Looking for a STEM major that can lead to a job where I am not sitting in front of a computer all day…and pays well, too. Does such a major/career path exist? I enjoy having free time and would prefer not be confined to a desk job. I put this in the business forum because I thought business majors can lead to some more interesting jobs…is that true?
Note: I am not interested in medical/pre-med majors.
In many kinds of engineering, you would do some desk work, but also do work in a lab or at a job site.
Environmental studies and Civil Engineering. The US infrastructure is in very poor shape. They cannot put it off for ever. You are looking for job opportunities when you graduate. These are not entirely desk jobs, but you need a solid math/STEM education.
Or environmental engineering.
Most consulting companies who write environmental impact statements have their people spending a lot of time in the field. Engineers working in the field get engineering salaries. Geologists and engineers who work for fossil fuel and mining companies make a lot.
Archaeologists can also make decent salaries, especially those working with developers or with environmental consulting companies.
If you like living in remote areas, a park ranger or a wildlife biologist are also good jobs, The salaries aren’t at the very top, but $60,000-$65,000 a year can go pretty far when you are living in rural Wyoming.
When real solutions need to be applied to actual problems, the interdisciplinary nature of a solution becomes apparent. Solutions are rarely limited to text book problems. This means that you can find programs in environmental studies in many different departments and under different headings.
All course structures are not the same.
Regarding the term “Environmental Engineering:”
There is a long standing accreditation group called The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology or ABET. You can find a listing of these ABET accredited programs @ https://amspub.abet.org/aps/name-search?searchType=program&keyword=environmental
Many engineering directed companies will hire on campuses which participate in ABET programs.
Note that environmental engineering is sometimes a subarea of civil engineering in colleges’ departmental organization, since some of the problems to be solved are similar (e.g. clean water infrastructure, waste water treatment, pollution control, etc.).