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What Does an Environmental Field Technician Do?

It’s unusual for a job to combine time in the field with time in the laboratory, but this one does. Environmental field technicians — also known as environmental science and protection technicians — monitor the environment for pollution. They take samples of air, soil and water and conduct field and laboratory tests. If those samples include contaminants, they help determine and monitor the source of contamination.

These technicians often work alongside scientists and engineers to investigate environmental problems or to comply with environmental regulations. They also may respond to emergencies that may impact human health. They primarily work for local governments and consulting firms for a wide variety of industries.

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Median Salary $
49,000
Jobs Available
1,800+
An environmental field technician collects a water sample
Environmental field technicians often take samples in the field to test water or air quality or other factors that affect public health. (Credit: Pearl PhotoPix/Shutterstock)
Duties + Responsibilities
  • Collect samples to assess pollution of air, water and soil 
  • Set up instruments for data collection
  • Monitor pollutants from specific sites, such as a smoke stack or runoff from a stream
  • Follow safety regulations
  • Operate equipment such as pumps, vacuums, booms and generators
  • Prepare reports and keep records
  • Discuss testing results
Education + Training

This job typically requires two years of specialized training or an associate degree, but education requirements may vary. Some positions don’t require as much post-secondary training while others require a bachelor’s degree. Technical schools and community colleges offer programs in environmental health, public health or a related field. In some states, environmental field technicians may need a license. Certifications are required for technicians who work with hazardous waste or radon.

You May Be a Good Fit for This Position If You
  • Work well in a team 
  • Have excellent observation skills
  • Like to identify problems and come up with solutions
  • Are able to think critically and logically
  • Strong interest in the natural sciences such as biology and chemistry

Environmental Field Technician training in your area

Coordinates

Law Enforcement - Conservation A.S. CT

Vincennes University
Vincennes (0.0 Miles)

Environmental Health and Safety Diploma

Central Community College
Grand Island (0.0 Miles)

Water Environmental Technology, A.A.S.

Delta College
University Center (0.0 Miles)

Environmental Science, A.A.

Centralia College
Centralia (0.0 Miles)

Safety, Health, Environmental Management: Environmental Health and Safety Specialty, A.A.S.

Brazosport College
Lake Jackson (0.0 Miles)

Natural Science, A.S.

Haskell Indian Nations University
Lawrence (0.0 Miles)

Environmental Health and Safety Applied Certificate

Central Community College
Grand Island (0.0 Miles)

Water Environmental Technology Advanced Certificate

Delta College
University Center (0.0 Miles)

Environmental Science, A.S.

Centralia College
Centralia (0.0 Miles)

Environmental Studies, A.A.S.

Hudson County Community College
Jersey City (0.0 Miles)

Forestry and Natural Resources Apprenticeship

Columbia College
Sonora (0.0 Miles)

Natural Resource Management, A.S.

Cankdeska Cikana Community College
Fort Totten (0.0 Miles)
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Julio Dejesus, environmental technician ambassador
Meet Ambassador Julio Dejesus

Julio Dejesus was a forklift driver at a warehouse — a job he didn’t find rewarding — until a friend introduced him to a different line of work. As an environmental field technician, he was able to learn on the job and before long, he was promoted. Now he runs a crew of 10 technicians, including drivers.

“From the first day, I knew this was the job for me,” says Julio.

He gets satisfaction from his job by solving the puzzle that each new project presents — and making customers happy in the process.

Find Environmental Field Technician Jobs in Your Area

Coordinates

Supervisory Facility Operations Specialist

Department of Defense
Prospect Harbor ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 months 2 weeks ago

Supervisory Facility Operations Specialist

Department of Defense
Kings Bay ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 months 2 weeks ago

Supervisory Facility Operations Specialist

Department of Defense
Seal Beach ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 months 2 weeks ago

Environmental Technician I

Harsco Corporation
Blaine ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 5 months ago

Temperature Technician

Health Solutions
Allentown ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 5 months 2 weeks ago

Temperature Technician

Health Solutions
Las Vegas ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 5 months 2 weeks ago

Claims Response Technician

Heritage Insurance
Brick ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month 2 weeks ago

LDAR Technician

Team Industrial Services, Inc.
Vancouver ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 7 months 1 week ago