88230'>given</span> <span m='88540'>up</span> <span m='88800'>on</span> <span m='88950'>myself</span> <span m='89410'>at math.</span> <span m='89660'>I</span> <span m='89680'>thought</span> <span m='90000'>I</span> <span m='90040'>was</span> <span m='90260'>stupid</span> <span m='90410'>at</span> <span m='90670'>math.</span> </p><p><span m='91680'>It</span> <span m='91870'>took</span> <span m='92080'>a</span> <span m='92150'>little</span> <span m='92400'>bit</span> <span m='92580'>later</span> <span m='93210'>when</span> <span m='93350'>I</span> <span m='93420'>had</span> <span m='93630'>a</span> <span m='93660'>good</span> <span m='93960'>reason</span> <span m='94460'>to</span> <span m='94610'>learn</span> <span m='95120'>it</span> <span m='95910'>that</span> <span m='96270'>I</span> <span m='96510'>began</span> <span m='96920'>to</span> <span m='97000'>really</span> <span m='97300'>get</span> <span m='97460'>interested</span> <span m='98000'>in</span> <span m='98300'>math.</span> <span m='99370'>So</span> <span m='99810'>I</span> <span m='99980'>got</span> <span m='100230'>really</span> <span m='100560'>interested</span> <span m='100940'>in</span> <span m='101040'>math</span> <span m='101440'>and</span> <span m='101570'>science,</span> <span m='102160'>even</span> <span m='102360'>though,</span> <span m='102520'>like</span> <span m='102790'>I</span> <span m='102820'>said,</span> <span m='103600'>through</span> <span m='103820'>high</span> <span m='104030'>school</span> <span m='104510'>it wasn't</span> <span m='104770'>that</span> <span m='105000'>big a</span> <span m='105250'>deal</span> <span m='105590'>to</span> <span m='105780'>me.</span> </p><p><span m='107480'>I</span> <span m='108110'>went</span> <span m='108340'>back</span> <span m='108580'>to</span> <span m='108650'>school.</span> <span m='109230'>I</span> <span m='109270'>went</span> <span m='109480'>through</span> <span m='109630'>school</span> <span m='109940'>in</span> <span m='110020'>business</span> <span m='110460'>management</span> <span m='111570'>because</span> <span m='111840'>I</span> <span m='111900'>didn't</span> <span m='112090'>know</span> <span m='112200'>what</span> <span m='112330'>else</span> <span m='112530'>to</span> <span m='112640'>do.</span> <span m='114180'>I</span> <span m='114200'>worked</span> <span m='114580'>for</span> <span m='114700'>a</span> <span m='114760'>little</span> <span m='115010'>while,</span> <span m='115420'>saved up</span> <span m='115850'>some</span> <span m='116100'>money,</span> <span m='116380'>and</span> <span m='116440'>went</span> <span m='116640'>back</span> <span m='116910'>to</span> <span m='117000'>school,</span> <span m='118100'>because</span> <span m='118350'>I</span> <span m='118390'>wanted</span> <span m='118610'>to</span> <span m='118690'>learn</span> <span m='118870'>about</span> <span m='119140'>plants</span> <span m='119600'>and</span> <span m='119710'>soils.</span> </p><p><span m='120410'>So</span> <span m='120580'>I</span> <span m='121300'>actually</span> <span m='121690'>got</span> <span m='121910'>a</span> <span m='121960'>degree</span> <span m='122750'>in</span> <span m='123080'>agriculture--</span> <span m='124470'>agronomy.</span> <span m='125240'>So</span> <span m='125610'>soils and</span> <span m='126050'>crops,</span> <span m='126840'>farming,</span> <span m='127940'>ranching.</span> <span m='128759'>That's</span> <span m='128930'>still</span> <span m='129250'>an</span> <span m='129330'>interest</span> <span m='129780'>of</span> <span m='129900'>mine.</span> <span m='132070'>I</span> <span m='132240'>went</span> <span m='132550'>on</span> <span m='132910'>to</span> <span m='133010'>get</span> <span m='133150'>another</span> <span m='133430'>degree</span> <span m='134030'>in</span> <span m='134320'>engineering--</span> <span m='135190'>environmental</span> <span m='135760'>engineering--</span> <span m='136250'>because</span> <span m='136550'>I</span> <span m='136630'>realized</span> <span m='137330'>that</span> <span m='137460'>what</span> <span m='137650'>I</span> <span m='137710'>was</span> <span m='137910'>really</span> <span m='138300'>turned</span> <span m='138700'>on</span> <span m='139030'>by</span> <span m='140140'>was</span> <span m='140620'>the</span> <span m='140820'>interface</span> <span m='141850'>between</span> <span m='142460'>the</span> <span m='142630'>environment</span> <span m='143360'>that</span> <span m='143460'>sustains</span> <span m='144170'>us</span> <span m='144550'>and</span> <span m='144990'>people</span> <span m='145550'>and</span> <span m='145660'>our</span> <span m='145830'>activities</span> <span m='146580'>and</span> <span m='146670'>our</span> <span m='146810'>waste</span> <span m='147240'>products.</span> <span m='147740'>How</span> <span m='148030'>do</span> <span m='148160'>we</span> <span m='149050'>figure</span> <span m='149680'>out</span> <span m='150120'>how</span> <span m='150310'>to</span> <span m='150430'>do</span> <span m='150640'>what</span> <span m='150870'>we</span> <span m='151110'>need</span> <span m='151370'>to</span> <span m='151470'>do</span> <span m='152430'>to</span> <span m='152760'>be</span> <span m='152920'>well</span> <span m='153360'>and happy,</span> <span m='154610'>and</span> <span m='155610'>have</span> <span m='156110'>that</span> <span m='158160'>linked</span> <span m='158730'>in</span> <span m='159270'>with</span> <span m='159430'>the</span> <span m='159560'>Earth's</span> <span m='159850'>natural</span> <span m='160350'>systems</span> <span m='160990'>in</span> <span m='161070'>a</span> <span m='161140'>way</span> <span m='161370'>that</span> <span m='161520'>doesn't</span> <span m='161810'>destroy</span> <span m='163422'>or</span> <span m='163880'>degrade?</span> </p><p><span m='164850'>So</span> <span m='165380'>I</span> <span m='165540'>had</span> <span m='165930'>kind of</span> <span m='166320'>a</span> <span m='166370'>roundabout</span> <span m='167130'>way</span> <span m='167440'>of</span> <span m='167580'>getting</span> <span m='167900'>here.</span> <span m='168290'>And</span> <span m='168410'>oddly</span> <span m='168900'>enough,</span> <span m='170100'>business</span> <span m='170820'>management,</span> <span m='171620'>I</span> <span m='171990'>do</span> <span m='172330'>some</span> <span m='172640'>of</span> <span m='172710'>the</span> <span m='172800'>budgeting</span> <span m='173660'>and</span> <span m='173890'>business</span> <span m='174500'>operation.</span> <span m='176350'>Agronomy,</span> <span m='177000'>agriculture--</span> <span m='177920'>it</span> <span m='178050'>turns</span> <span m='178370'>out</span> <span m='178530'>we</span> <span m='178650'>have</span> <span m='178770'>a</span> <span m='178830'>500-acre</span> <span m='179680'>farm</span> <span m='180210'>on</span> <span m='180360'>the</span> <span m='180430'>side,</span> <span m='180890'>which</span> <span m='181120'>I</span> <span m='181210'>manage,</span> <span m='182490'>work</span> <span m='182790'>with</span> <span m='182930'>a</span> <span m='182990'>farmer</span> <span m='183500'>for</span> <span m='184030'>products.</span> <span m='185220'>And</span> <span m='185340'>then the</span> <span m='185480'>engineering.</span> </p><p><span m='186130'>So,</span> <span m='186900'>I'm</span> <span m='187130'>a</span> <span m='187210'>big</span> <span m='187430'>proponent</span> <span m='188170'>of</span> <span m='188360'>paying</span> <span m='188880'>attention</span> <span m='189550'>to</span> <span m='189890'>what</span> <span m='190200'>you</span> <span m='190470'>like,</span> <span m='191220'>what</span> <span m='191390'>you</span> <span m='191570'>love,</span> <span m='192120'>what</span> <span m='192280'>kinds</span> <span m='192560'>of</span> <span m='192650'>things</span> <span m='193060'>make</span> <span m='193350'>you</span> <span m='193550'>excited.</span> <span m='194690'>What</span> <span m='194900'>kind</span> <span m='195070'>of</span> <span m='195140'>things</span> <span m='195410'>do</span> <span m='195480'>you</span> <span m='195650'>enjoy</span> <span m='196180'>doing,</span> <span m='196840'>even</span> <span m='197190'>if</span> <span m='197360'>they</span> <span m='197510'>don't</span> <span m='197910'>seem</span> <span m='198520'>initially</span> <span m='199190'>like</span> <span m='199490'>they</span> <span m='199600'>would</span> <span m='200360'>develop</span> <span m='200750'>into</span> <span m='200970'>a</span> <span m='201060'>career</span> <span m='201410'>path?</span> <span m='202500'>It</span> <span m='202680'>tells</span> <span m='202980'>you</span> <span m='203090'>something</span> <span m='203490'>deep</span> <span m='203890'>about</span> <span m='204170'>yourself.</span> </p>","file":{"id":346912,"video_id":"3133428922001","name":"1899-Jody-EnvironEngAustin1","duration":205915,"thumbnail_url":null}});