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EPA Scientist

Odds of Getting In

While it does focus on the environment, don't expect getting a job at the EPA to be a walk in the park. The hiring process is often long, with multiple hoops and background checks to jump through. And because the EPA is a federal agency, any changes in government spending will affect hiring. A tight budget means less hiring.

The right scientist can land a job at the EPA right out of college. At the EPA and other federal agencies, pay is based on a scale: Education and years of experience determine how a new candidate fares. Advanced degrees also count as additional years of experience, further boosting someone's prospects for a top-notch job.