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Become A Contractor/Field Technician

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Working As A Contractor/Field Technician

  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Processing Information
  • Getting Information
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
  • Deal with People

  • $105,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Contractor/Field Technician Do

Environmental science and protection technicians monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution and contamination, including those affecting public health. In addition, they work to ensure that environmental violations are prevented.

Duties

Environmental science and protection technicians typically do the following:

  • Inspect establishments, including public places and businesses, to ensure that there are no environmental, health, or safety hazards
  • Set up and maintain equipment used to monitor pollution levels, such as remote sensors that measure emissions from smokestacks
  • Collect samples of air, soil, water, and other materials for laboratory analysis
  • Clearly label, track, and ensure the integrity of samples being transported to the laboratory
  • Use equipment such as microscopes to evaluate and analyze samples for the presence of pollutants or other contaminants
  • Prepare charts and reports that summarize test results
  • Discuss test results and analyses with clients
  • Verify compliance with regulations to help prevent pollution

Many environmental science and protection technicians work under the supervision of environmental scientists and specialists, who direct the technicians’ work and evaluate their results. In addition, they often work on teams with scientists, engineers, and technicians in other fields to solve complex problems related to environmental degradation and public health. For example, they may work on teams with geoscientists and hydrologists to manage the cleanup of contaminated soils and ground water around an abandoned bomb manufacturing site.

Most environmental science and protection technicians work for state or local governments, testing laboratories, or consulting firms.

In state and local governments, environmental science and protection technicians spend a lot of time inspecting businesses and public places, and investigating complaints related to air quality, water quality, and food safety. Sometimes they may be involved with enforcement of environmental regulations. They may help protect the environment and people’s health by performing environmental impact studies of new construction or by evaluating the environmental health of sites that may contaminate the environment, such as abandoned industrial sites.

Environmental science and protection technicians work in testing laboratories collecting and tracking samples, and performing tests that are often similar to what is done by chemical technicians, biological technicians, or microbiologists. However, the work done by environmental science and protection technicians focuses on topics that are directly related to the environment and how it affects human health.

In consulting firms, environmental science and protection technicians help clients monitor and manage the environment and comply with regulations. For example, they help businesses develop cleanup plans for contaminated sites, and they recommend ways to reduce, control, or eliminate pollution. Also, environmental science and protection technicians conduct feasibility studies for, and monitor the environmental impact of new construction projects.

Environmental science and protection technicians typically specialize in either laboratory testing or in fieldwork and sample collection. However, it is common for laboratory technicians to occasionally collect samples from the field, and for fieldworkers to do some work in a laboratory.

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How To Become A Contractor/Field Technician

Environmental science and protection technicians typically need an associate’s degree or 2 years of postsecondary education, although some positions may require a bachelor’s degree.

Education

Environmental science and protection technicians typically need an associate’s degree in environmental science, environmental health, public health, or a related degree. Because of the wide range of tasks, environments, and industries in which these technicians work, there are jobs that do not require postsecondary education and others that require a bachelor’s degree.

A background in natural sciences is important for environmental science and protection technicians. Students should take courses in chemistry, biology, geology, and physics. Coursework in mathematics, statistics, and computer science also is useful because technicians routinely do data analysis and modeling.

Many schools offer internships and cooperative-education programs, which help students gain valuable experience while attending school. Internships and cooperative-education experience can enhance the students’ employment prospects.

Many technical and community colleges offer programs in environmental studies or a related technology, such as remote sensing or geographic information systems (GISs). Associate’s degree programs at community colleges traditionally are designed to easily transfer to bachelor’s degree programs at public colleges and universities.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Environmental science and protection technicians must be able to carry out a wide range of laboratory and field tests, and their results must be accurate and precise.

Communication skills. Environmental science and protection technicians must have good listening and writing skills, because they must follow precise directions for sample collection and communicate their results effectively in their written reports. They also may need to discuss their results with colleagues, clients, and sometimes public audiences.

Critical-thinking skills. Environmental science and protection technicians reach their conclusions through sound reasoning and judgment. They have to be able to determine the best way to address environmental hazards.

Interpersonal skills. Environmental science and protection technicians need to be able to work well and collaborate with others, because they often work with scientists and other technicians.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

In some states, environmental science and protection technicians need a license to do certain types of environmental and health inspections. For example, some states require licensing for technicians who test buildings for radon. Licensure requirements vary by state but typically include certain levels of education and experience and a passing score on an exam.

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Contractor/Field Technician Career Paths

Contractor/Field Technician
Field Technician Field Service Technician
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Field Technician Field Service Technician Service Manager
Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Field Technician Field Service Technician Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator Consultant
Owner
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Technician Foreman
Construction Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Consultant Operations Manager
Operations Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Technician Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Specialist Research Associate
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Senior Network Engineer Information Technology Director
Director, Technical Operations
10 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technician Technical Support Technician Network Administrator
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Technician Information Technology Consultant Senior Project Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Technician Technical Support Engineer Technical Support Manager
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Technician Lead Technician Field Supervisor
Field Operation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Contractor/Technician Technical Support Technician Senior Technologist
Principal Technologist
10 Yearsyrs
Contractor/Technician Technical Support Technician Information Technology Analyst
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Contractor/Technician Desktop Support Technician Service Desk Analyst
Incident Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Desktop Support Technician Field Engineer Construction Inspector
Senior Field Technician
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Contractor/Field Technician?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Field Technician 2.4 years
Network Contractor 1.9 years
Top Careers Before Contractor/Field Technician
Technician 4.0%
Internship 3.5%
Top Careers After Contractor/Field Technician
Technician 5.1%
Owner 4.0%

Do you work as a Contractor/Field Technician?

Contractor/Field Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

80.6%

Female

10.7%

Unknown

8.7%
Ethnicity

White

60.4%

Hispanic or Latino

16.6%

Black or African American

12.2%

Asian

7.6%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

47.4%

French

10.5%

Polish

10.5%

Chinese

5.3%

German

5.3%

Japanese

5.3%

Mandarin

5.3%

Russian

5.3%

Italian

5.3%
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Contractor/Field Technician Education

Schools

Strayer University

10.5%

University of Phoenix

10.5%

Central Texas College

8.8%

Full Sail University

5.3%

Community College of the Air Force

5.3%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

5.3%

Salt Lake Community College

5.3%

Ferris State University

5.3%

Lorain County Community College

5.3%

Prince George's Community College

3.5%

ITT Technical Institute-San Antonio

3.5%

Northern Arizona University

3.5%

ITT Technical Institute-Bessemer

3.5%

University of Washington

3.5%

Florida Institute of Technology-Melbourne

3.5%

Bellevue University

3.5%

State University of New York Albany

3.5%

Radford University

3.5%

Southern Connecticut State University

3.5%

Georgia Perimeter College

3.5%
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Majors

Computer Information Systems

15.0%

Business

12.3%

Information Technology

12.3%

Computer Science

10.4%

Electrical Engineering

8.5%

Electrical Engineering Technology

6.2%

Computer Networking

5.8%

Education

3.5%

Management

2.7%

Management Information Systems

2.7%

Automotive Technology

2.3%

Project Management

2.3%

Communication

2.3%

Computer Engineering Technology

2.3%

Mathematics

2.3%

General Studies

1.9%

Electrical And Power Transmission Installers

1.9%

Criminal Justice

1.9%

Computer Engineering

1.9%

Photography

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

29.1%

Other

28.6%

Associate

24.9%

Certificate

10.0%

Masters

5.5%

Diploma

1.3%

License

0.3%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Top Skills for A Contractor/Field Technician

  1. Computer Hardware
  2. Network Printers
  3. Troubleshoot
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed basic networking troubleshooting using Dos Commands and Ethernet connection cables.
  • Interfaced among Customer Service Management, assorted help desks to facilitate a quick resolution.
  • Aligned satellite dishes and downloaded operational software in order to communicate through the Hughes internet network system.
  • Provided desktop support and troubleshoot network communications issue at customer homes.
  • Performed setup and testing of voter systems including touch screens and server.

How Would You Rate Working As a Contractor/Field Technician?

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