Job Title: Section Chief In State Regulatory Agency
Type of Company: I work for a state regulatory agency. My agency is responsible for administering and enforcing environmental regulations pertaining to solid waste, hazardous waste, air quality, drinking water, waste water, wetlands, floodplains and coastal areas -- basically all environmental protection for the state.
Education: BA Urban Studies, Boston University MA Urban Affairs & Environmental Planning, Boston University MA Dispute Resolution, UMass-Boston
Previous Experience: I started working in the public policy department of a non-profit environmental organization. After 4 years there, I then worked for 3 years as the Conservation Administrator in a town. After that, I moved to my current position in state government.
Job Tasks: I am a Section Chief in the Wetlands Program, which means I supervise all of the technical staff in my specialty area. I supervise 11 people total. My job includes assigning projects, assisting staff as they analyze hydrological and wetland data, reviewing draft documents, and reviewing and signing any permits that we issue.
Most of our work involves looking at proposed construction projects in or near wetland areas. Staff have to do field work to determine if the work shown on the plan is actually reflected on the ground; determine where the wetland is by using plants and soils; and review hydrologic calculations to determine if stormwater management designs are accurate. All of our work involves figuring out whether the work that is proposed is being done in accordance with state regulations.
My job is to supervise the staff and to review what they do, but I also carry a case load of projects of my own. Our projects can range from additions to single family houses, to large subdivisions containing 50 houses with roadways and drainage, to major highway expansion projects. We regulate all kinds of wetlands -- forested swamps, rivers, small streams, dunes, beaches, ponds and the ocean. In addition, we regulate work in floodplains as well.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: My favorite parts of the job are working directly with staff to puzzle out the technical issues in a particular case, and to figure out what step we should take next. I like the back-and-forth of these discussions, and I enjoy helping my staff learn. Often, I learn something from them as well. I also really enjoy field work, where I get to meet the people who are proposing (and opposing) a particular project.
The worst part of the job is having to respond to demands from other parts of our agency, and having to always educate them about what we do.
1. Take some math and engineering courses, especially in hydrology.
2. Take some courses in coastal geology.
3. Get some experience by working in an environmental organization, or even better, in municipal government. Understanding how government works is a crucial skill.
4. Work on your communication and conflict resolution skills. These are important in any job, but especially so in a regulatory agency.
Additional Thoughts: My job has a lot of variety. New projects are always coming in, and I spend time outside as well as sitting in front of a computer writing letters and other documents. Working in government requires a commitment to public service. This isn't the kind of career where you make loads of money. However, there are other benefits.
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).
Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
You've found Ashford University, where school comes to you. Earn your bachelor's or master's degree online.
Study online with California University of Pennsylvania.
Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.
Iowa Wesleyan University is a transformational learning community whose passion is to educate, empower and inspire students to lead meaningful lives and careers.
Welcome to Argosy University
Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges: College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education, College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.
Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.
Our Lady of the Lake University is a private, Catholic university with a deep connection to the history and community of San Antonio.
Earn your Master's degree online from Norwich University.
Pursue your education at Pacific Oaks College.
Founded in 1766, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national public research university and the state’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher learning.
The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.
Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.
Most stories include:
Please also see our detailed information about Urban And Regional Planners, including: