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Environmental Engineering Technician Job Description, Career as an Environmental Engineering Technician, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training: College

Salary: Median—$38,550 per year

Employment Outlook: Very Good

Definition and Nature of the Work

Environmental engineering technicians assist environmental engineers and scientists to prevent, control, and eliminate environmental hazards. They primarily inspect, test, decontaminate, and operate equipment used to control and remediate environmental pollution, including waste treatment and site remediation.

Technicians also conduct pollution surveys, collect and analyze samples, maintain computer program files, and review technical documents. They work in laboratories testing samples, recording data and test results, and ordering materials and lab equipment.

A major responsibility of a environmental engineering technician is to monitor compliance with environmental regulations regarding asbestos, lead, waste-water, and other substances. Technicians may arrange for the safe disposal of lead, asbestos, and other hazardous materials according to environmental regulations. In some cases they may assist an environmental engineer in the development of environmental remediation devices.

Environmental engineering technicians survey effects of pollution on the environment and report their findings using charts and graphs. (USDA.)

Education and Training Requirements

Most environmental engineering technicians hold an associate's degree in environmental engineering technology, environmental technology, or hazardous materials information systems technology. Training is available at technical institutes, community colleges, vocational and technical schools, and in the armed forces.

There is a voluntary certification program offered by the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies. To earn a certificate, an individual must pass a written examination, have a certain level of job-related experience, and undergo a supervisory evaluation.

Getting the Job

In this growing field there are more jobs than qualified applicants. There should be numerous opportunities found at job fairs, Internet job sites, and professional job placement agencies. College job placement offices will also provide leads on employment opportunities.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

As environmental engineering technicians gain experience, they can assist on larger and more important projects. They can also supervise other technicians on large-scale projects.

The job outlook for environmental engineering is favorable, as growth for this field is expected to increase as fast or faster than the average through 2014. The demand will increase because businesses need to comply with stringent and complicated environmental regulations. Companies will also want to formulate a plan to prevent future environmental problems, which will further spur demand for qualified engineers and technicians.

Working Conditions

Environmental engineering technicians work a standard forty-hour week in comfortable offices, laboratories, or industrial plants. They may be required to travel and work onsite if they are working on a particular project. Dealing with serious environmental issues that affect the health of humans and animals can be stressful.

Where to Go for More Information

American Academy of Environmental Engineers
130 Holiday Ct., Ste. 100
Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 266-3311

National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies
1420 King St.
Alexandria, VA 22314-2715
(888) IS-NICET

Earnings and Benefits

The median salary for environmental engineering technicians is $38,550 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Benefits include health, dental, and life insurance, 401K plans, and paid vacations.

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesAgribusiness, Environment, and Natural Resources