Though certification is not required for environmental lab technician positions, students enrolled in an environmental technology certificate program will learn the basic skills and procedures involved in working in a laboratory setting and how to apply those techniques towards environmental research. Programs for environmental lab technicians often include preliminary training in general chemistry, laboratory science, environmental regulations and law. Programs are generally one year long. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED, and a background in laboratory science, physical science and mathematics.
Certificate in Environmental Technology
Certificate programs in environmental technology and environmental laboratory science are most typically offered through community colleges. In addition to traditional courses, students receive practical, hands-on course hours learning how to collect and prepare environmental samples for lab analysis. Students will learn to compile test results, set up laboratories for environmental testing procedures, assist scientists in the analysis of natural materials, maintain a sterile workplace and meet environmental regulations. Examples of typical courses include the following:
- Environmental laboratory procedures
- Environmental law
- Earth science
- Hazardous waste management
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), the employment rate for environmental science and protection technicians is predicted to rise by 9% between 2014 and 2024. The median annual wage in the field during 2015 was $43,030.
Students in certificate programs in environmental technology and environmental laboratory science will develop the skills and knowledge base necessary for the field, with courses about legal stipulations, sample development and research, and the sciences.