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Become An Environmental Technician

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Working As An Environmental Technician

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

  • $55,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Environmental 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 An Environmental 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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Environmental Technician Career Paths

Environmental Technician
Technician Team Leader Assistant Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technician Team Leader Manager
Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technician Team Leader Operations Manager
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Environmental Specialist Environmental Scientist Project Manager
Division Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Environmental Specialist Project Manager Owner
Facilities Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Environmental Specialist Project Manager Owner/Operator
Construction Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Analyst Assistant Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Analyst Supervisor
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Technician Analyst Operations Manager
Operations Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Environmental Scientist
Senior Environmental Scientist
9 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Driver Foreman
Superintendent
8 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Foreman Superintendent
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Foreman Supervisor
Logistics Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Environmental Scientist Environmental Engineer
Environmental Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Instructor Research Associate
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Safety Officer Safety Manager
HSE Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Driver Electrician Maintenance Supervisor
Environmental Services Director
9 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Environmental Services Supervisor
Manager Of Environmental Services
9 Yearsyrs
Engineering Technician Process Engineer Quality Assurance Manager
Regulatory Affairs Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Environmental Technician?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Science Technician 3.2 years
Hazmat Technician 2.9 years
Top Careers Before Environmental Technician
Cashier 12.2%
Internship 10.2%
Technician 6.9%
Manager 4.7%
Volunteer 3.8%
Supervisor 3.5%
Server 2.9%
Top Careers After Environmental Technician
Technician 10.0%
Cashier 6.3%
Supervisor 5.2%
Driver 5.1%
Owner 3.5%
Manager 3.2%

Do you work as an Environmental Technician?

Average Yearly Salary
$55,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$32,000
Min 10%
$55,000
Median 50%
$55,000
Median 50%
$55,000
Median 50%
$55,000
Median 50%
$55,000
Median 50%
$55,000
Median 50%
$55,000
Median 50%
$92,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Aurora Health Care
Highest Paying City
Anchorage, AK
Highest Paying State
Hawaii
Avg Experience Level
2.6 years
How much does an Environmental Technician make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Environmental Technician in the United States is $55,360 per year or $27 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $32,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $93,000.

Real Environmental Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Product Environmental Management Technical Special Cummins Inc. Fridley, MN Jun 16, 2014 $81,100 -
$97,300
Tech Prof 3-Environmental AMEC Environment & Infrastructure, Inc. Seattle, WA Aug 26, 2013 $63,000 -
$73,000
Safety/Environmental Technician Georgia-Pacific Wood Products, LLC Phillips, WI May 01, 2012 $54,200 -
$75,000
Environmental Technician ABMN Batesville Inc. Batesville, IN Dec 23, 2008 $47,840
Environmental Technician ABMN Batesville Inc. Batesville, IN Jan 08, 2010 $47,840
Environmental Technician Rummel, Klepper & Kahl LLP Fairfax, VA Aug 31, 2014 $46,394
Environmental Technician America Science Team New York Inc. New York, NY Sep 19, 2016 $44,500
Environmental Technician Rummel, Klepper & Kahl LLP Fairfax, VA Oct 01, 2011 $41,072
Environmental Technician G. C. Environmental, Inc. Bay Shore, NY Oct 01, 2014 $41,018
Environmental Technician Bordentown Hotels, Inc. Bordentown, NJ Sep 02, 2016 $39,978
Environmental Tech/Waste Management Supervisor Days Inn Woodward, OK Sep 29, 2009 $39,240
Environmental Technician-ECO ABMN Batesville, Inc. Batesville, IN Sep 29, 2011 $33,222
Environmental Technician G. C. Environmental, Inc. Bay Shore, NY Oct 01, 2011 $33,079

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Top Skills for An Environmental Technician

  1. Environmental Compliance
  2. Safety Procedures
  3. Lab Analysis
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Conducted Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) natural gas pipeline environmental compliance inspections.
  • Prepare hazardous material for removal or storage, Comply with prescribed safety procedures or federal laws regulating waste disposal methods.
  • Sampled wastes for off-site lab analysis, following chain-of-custody requirements.
  • Managed hazardous, special and non-hazardous wastes for regulatory compliance and proper management.
  • Supervised operations of an emergency landfill and designed and implemented a program to monitor for the presence of hazardous materials.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Environmental Technicians

  1. Wyoming
  2. Tennessee
  3. Washington
  4. Alaska
  5. Oregon
  6. South Carolina
  7. Rhode Island
  8. Nevada
  9. Maine
  10. Minnesota
  • (26 jobs)
  • (241 jobs)
  • (287 jobs)
  • (27 jobs)
  • (147 jobs)
  • (161 jobs)
  • (32 jobs)
  • (68 jobs)
  • (100 jobs)
  • (248 jobs)

Environmental Technician Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 7,857 Environmental Technician resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Environmental Technician Resume

View Resume Examples

Environmental Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

64.6%

Female

26.3%

Unknown

9.1%
Ethnicity

White

62.9%

Hispanic or Latino

15.3%

Black or African American

12.2%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

68.2%

French

7.9%

Portuguese

3.3%

German

3.3%

Hindi

2.0%

Japanese

2.0%

Mandarin

1.3%

Russian

1.3%

Greek

1.3%

Chinese

1.3%

Dakota

1.3%

Arabic

1.3%

Swedish

0.7%

Hmong

0.7%

Danish

0.7%

Thai

0.7%

Cantonese

0.7%

Nepali

0.7%

Tagalog

0.7%

Esperanto

0.7%
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Environmental Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.0%

Columbia Southern University

6.0%

Community College of the Air Force

6.0%

Pennsylvania State University

5.8%

West Virginia University

5.3%

Texas A&M University

5.1%

Oregon State University

4.9%

Sinclair Community College

4.7%

Colorado State University

4.4%

Eastern Kentucky University

4.4%

University of Pittsburgh -

4.2%

North Carolina State University

4.0%

Oklahoma State University

4.0%

The Academy

3.8%

Texas State University

3.8%

University of Florida

3.6%

Arizona State University

3.6%

Kaplan University

3.6%

University of South Florida

3.6%

Kent State University

3.3%
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Majors

Environmental Science

20.4%

Business

14.2%

Biology

10.1%

Geology

7.2%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

6.0%

Criminal Justice

4.8%

General Studies

4.2%

Public Health

3.5%

Nursing

3.2%

Chemistry

3.2%

Health Care Administration

2.9%

Geography

2.8%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

2.7%

Medical Assisting Services

2.6%

Education

2.2%

Computer Science

2.2%

Psychology

2.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.9%

Management

1.9%

Liberal Arts

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.1%

Other

26.4%

Associate

13.2%

Masters

10.5%

Certificate

6.7%

Diploma

2.0%

Doctorate

0.8%

License

0.3%
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Top Environmental Technician Employers

Jobs From Top Environmental Technician Employers

Environmental Technician Videos

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