Schools for Aspiring Environmental Technicians: How to Choose

A 2-year degree in environmental technology is the most common degree for environmental technicians. Continue reading to see what you should consider while choosing an environmental technician school and to view some schools with environmental technician programs.

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Working in a variety of industries both in the field and in laboratories, environmental technicians are entry-level science workers who help monitor and maintain environmental resources. Programs for aspiring environmental technicians can be found at community colleges and 4-year colleges and universities.

Schools with Environmental Technician Degrees

These colleges and universities offer programs for environmental technicians, such as environmental technology or environmental management.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition* (2015-2016)
Rhodes State College Lima, OH 2-year, Public Associate's In-state: $4,045; Out-of-state: $8,090 (Undergraduate)
Methodist University Fayetteville, NC 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's $30,530 (Undergraduate)
Saint Joseph's University Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's $15,840 (Graduate)
New Mexico Junior College Hobbs, NM 2-year, Public Associate's In-district: $1,248; In-state: $1,704; Out-of-state: $1,896 (Undergraduate)
Samford University Birmingham, AL 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's $18,673 (Graduate)
Trident Technical College Charleston, SC 2-year, Public Certificate In-district: $4,039; In-state: $4,481; Out-of-state: $7,645 (Undergraduate)
Utah Valley University Orem, UT 4-year, Public Bachelor's In-state: $5,386; Out-of-state: $15,202 (Undergraduate)
Harper College Palatine, IL 2-year, Public Associate's In-district: $3,228; In-state: $9,396; Out-of-state: $11,208 (Undergraduate)
Zane State College Zanesville, OH 2-year, Public Associate's In-state: $4,646; Out-of-state: $9,206 (Undergraduate)

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

School Selection Criteria

When considering different programs there are several points to keep in mind.

  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that employers of environmental technicians most commonly look for candidates who have at least an associate's degree from a vocational or community college, but bachelor's degrees are sometimes required (www.bls.gov).
  • The focus of environmental technology and technician training programs varies, so some students may take more theoretical science classes while other students are involved in more hands-on studies.
  • There are several different majors students can choose from to enter this career, including environmental science, environmental technology, environmental management or environmental safety.
  • Graduate study in this topic is ideal for people looking to switch careers, but students may have to take additional classes based on what type of bachelor's degree they earned.

Environmental Technician Certificate or Training

Certificate or professional training courses for environmental technicians typically take one year of full-time study to complete; however, they can be much shorter. Certificate programs are designed for those who are looking for career advancement, a supplement to their employer-sponsored training or an introduction to the field. The curriculum focuses mainly on practical and professional skills. Some programs include a field experience.

Associate's Degree in Environmental Technology

Associate of Science (A.S.) or Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Environmental Technology programs combine courses in the natural sciences with career-specific skills needed to become an environmental technician. Students have the opportunity to participate in an internship or cooperative work experience.

Choosing a program to lead to a career in environmental technology begins with determining the right level of study to pursue. Undergraduate certificate and associate's degree programs are common, although some students may want to pursue a bachelor's degree or graduate studies to prepare to enter this career field.

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