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Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an environmental service technician. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and necessary skills to find out if this is the career for you.
Environmental service technicians are employed by private companies to operate instruments that test the quality of air, soil and water at job sites. They make sure that pollution isn't present or come up with ways to minimize its effects. The job typically requires a 2-year degree in environmental science or a related field as well as work experience.
|Required Education||Associate's degree in environmental science minimum standard requirement|
|Other Requirements||Previous work experience may be preferred|
|Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)*||19% for all environmental science and protection technicians|
|Median Salary (2013)*||$41,700 for environmental science and protection technicians|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Environmental service technicians monitor job sites for pollution. Their purpose is to test for contaminants and, if located, eliminate the source. Air, ground and water all fall under the purview of environmental technicians. They're often employed by private consulting companies and work under an environmental scientist.
Environmental technicians operate equipment that samples air, soil and water quality. They also design and maintain remediation systems or concoctions that help remedy problems of contamination. They may be called upon to respond in the event of an environmental emergency as well.
Given that much of their work takes place in the field at outdoor job sites, environmental technicians may travel a lot. They might also work in less-than-ideal conditions, including poor weather and potentially hazardous environments. In addition, to create the necessary remediation systems and ensure that job sites are set up as desired, they might have to perform light construction work.
Environmental service technicians are categorized by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as a part of environmental science and protection technicians. That larger group was predicted to see 19% growth in employment between 2012 and 2022. Their median salary was $41,700 as of May 2013, the BLS reported.
Most environmental service technician jobs require at least an associate's degree in environmental science or a related field. Environmental science programs, available at many community colleges, prepare students specifically for hands-on careers in the field through the study of topics like water resource management and sustainability. A bachelor's degree in a scientific field may be helpful, especially for advancement, but isn't usually required for the position.
Besides education, environmental service technicians often need work experience. Technicians typically start as trainees performing routine tasks under the supervision of a scientist or more experienced technician. With experience, technicians gain more autonomy and responsibility.