Environmental Technicians

Environmental Tech Prepares a Fire Bottle, a Vessel that Contains Fire Extinguishing Chemicals

Environmental technicians conduct tests and field investigations to obtain soil samples and other data. Their research is used by engineers, scientists, and others who help clean up, monitor, control, or prevent pollution. An environmental technician usually specializes in air, water, or soil pollution. Although work differs by employer and specialty, technicians generally collect samples for laboratory analysis with specialized instruments and equipment; monitor pollution control devices and systems, such as smokestack air "scrubbers"; and perform various other tests and investigations to evaluate pollution problems. They follow strict procedures in collecting and recording data in order to meet the requirements of environmental laws.

In general, environmental technicians do not operate the equipment and systems designed to prevent pollution or remove pollutants. Instead, they test environmental conditions. In addition, some analyze and report on their findings.

There are approximately 34,250 environmental science and protection technicians, including health technicians, in the United States. Environmental technicians are also known as pollution control technicians and environmental science and protection technicians.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Environmental Science and Protection Technicians, Pollution Control Technicians
Duties Conduct tests and investigations to evaluate pollution problems in the air, water, or soil
Salary Range $25,000 to $75,000
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities exist in all regions
Minimum Education Level
  • High School Diploma
  • Associate's Degree
School Subjects
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science
Experience Internship or co-op
Personality Traits
  • Curious
  • Hands On
  • Technical
  • Computer
  • Interpersonal
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Faster than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Environmental Scientist or Engineer
  • Technician Manager
  • Environmental Technologist
  • Experienced Environmental Technician
  • Entry-Level Environmental Technician