Air Quality Monitoring Technician: Job Info & Career Requirements

Mar 26, 2019

Research the educational and skill requirements needed to become an air quality monitoring technician, as well as the job description and employment and salary outlook. Read on to decide if this career is right for you.

Career Definition for an Air Quality Monitoring Technician

Air quality monitoring technicians, also known as environmental science and protection technicians, monitor pollution as employees of factories, government agencies or environmental organizations. They assess and maintain air quality by managing emissions and enforcing compliance of applicable laws. These workers must take air quality samples and perform scientific tests on the air samples in order to determine the quality of air and the type of any pollutants found. Some air quality monitoring technicians may specialize in indoor air quality, but most work outdoors. Employees are also responsible for summarizing the information found in charts or reports and relaying that information to employers, clients and affected persons.

Education Associate or bachelor's degree is typical
Job Skills Communication, data analysis, troubleshooting, critical thinking
Median Salary (2017) $45,490 for environmental science and protection technicians
Job Growth (2016-2026) 12% for environmental science and protection technicians

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Educational Requirements

Air quality monitoring technicians typically have an associate's or a bachelor's degree in a science or weather-based program, such as air quality instrumentation, atmospheric chemistry, meteorology or environmental engineering. Typical courses for those pursuing a career in air quality monitoring may include physical chemistry, energy and the environment, air quality engineering, environmental management and statistics. Some jobs allow for comparable, postsecondary training in the field. Almost all positions mandate that a new monitor complete a period of on-the-job training, supervised by those with more experience in the field.

Required Skills

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that air quality monitoring technicians need the following qualities:

  • Ability to measure and perform air quality tests, analyze data and troubleshoot problems
  • Scientifically-minded personality with strong critical-thinking and analytical skills
  • Communication skills (speaking, listening and writing)

Employment and Salary Outlook

Environmental science and protection technician jobs were expected to increase by approximately 12% from 2016-2026, according to the BLS. This increase was linked to tighter environmental regulations, environmental cleanup efforts and public health concerns. Jobs may be more concentrated in cities with big manufacturing industries. The BLS also reported that the median annual salary for environmental science and protection technicians was $45,490 in May 2017.

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