What is the Environmental Professional In-training (EPI) designation?

The Environmental Professional In-Training (EPI) designation is for environmental professionals who have entered the field within the last five years  and also for students about to graduate. It is the only independent, international, and interdisciplinary entry-level designation that allows them to demonstrate a solid knowledge of general environmental science by passing the General Environmental Science exam (GES), a rigorous multi-choice test, which evaluates knowledge and skills in the following areas:

  • Basic Environmental related Science
  • Environmental Management
  • Treatment and Disposal
  • Monitoring
  • Environmental Math

Passing the GES exam is also a prerequisite for obtaining the Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP) credential. The EPI designation expires after seven years, so EPIs must become QEPs to remain BGC certified.

Benefits of the EPI Designation

The benefits of holding the EPI designation include:

  • Enhanced credibility: Employers and clients often value designations and certifications as they provide assurance that the individual possesses the required skills and knowledge to address environment compliance and protection issues. Having the EPI designation can enhance one’s credibility in the field and among one’s peers.
  • Expanded Job Prospects: The EPI designation can open a wide range of job opportunities in various industries, including manufacturing, construction, healthcare, energy, and consulting. Many organizations actively seek designated/certified professionals to improve their environmental performance.
  • Competitive edge: In a competitive job market, having the EPI designation can give individuals a competitive edge over others who do not possess this designation. It enhances resumes and may increase the likelihood that one’s resume/job application will rise to the top.
  • Continued Professional Growth: Environmental issues continue to evolve, typically gaining in complexity. The EPI designation demonstrates one’s commitment to professional development and one’s dedication to continually improving your skills.  Maintaining the EPI designation, and later the QEP certification, requires individuals to stay up-to-date with the latest developments and best practices in the field of environmental protection. This commitment to ongoing learning fosters continuous professional growth and ensures that professionals remain competent in their roles.
  • Visibility and Access to Jobs: The EPI program also provides opportunities for networking including a professional badging service, LinkedIn groups, and a free Career Center for posting resumes. The EPI badge can be added to one’s electronic signature and its use will both increase one’s social media presence and connect one’s skills to active job postings on 25,000 sites.

Obligations of EPI Designation Holders

After you pass the exam and are awarded the EPI designation, there are several on-going obligations, not limited to:

  • continually updating your knowledge and skills,
  • documenting work experiences for the QEP application Process,
  • upholding the BGC Code of Ethics and to be governed by the BGC Ethics Case Procedures.
  • paying your fees on or before the due date,

Please be aware that if the requirements for QEP certification change before you earn that certification, you will be required to meet the updated requirements in order to obtain that credential.

How Do I Become an EPI?


If you are interested in becoming an EPI, you must meet six requirements:

  • Be a college/university senior working towards, or be a graduate with, a bachelor’s degree (or higher) in environmental, physical, earth, or natural science; engineering; or mathematics from an appropriately accredited college or university.
  • Have less than five years of qualifying environmental work experience. (Individuals with 5 or more years should skip the EPI step and apply for the QEP certification).
  • Submit a completed application and 3 references.
  • Pass the GES exam.
  • Agree to adhere to the BGC Code of Ethics and to be governed by the BGC Ethics Case Procedures.
  • Pay fees on or before the due date.


For more information on the specific details of becoming an EPI, read the rest of the EPI Candidate handbook.



People who hold the EPI designation often say that they take pride in providing excellent and ethical environmentally-focused work.

The Environmental Professional In-Training (EPI) connects me to a long list of professionals in the field and will allow me to enhance my opportunities to grow in the field of environmental protection and sustainability.


Saad Al-Ruwayshid, MSc, PE, EPI

I am the Water Quality Program Director for Pontchartrain Conservancy, a 501(c)(3) in southeast Louisiana (formerly Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation). Our organization undertakes a variety of innovative projects to protect and preserve our region for this and future generations.

I previously was an environmental consultant that worked in different states for various clients. Louisiana, in particular, does not require credentialing as a professional engineer to perform work as a water quality professional. What is important to me is the EPI and QEP credentials represent a community of environmental professionals that take pride in providing excellent and ethical environmentally focused work.

Any recommendation [for obtaining the EPI] would be for someone of like values – committed to delivering excellence in our field of work. I think the EPI credential demonstrates that I am serious and dedicated to my profession and that I take pride in going beyond the requirements to work as a water professional.

Brady K. Skaggs, Jr., Ph.D.