Environmental science and protection technicians (including health) perform laboratory and field tests to monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution, including those that affect health, under the direction of an environmental scientist, engineer, or other specialists. They may collect samples of gases, soil, water, and other materials for testing.
Environmental science and protection technicians act as public health officials, as they monitor the environment to protect human health.
Field technicians take water, soil or air samples and send them back to the laboratory for pollutant testing. In addition, they also inspect public places and businesses for environmental hazards, as well as set up and maintain pollution monitoring equipment. They perform computer data entry and prepare reports and records.
Environmental technicians usually require an associate degree in environmental science, environmental health, public health or a related field, though some jobs may require a bachelor's degree in chemistry or biology. They need to do coursework in chemistry, biology, geology and physics, and sometimes remote sensing and geographic information systems.
The required soft skills for an environmental technician include reading comprehension, critical thinking, and observation. As environmental tech requires performing an array of tests with accuracy and precision, they should be detail-oriented and have good communication and interpersonal skills.
Environmental technicians are employed by consulting firms, governments, and testing laboratories under the supervision of environmental scientists and engineers, or as part of a team with scientists, engineers, and technicians from other disciplines.
A successful environmental technician can interpret test results and confirm their compliance with or deviation from acceptable standards.
Every career requires an element of study and academic qualification, and there can be several study routes and pathways you can take. In following any academic pathway you will study subjects that contribute to the specialised knowledge required to achieve your career goals. These qualifications provide a future employer with the evidence that you have the desired knowledge, understanding and experience of their industry, so it’s important to consider the various types of qualifications available to you and to understand how they can boost your career and create opportunities for you.
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