Do you have a love for the environment, are concerned about the impact that environmental contamination may have on our health and enjoy getting your hands dirty and being outdoors? If so you may want to consider a career as an Environmental Technician.
An Environmental Technician will typically work closely with Environmental Scientists and specialists to identify, assess, treat and correct environmental issues and problems.
However in order to get a job as an Environmental Technician, depending on where in the world you are based, you would typically need an associate’s degree or 2 years of post-secondary education, or would need at least a related diploma from a technical college. Having completed courses in maths chemistry and physics at school, is also advantageous. Having completed courses in computers would also be helpful. Because of the wide range of tasks, environments and different industries that Environmental Technicians work in, some jobs and industries may require a higher level of education than others.
Environmental Technicians will typically work under the direction of an Environmental
Scientist and Environmental Specialists. They will often also work on teams with scientists, engineers and technicians in other fields to solve complex environmental problems. They would monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution and anything else that would be harmful to the environment by performing laboratory and field tests. It would also be the job of the Environmental Technician to determine characteristics of composition by conducting chemical, physical, laboratory and field tests. They would assess water pollutants by collecting and analysing water samples from various sources.
They would also evaluate atmospheric pollutants by collecting and analysing samples of gases. They would also investigate land pollutants by collecting and analysing soil, silt and mud. They would prepare summaries and charts by gathering and testing samples, and recording the results. They would also be responsible for ensuring that environmental issues comply with the legal and water management requirements and keep up to date with changes in environmental legislation. It is the job of the Environmental Technician to maintain safety regulations, and to recommend clean-up procedures.
Environmental Technicians will work in laboratories, offices and in the field. In the field, Environmental Technicians will spend most of their time on their feet which can be tiring, so it’s important to be in good physical health. They may also be required to carry and set up heavy testing equipment as well as be able to crouch and bend frequently. Environmental Technicians may also be required to travel to meet with clients or to perform fieldwork, so need to be flexible in terms of working away from home.
The job outlook for Environmental Technicians is generally good. According to the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of environmental science technicians is projected to grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, which is faster than the average for all occupations. For this reason Environmental science technicians should have good job prospects overall.