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Environmental Engineering Technician Careers

What Does an Environmental Engineering Technician Do

Environmental engineering technicians carry out the plans that environmental engineers develop.

Duties

Environmental engineering technicians typically do the following:

  • Set up, test, operate, and modify equipment used to prevent or clean up environmental pollution
  • Maintain project records and computer program files
  • Conduct pollution surveys, for which they collect and analyze samples such as air and ground water
  • Perform indoor and outdoor work on environmental quality
  • Work to mitigate sources of environmental pollution
  • Review technical documents to ensure their completeness and conformance to requirements
  • Review work plans to schedule activities
  • Arrange for the disposal of lead, asbestos, and other hazardous materials

In laboratories, environmental engineering technicians record observations, test results, and document photographs. To keep laboratories supplied, they also may gather product information, identify vendors and suppliers, and order materials and equipment.

Environmental engineering technicians help environmental engineers develop devices used to clean up environmental pollution. They also inspect facilities for compliance with the regulations that govern substances such as asbestos, lead, and wastewater.

How To Become an Environmental Engineering Technician

Environmental engineering technicians typically need an associate’s degree in environmental engineering technology or a related field.

Education

Environmental engineering technicians typically need an associate’s degree in environmental engineering technology or a related field. Programs in environmental engineering technology generally include courses in mathematics, chemistry, hazardous waste management, and environmental assessment, among others.  

Programs can be found in vocational-technical schools and community colleges. Community colleges offer programs similar to those in vocational-technical schools but include more theory-based and liberal arts coursework. Some environmental engineering technicians enter the occupation with a bachelor’s degree in a natural science, such as biology or chemistry.

ABET accredits engineering and engineering technology programs at the associate’s level and above.

Prospective engineering technicians should take as many high school science and math courses as possible to prepare for programs in engineering technology after high school.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. When working on teams, environmental engineering technicians must be able to listen well and report back to their group or team leader.

Critical-thinking skills. Environmental engineers rely on environmental engineering technicians to help identify problems and solutions and to implement the engineers’ plans. To do these tasks, technicians must be able to think critically and logically.

Observational skills. Environmental engineering technicians are the eyes and ears of environmental engineers and must assume responsibility for properly evaluating situations onsite. These technicians must be able to recognize problems so that the environmental engineers are informed as quickly as possible.

Reading skills. Environmental engineering technicians must be able to read and understand legal and technical documents in order to ensure that regulatory requirements are being met.

Advancement

Environmental engineering technicians usually begin work as trainees in entry-level positions supervised by an environmental engineer or a more experienced technician. As they gain experience, technicians take on more responsibility and carry out assignments under general supervision. Some eventually enter positions as senior environmental technicians or lead environmental technicians, who function as supervisors when onsite.

Technicians with a bachelor’s degree often are able to advance to become environmental engineers.

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Average Salary
$53,336
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
9%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
47,865
Job Openings

Environmental Engineering Technician Career Paths

Top Careers Before Environmental Engineering Technician

Top Careers After Environmental Engineering Technician

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Average Salary for an Environmental Engineering Technician

Environmental Engineering Technicians in America make an average salary of $53,336 per year or $26 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $71,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $39,000 per year.
Average Salary
$53,336

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Los Angeles, CA
Salary Range42k - 66k$53k$53,099
Alvin, TX
Salary Range41k - 65k$52k$52,213
Columbus, IN
Salary Range40k - 65k$52k$51,805
Edmond, OK
Salary Range40k - 61k$50k$49,713
Saint Paul, MN
Salary Range40k - 60k$49k$49,259
Raleigh, NC
Salary Range38k - 60k$48k$48,473
$37k
$66k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Environmental Engineering Technician 1 (Seasonal)
Environmental Engineering Technician 1 (Seasonal)
New York State Civil Service
New York State Civil Service
08/28/2020
08/28/2020
$32,53608/28/2020
$32,536
Environmental Engineering Technician I
Environmental Engineering Technician I
City of Des Moines
City of Des Moines
08/03/2020
08/03/2020
$59,81308/03/2020
$59,813
Environmental Engineering Technician 1 (Seasonal)
Environmental Engineering Technician 1 (Seasonal)
New York State Civil Service
New York State Civil Service
06/17/2020
06/17/2020
$32,53606/17/2020
$32,536
Environmental Engineering Technician
Environmental Engineering Technician
New York State Civil Service
New York State Civil Service
12/16/2019
12/16/2019
$32,53612/16/2019
$32,536
Environmental Engineering Technician
Environmental Engineering Technician
New York State Civil Service
New York State Civil Service
11/21/2019
11/21/2019
$32,53611/21/2019
$32,536
See More Recent Salaries

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Environmental Engineering Technician Demographics

Gender

male

64.5 %

female

27.4 %

unknown

8.1 %

Ethnicity

White

64.2 %

Hispanic or Latino

14.8 %

Black or African American

10.3 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

88.9 %

Tagalog

11.1 %
See More Demographics

Environmental Engineering Technician Education

Majors

Degrees

Bachelors

47.7 %

Associate

22.9 %

Masters

19.3 %

Top Colleges for Environmental Engineering Technicians

1. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

2. North Carolina State University

Raleigh, NC • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,101
Enrollment
23,708

3. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,184
Enrollment
30,845

4. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Public

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

5. Iowa State University of Science and Technology

Ames, IA • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,988
Enrollment
29,248

6. Central Washington University

Ellensburg, WA • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,072
Enrollment
10,529

7. University of Washington

Seattle, WA • Public

In-State Tuition
$11,207
Enrollment
30,905

8. University of California - Davis

Davis, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,402
Enrollment
30,698

9. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

10. University of Alaska Fairbanks

Fairbanks, AK • Public

In-State Tuition
$6,657
Enrollment
4,657
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For an Environmental Engineering Technician

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 11.5% of environmental engineering technicians listed water quality on their resume, but soft skills such as problem-solving skills and reading skills are important as well.

Best States For an Environmental Engineering Technician

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an environmental engineering technician. The best states for people in this position are Illinois, Alaska, California, and Kansas. Environmental engineering technicians make the most in Illinois with an average salary of $57,629. Whereas in Alaska and California, they would average $55,387 and $54,271, respectively. While environmental engineering technicians would only make an average of $54,004 in Kansas, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Oregon

Total Environmental Engineering Technician Jobs:
868
Highest 10% Earn:
$77,000
Location Quotient:
1.31
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Illinois

Total Environmental Engineering Technician Jobs:
1,904
Highest 10% Earn:
$88,000
Location Quotient:
1
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. North Dakota

Total Environmental Engineering Technician Jobs:
219
Highest 10% Earn:
$67,000
Location Quotient:
1.47
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Environmental Engineering Technician Employers

1. Cummins
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$77,256
Environmental Engineering Technicians Hired: 
8+
2. Honeywell
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$77,370
Environmental Engineering Technicians Hired: 
4+
3. GZA GeoEnvironmental
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$66,699
Environmental Engineering Technicians Hired: 
3+
4. Terracon
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$65,525
Environmental Engineering Technicians Hired: 
3+
5. ConocoPhillips
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$85,345
Environmental Engineering Technicians Hired: 
2+
6. Ecology and Environment
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$68,519
Environmental Engineering Technicians Hired: 
2+
Updated October 2, 2020