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
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.
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.