Professional Certifications

There are many employers in both the private and public sectors specifically looking for graduates with environmental science degrees because of the breadth and depth in environmental training.

To supplement their versatile science degree, ERM students can enhance their marketability in the environmental arena by carefully selecting the appropriate courses to qualify for Professional Licensure.

In addition to the educational requirements, most professional certifications have experience requirements--a few years of "practice" and skill development on the job is needed to qualify for the actual "professional" title. ERM students can easily obtain the following certifications to become professionals in training:

Professional Wetland Scientist Certification

Certification as Wetland Professional In Training (WPIT) is  a preliminary step for those who have completed the educational requirements but do not meet the experience requirements. Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS) certification is awarded to those meeting both educational and experience requirements. Professional Wetland Scientists can have a broad range of technical specialties. Currently, there is a high interest in and need for qualified professionals to consistently and accurately identify and delineate wetlands and wetland boundaries; evaluate types, nature, and function of wetlands; and/or propose plans for wetland restoration, creation and/or mitigation.

To view the requirements for both the WPIT and PWS certifications, please visit: The Society of Wetland Scientists Professional Certification Page

Professional Soil Scientist Certification

CSSE (Council of Soil Science Examiners) Soil Science Examination Information - SSSA National Certification

Certification as a Certified Professional Soil Scientist (CPSSc) requires passing both the Fundamentals of Soil Science and Professional Practice Examinations. Complete requirements for certification for both CPSSc and Associate Professional Soil Scientist (APSSc) can be found on the SSSA website. The Associate status is targeted for soil scientists in training after graduation who have not gained the required work experience.

Professional Membership is also available through the Pennsylvania Association of Professional Soil Scientists (PAPSS)

To view the qualifications for Professional Membership, please visit the PAPSS website:

PAPSS also offers scholarships for soil & environmental undergraduate college students in Pennsylvania.

Professional Hydrologist Certification

American Institute of Hydrology (AIH) certifies individuals whose credentials are evaluated by a panel of nationally recognized and respected scientists and professionals. The evaluation involves a review of the applicant's education, the quality and extent of professional experience, professional conduct, and an examination.

Professional Membership

Professional members are individuals who meet the educational, professional experience, publications, and professional conduct requirements, and have passed a professional examination, as prescribed by the Board of Registration. Applicants approved by the Board are certified as a Professional Hydrologist-Surface Water, Hydrologist-Groundwater, and Hydrologist-Water Quality. Retired professional members may continue their membership as an emeritus member.

The Fundamentals of Hydrology Examination tests the understanding of basic principles - going beyond empirical formulas used in the analysis of complicated situations of surface water, ground water, and water quality hydrology. The examination tests the breadth of understanding rather than depth in a particular specialty. Please see the AIH website for more details and non-educational requirements.

Associate Membership/Hydrologist-In-Training

Individuals who meet the educational requirements but do not meet the experience and/or publications requirements, may become an Associate member until they qualify for certification. Individuals who are eligible to become an Associate member may choose to take the Fundamentals Examination and become a Hydrologist-In-Training until they meet the experience requirements and then qualify by taking and passing the Principles and Practice Examination. Students who are enrolled full time and are pursuing a degree in hydrology, hydrogeology, the natural or physical sciences, or engineering may become a Student member.