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Environmental Science And Protection Technicians Career

Career Description

Environmental Science and Protection Technicians perform laboratory and field tests to monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution, including those that affect health. Under direction of an environmental scientist or specialist, may collect samples of gases, soil, water, and other materials for testing and take corrective actions as assigned.

Common Work Tasks

  • Perform laboratory and field tests to monitor environmental resources and determine the contaminants and sources of pollution in the environment
  • Collect samples for testing or be involved in abating and controlling sources of environmental pollution
  • Responsible for waste management operations,  control and management of hazardous materials inventory, or general activities involving regulatory compliance
  • Record test data and prepare reports, summaries,  and charts that interpret test results
  • Respond to and investigate hazardous conditions or spills, or outbreaks of disease or food poisoning, collecting samples for analysis
  • Provide information and technical and program assistance to government representatives, employers and the general public on the issues of public health, environmental protection or workplace safety
  • Calibrate microscopes and test instruments
  • Make recommendations to control or eliminate unsafe conditions at workplaces or public facilities

Other Job Titles

Environmental Science and Protection Technicians are also known by other titles, including:

  • Science Technicians
  • Biological Technicians
  • Environmental Scientists
  • Health Scientists

Education,  Training, and Experience

Education and Training
 
There are several ways to qualify for a job as a science technician.  Many employers prefer applicants who have at least 2 years of specialized training or an associate degree in applied science or science-related technology. Because employers’ preferences vary, however, some science technicians have a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biology, or forensic science or have completed several science and math courses at a 4-year college.

Experience
     
Good communications skills are important for prospective environmental science and protection technicians in industry, who often need to explain technical matters to persons without statistical expertise. An understanding of business and the economy also is valuable for those who plan to work in private industry.

Salary

The median annual salary of an Environmental Science and Protection Technician is $39,000.  The top 10 percent earn more than $63,000,  and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $25,000.  Median earnings in the industries employing the largest number of environmental science and protection technicians are:

  • Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services  - $40,890
  • Local Government - $45,390
  • Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services - $38,360
  • State Government  - $45,050
  • Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools  - $39,580

Job Outlook

  • 2006-2016 Employment growth:  28%
  • Number of new jobs created 2006-2016: 10,000
  • Employment 2006 : 37,000
  • Employment 2016:  47,000

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