Environmental engineering and related fields such as hydrology have recently been recognized as fast-growing career fields by a number of leading print and Web publications, including Fortune Magazine, Money Magazine, CareerBuilder.com and FastCompany.com. This rising popularity is due to rapid job growth, salary potential, education level, and room for innovation.
Many of these rankings are based on the Occupational Outlook Handbook compiled biannually by the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics. According to the 2006-2007 edition of the handbook, "Overall engineering employment is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations over the 2004–14 period ... Employment of environmental engineers is expected to increase much faster than the average ... A shift in emphasis toward preventing problems rather than controlling those that already exist, as well as increasing public health concerns, also will spur demand for environmental engineers”. The 2004–2005 edition attributed the growth of environmental engineering to “the emergence of this occupation as a widely recognized engineering specialty rather than as an area that other engineering specialties, such as civil engineers, specialize in."