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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 $
47,000
Jobs Available
4,350+
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

Water Quality Technician College Credit Certificate

Hillsborough Community College
Tampa (0.0 Miles)

Environmental Studies

North Country Community College - SUNY
Saranac Lake (0.0 Miles)

Environmental Science Certificate Of Achievement

Santa Monica College
Santa Monica (0.0 Miles)

Natural Resources Management, A. A. S.

Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute
Albuquerque (0.0 Miles)
Aaniiih Nakoda College

Environmental Science, A.S.

Aaniiih Nakoda College
Harlem (0.0 Miles)

A.A.S. Environmental Health & Safety Technology

Metropolitan Community College (MO)
Kansas City (0.0 Miles)
Palm Beach State College logo

Environmental Science Technology Degree

Palm Beach State College
Lake Worth (0.0 Miles)

Engineering Technology (Environmental Concentration), A.S.

Bristol Community College
Fall River (0.0 Miles)

Environmental and Natural Resource Sustainability, A.A.S.

Phoenix College
Phoenix (0.0 Miles)

Environmental Science Certificate

Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College
Baraga (0.0 Miles)

Environmental Science, A.S.

Blackfeet Community College
Browning (0.0 Miles)

Certificate: Environmental Health & Safety Technology

Metropolitan Community College (MO)
Kansas City (0.0 Miles)
Meet Ambassador
Julio Dejesus
Image
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

Detail Specialist

U-Haul
Rancho Cordova ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month ago

Quality Control Field Technician - Telecom

TrueNet
San Diego ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month ago

Assistant Geologist - Remediation (Wichita)

Burns & McDonnell
Wichita ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month ago

Sampling Technician/Jr. Scientist

Oneida Total Integrated Enterprises
Ventura ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month ago

Lab Analyst

Airgas Inc
Elk Grove Village ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month ago

Environmental Specialist

Triumvirate Environmental
Atlanta ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month ago

Hydro Vac Technician - Deer Park,TX

Clean Harbors, Inc.
Deer Park ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month ago

Environmental, Health & Safety Technician - 2nd Shift

Wabash National Trailer Centers
Moreno Valley ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 weeks 6 days ago