Environmental Engineering Technicians
Environmental engineering technicians are involved in the development of methods and devices which are used to prevent, control or fix environmental hazards. An environmental engineering technician surveys the effects pollution has on the environment and produces informative charts and graphs with the data.
They also inspect and maintain equipment related to air pollution and recycling. Some environmental engineering technicians inspect water and wastewater treatment systems. An environmental engineering technician may monitor compliance with environmental regulations regarding lead, asbestos and other substances.
Environmental engineering technicians inspect, test, operate and decontaminate various types of equipment utilized to control and remediate environmental pollution. These technicians also perform pollution surveys and collect and analyze samples.
Some common job titles are environmental specialist, industrial waste inspector, environmental technician, environmental field technician and environmental engineering assistant.
- Set up, test and decontaminate equipment
- Examine technical documents to ensure completeness and conformance to requirements
- Test samples in laboratories
- Order lab equipment and materials
- Inspect facilities to monitor compliance with regulations governing various substances
- Assist environmental engineers develop environmental remediation devices
- Arrange for the safe disposal of hazardous materials
- Perform pollution surveys, collecting and analyzing samples
Environmental engineering technicians work 40 hours per week in offices, laboratories or industrial facilities. Some technicians may be required to travel. Engineering technicians are usually part of a team, thus the ability to work well with others and good communications skills are important.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a 25% employment growth for environmental engineering technicians from 2006 to 2016 which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for these technicians will occur due to increasing public health concerns resulting from population growth and an increasing emphasis on preventing problems rather than controlling existing problems. In addition, the median annual earnings for environmental engineering technicians in 2008 was $41,100.
Education, Certification, and Licensing
Most environmental engineering technicians have earned an associate degree in environmental engineering technology, hazardous materials information systems technology or environmental technology. Educational programs are provided by vocational schools, technical institutes and community colleges.
Technical institutes usually offer a lot of technical training through application and practice, however they usually offer less general education and theory than community colleges. A number of colleges offer bachelor's degrees in engineering technology, however graduates of these programs are often employed as technologists or applied engineers and not as technicians.
Many private and public schools offer technical training and the type and quality of training varies significantly. Students may want to ask perspective employers for their school preferences. Students should also ask a school representative about the types of jobs graduates have obtained.
Employers usually don't require engineering technicians to be certified, however, individuals with certification may have a competitive advantage. The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies provides certification programs for several engineering technology specialties.
- American Academy of Environmental Engineers
- National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies
- American Society of Certified Engineering Technicians
The primary employment sectors are architectural, engineering and related services; management, scientific and technical consulting services; remediation and other waste management services, water treatment and disposal; and scientific research and development services.
Schools for Environmental Engineering Technicians are listed in the Browse Schools Section.