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Environmental Engineering Technicians
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Description: what do they do?
Apply theory and principles of environmental engineering to modify, test, and operate equipment and devices used in the prevention, control, and remediation of environmental problems, including waste treatment and site remediation, under the direction of engineering staff or scientist. May assist in the development of environmental remediation devices.
Also known as:
Senior Environmental Technician, Environmental Engineering Assistant, Air Quality Instrument Specialist, Environmental Engineering Technician, Industrial Waste Inspector, Engineer Technician, Haz Tech (Hazardous Technician), Environmental Technician, Environmental Specialist, Environmental Field Technician

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
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00:00

    Transcript: Environmental pollution makes headlines in the news from time to time, but it’s the top concern every day for environmental engineering technicians. They run the equipment and collect test samples that monitor air and water quality to help keep the public healthy and secure. Environmental engineering technicians carry out the plans that environmental engineers develop. They operate equipment used to prevent or clean up environmental pollution, and modify the equipment to meet a particular need. They collect air and water samples, and work to mitigate sources of environmental pollution, including lead, asbestos, and other hazardous materials. In laboratories, and when inspecting facilities for compliance, these technicians record observations and test results. Some are responsible for maintaining supplies in their laboratories. Most technicians work full-time, regular business hours, in labs. If called on to contain a major environmental threat, or perform other work in a remote location, longer hours are common. Environmental engineering technicians can be exposed to hazards, and may need to wear hazmat suits, heavy rubber boots, and sometimes respirators, even in warm weather. Most environmental engineering technicians work in engineering services, consulting services, government, waste management, and manufacturing. An associate’s degree in environmental engineering technology or a related field is required to enter the field. High school science and math courses are helpful.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.

This occupation is:
  • Expected to grow much faster than average


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET Bright Outlook occupations, 2019. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
Michigan
320
2016 Employment
380
2026 Employment
19%
Percent change
40
Annual projected job openings
United States
17,900
2018 Employment
19,500
2028 Employment
9%
Percent change
2,000
Annual projected job openings

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2016 (for states) or 2018 (for the United States), the number expected to be employed in 2026 (for states) or 2028 (for the United States), and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office, 2016-26.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2018-28.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Environmental Engineering Technicians in Michigan
This graph displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
This chart displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
LocationMichiganUnited States
10%$29,980$32,380
25%$34,440$38,510
Median$41,790$50,560
75%$58,470$65,460
90%$73,620$82,800


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    Also note that in this update, 21 detailed occupations found within the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) were replaced with 10 new aggregations of those occupations; read more about these OES changes.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, 2018 data. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • Associate's degree
  • No work experience
  • No on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Education and training assignments by detailed occupation, 2018.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Educational attainment for workers 25 years and older by detailed occupation, 2016–17.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Dispose of hazardous materials.
  • Maintain operational records or records systems.
  • Document design or operational test results.
  • Prepare technical or operational reports.
  • Analyze test or validation data.
  • Collect samples of raw materials or finished products.
  • Maintain clean work areas.
  • Test performance of electrical, electronic, mechanical, or integrated systems or equipment.
  • Package materials for transport.
  • Investigate system, equipment, or product failures.
  • Monitor processes for compliance with standards.
  • Inspect facilities or sites to determine if they meet specifications or standards.
  • Prepare detailed work plans.
  • Evaluate designs or specifications to ensure quality.
  • Analyze operational data to evaluate operations, processes or products.
  • Assess product or process usefulness.
  • Investigate the environmental impact of projects.
  • Advise customers on the use of products or services.
  • Provide technical guidance to other personnel.
  • Prepare contracts, disclosures, or applications.
  • Create models of engineering designs or methods.
  • Schedule operational activities.
  • Supervise production or support personnel.
  • Research engineering aspects of biological or chemical processes.
  • Purchase materials, equipment, or other resources.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Reading Comprehension - Reading work-related information.
  • Active Learning - Figuring out how to use new ideas or things.
  • Speaking - Talking to others.
  • Monitoring - Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and strategies to solve problems.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Written Comprehension - Reading and understanding what is written.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.
  • Inductive Reasoning - Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Information Ordering - Ordering or arranging things.
  • Speech Clarity - Speaking clearly.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Category Flexibility - Grouping things in different ways.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Conventional - Occupations related to Conventional interests frequently involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Investigative - Occupations with Investigative interests frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They often involve research and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Assist in the cleanup of hazardous material spills.
  • Maintain project logbook records or computer program files.
  • Record laboratory or field data, including numerical data, test results, photographs, or summaries of visual observations.
  • Produce environmental assessment reports, tabulating data and preparing charts, graphs, or sketches.
  • Collect and analyze pollution samples, such as air or ground water.
  • Decontaminate or test field equipment used to clean or test pollutants from soil, air, or water.
  • Prepare and package environmental samples for shipping or testing.
  • Maintain process parameters and evaluate process anomalies.
  • Inspect facilities to monitor compliance with regulations governing substances, such as asbestos, lead, or wastewater.
  • Develop work plans, including writing specifications or establishing material, manpower, or facilities needs.
  • Review technical documents to ensure completeness and conformance to requirements.
  • Receive, set up, test, or decontaminate equipment.
  • Perform statistical analysis and correction of air or water pollution data submitted by industry or other agencies.
  • Arrange for the disposal of lead, asbestos, or other hazardous materials.
  • Evaluate and select technologies to clean up polluted sites, restore polluted air, water, or soil, or rehabilitate degraded ecosystems.
  • Assess the ability of environments to naturally remove or reduce conventional or emerging contaminants from air, water, or soil.
  • Work with customers to assess the environmental impact of proposed construction or to develop pollution prevention programs.
  • Provide technical engineering support in the planning of projects, such as wastewater treatment plants, to ensure compliance with environmental regulations and policies.
  • Prepare permit applications or review compliance with environmental permits.
  • Model biological, chemical, or physical treatment processes to remove or degrade pollutants.
  • Review work plans to schedule activities.
  • Oversee support staff.
  • Create models to demonstrate or predict the process by which pollutants move through or impact an environment.
  • Improve chemical processes to reduce toxic emissions.
  • Obtain product information, identify vendors or suppliers, or order materials or equipment to maintain inventory.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.