Staff engineer, environmental engineering positions usually require a master's degree in environmental engineering or another relevant major, as well as years of experience. Bachelor's degrees are often considered, as long as the persons have more experience than those who hold master's degrees. They may work for private companies, government agencies, or as independent consultants.
Staff engineers/environmental engineers must perform liaison functions between the organizations that they are working for, various government regulatory agencies that are in charge of environmental rules and regulations, and various non-profit environmental groups. They may be required to accompany government inspectors to sites and should be able to understand, communicate, and answer questions related to environment concerns. They must understand government rules and regulations related to environmental issues and topics. They must be knowledgeable and comfortable with government audit procedures related to environmental issues. They must be able to understand liabilities that their companies could be subject to related to non-compliance matters. They must submit audit findings, along with recommendations for corrective action, to management. They must report new governmental regulations and laws to their organization's management. They must be able to work with internal and external legal counsels, asking for their advice on compliance issues.
To become successful and effective staff engineers/ environmental engineers, they must continuously review relevant scientific journals, attend workshops and conferences, and further their education. They may be required to travel to various sites and attend various meetings within their organizations, government agencies, and/or environmental groups. They must have excellent oral and written communications skills. They must be able to work with diverse people.