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Industrial Ecologists

Apply principles and processes of natural ecosystems to develop models for efficient industrial systems. Use knowledge from the physical and social sciences to maximize effective use of natural resources in the production and use of goods and services. Examine societal issues and their relationship with both technical systems and the environment.

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    Work Activities

    Work Activities

    • Identify environmental impacts caused by products, systems, or projects.
    • Identify or develop strategies or methods to minimize the environmental impact of industrial production processes.
    • Analyze changes designed to improve the environmental performance of complex systems and avoid unintended negative consequences.
    • Identify sustainable alternatives to industrial or waste-management practices.
    • Conduct environmental sustainability assessments, using material flow analysis (MFA) or substance flow analysis (SFA) techniques.
    • Review research literature to maintain knowledge on topics related to industrial ecology, such as physical science, technology, economy, and public policy.
    • Redesign linear, or open-loop, systems into cyclical, or closed-loop, systems so that waste products become inputs for new processes, modeling natural ecosystems.
    • Prepare technical and research reports, such as environmental impact reports, and communicate the results to individuals in industry, government, or the general public.
    • Monitor the environmental impact of development activities, pollution, or land degradation.
    • Build and maintain databases of information about energy alternatives, pollutants, natural environments, industrial processes, and other information related to ecological change.
    • Perform analyses to determine how human behavior can affect, and be affected by, changes in the environment.
    • Recommend methods to protect the environment or minimize environmental damage from industrial production practices.
    • Translate the theories of industrial ecology into eco-industrial practices.
    • Develop alternative energy investment scenarios to compare economic and environmental costs and benefits.
    • Carry out environmental assessments in accordance with applicable standards, regulations, or laws.
    • Examine societal issues and their relationship with both technical systems and the environment.
    • Plan or conduct field research on topics such as industrial production, industrial ecology, population ecology, and environmental production or sustainability.
    • Create complex and dynamic mathematical models of population, community, or ecological systems.
    • Evaluate the effectiveness of industrial ecology programs, using statistical analysis and applications.
    • Forecast future status or condition of ecosystems, based on changing industrial practices or environmental conditions.
    • Apply new or existing research about natural ecosystems to understand economic and industrial systems in the context of the environment.
    • Prepare plans to manage renewable resources.
    • Identify or compare the component parts or relationships between the parts of industrial, social, and natural systems.
    • Plan or conduct studies of the ecological implications of historic or projected changes in industrial processes or development.
    • Research sources of pollution to determine environmental impact or to develop methods of pollution abatement or control.
    • Perform environmentally extended input-output (EE I-O) analyses.
    • Promote use of environmental management systems (EMS) to reduce waste or to improve environmentally sound use of natural resources.
    • Develop or test protocols to monitor ecosystem components and ecological processes.
    • Investigate the impact of changed land management or land use practices on ecosystems.
    • Research environmental effects of land and water use to determine methods of improving environmental conditions or increasing outputs, such as crop yields.
    • Provide industrial managers with technical materials on environmental issues, regulatory guidelines, or compliance actions.
    • Conduct applied research on the effects of industrial processes on the protection, restoration, inventory, monitoring, or reintroduction of species to the natural environment.
    • Conduct scientific protection, mitigation, or restoration projects to prevent resource damage, maintain the integrity of critical habitats, and minimize the impact of human activities.
    • Investigate accidents affecting the environment to assess ecological impact.
    • Investigate the adaptability of various animal and plant species to changed environmental conditions.


    • Reading Comprehension

      Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

    • Active Listening

      Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

    • Speaking

      Talking to others to convey information effectively.


    Applied Math
    Workplace Documents
    Graphic Literacy


    • Deductive Reasoning

      The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

    • Inductive Reasoning

      The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

    • Written Expression

      The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.


    • Mathematics

      Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

    • Engineering and Technology

      Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

    • Chemistry

      Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

    Career Video

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    • Ohio Annual Salary 78360/yr
    • Typical Salary
    • Ohio Hourly Wage 37.67/hr
    • Typical Hourly Wage

    Ohio Employment Trends

    • Currently Employed 2,050
    • Yearly Projected Openings 240

    Typical Education


    Investigative: People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out. They do well at jobs that need:
    • Analytical Thinking
    • Attention to Detail
    • Integrity
    • Initiative
    • Persistence
    • Achievement/Effort


    • Scanners
    • Personal computers
    • Notebook computers
    • Laser fax machine
    • Desktop computers


    • Graphics or photo imaging software
    • Enterprise resource planning ERP software
    • Data base user interface and query software
    • Data base management system software
    • Analytical or scientific software


    • Bright Outlook occupations will grow rapidly in the next few years, have a large number of openings, or are new and emerging careers.
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