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Public Service Environmental Field Technician
Salary Range Jobs Available
$33,100 - $78,900 4,800+

What Does an Environmental Field Technician Do?

Few jobs provide a combination of time spent in the field with time spent in the laboratory, but this one does. For the person who enjoys science and working outside (sometimes), this job could be a great fit. 

Environmental field technicians monitor the environment for pollution. They are also known as environmental services technicians, environmental science and protection technicians or environmental technicians.

They take samples of air, soil and water and conduct tests on the samples in the field and in the lab. 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 ensure a company complies with environmental regulations.

Teamwork is a key element of this role. The environmental team works together to solve complex problems that affect public health. Sometimes, these threats are emergency situations, such as an oil spill or another sudden contamination event. 

If you have an interest in science and this career sounds like a good fit, keep reading to learn more.

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)

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 and analyze test results

How To Become An Environmental Technician: FAQs

The bottom line:

If you’re interested in public health and how regulations can improve it, this is a job worth considering. It combines time in the field with time in the lab, a balance that not many jobs offer. Plus, if you have a natural affinity for science but don't want a science-related job in the healthcare field, you could be a good match for this profession. If that sounds like you, check out SkillPointe’s training opportunities.

Julio Dejesus, environmental technician ambassador

Being an environmental field technician

Julio Dejesus was a forklift driver at a warehouse, a job he didn’t find rewarding. Then a friend introduced him to a new 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,” he says.

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

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