Learn more about planning professions by visiting the career section of the American Planning Association's Web site, https://www.planning.org/careercenter. The site also offers book recommendations and upcoming conferences and events for networking opportunities, among other resources. Another way to learn more about this field is by obtaining firsthand experience through an internship or part-time job with an environmental restoration consulting firm. Find job listings by searching online, contacting companies directly, or by asking your school's career services office for help with the job or internship search. Contact an environmental restoration planner to learn more about their job; conduct an information interview, with questions about their career prepared in advance. Ask planners how they got started in the field and what recommendations they have for someone who is interested in this career.
Environmental restoration planners help to ensure that buildings, manufacturing sites, construction areas, and other locations are in compliance with environmental laws and regulations. They work under the supervision of environmental scientists and specialists to conduct tests of soil, ground water, and air quality.
They work in laboratories, analyzing the test results, and then create reports and charts of the results to present to clients. They create plans to clean up contaminated sites according to federal and local laws. Environment restoration planners may also conduct studies on the feasibility of new construction projects and the impact these projects will have on the environment. Planners who work for government agencies may be authorized to enforce environmental laws by issuing tickets and fines to business owners of properties that are violating environmental and health regulations, or by shutting businesses down until they are in compliance. They investigate complaints about environmental pollution, such as air or water pollution, or hazardous materials in the soil.
The job requires strong knowledge of various software programs, such as analytical or scientific software like HEC-RAS, computer-aided design software like AutoCAD, and map-creation software like ESRI ArcGIS. Environmental restoration planners also manage projects with Microsoft SharePoint.