Environmental science and protection technicians essential career information:
- 2011 median pay: $41,240
- 2011, number of jobs: 30,890
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 24 percent
- Entry-level education requirements: Associate’s degree
Environmental science and protection technicians; what they do:
Environmental science and protection technicians play a key role in the effort to keep the environment as clean from pollution as possible. They find and investigate sources of pollution or contamination.
Environmental science and protection technicians collect air, water, and soil samples and set up equipment, such as outdoor sensors, to monitor pollution levels. Environmental science and protection technicians also inspect businesses and other public places to ensure they are safe from environmental, health or safety hazards.
Environmental science tech careers involve placing the results of their field tests into presentations, charts, and reports in order to explain their findings to clients.
Environmental science technicians commonly work under the direction of environmental scientists and specialists, and on teams with scientists, engineers, and technicians from other fields.
Generally, environmental science technicians either work for state and local governments or for private consulting firms. Environmental science and protection technicians working for the government enforce regulations that protect the environment and human health. An environmental science tech working for a private consulting firm help the firm remain in compliance with government regulations.
Most environmental science and protection technicians work either for state or local government or for private consulting firms.
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Environmental Science and Protection Technicians job titles:
- Environmental Science Tech
- Environmental Technician
- Environmental Specialist
- Laboratory Specialist
- Process Laboratory Specialist
- Environmental Health Specialist
- Laboratory Technician
- Public Health Sanitarian
Environmental Science and Protection Technicians Education, Certification and License Requirements
Employers generally prefer an environmental science tech with an Associate of Natural Science degree, or a science-related technology degree, for entry-level positions.
Some technical and community colleges also offer degrees in environmental studies, remote sensing, or geographic information systems (GIS). Many schools also offer internships and cooperative-education programs, which aid students when job seeking.
Environmental Science and Protection Technicians programs cover subjects such as:
- Computer science
Environmental science and protection technicians usually receive on-the-job training from a more experienced technician. The training varies depending on the new technician’s level of previous training and education.
In some states for certain types of environmental and health inspections, environmental science and protection technicians may need a license.
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Career Advancement Opportunities
An environmental science tech can advance to an environmental scientist position after obtaining an appropriate bachelor’s degree.
Environmental Science and Protection Technicians Job Outlook
Forecast: 24 percent employment growth from 2010 to 2020 for environmental science and protection technicians, faster than the average for all occupations.
A concerned public about environmental hazards, as well as the stress on the environment from a rapidly increasing population increases the demand for environmental science and protection technicians.
Private consulting firms helping businesses keep in compliance with the increasingly strict and complex environmental regulations increasingly hire environmental science technicians.
Environmental Science and Protection Technicians Salary
- 2011 median annual wage: $41,240
- 2011, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $54,100
- 2011, workers at the 25% percentile annual wage: $32,590
Environmental Science and Protection Technicians Major Employers
- Management, scientific, and technical consulting services
- Local government
- Architectural, engineering, and related services
- Testing laboratories
- State government, excluding education and hospitals
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