Environmental Service Technician: Job Description & Requirements

Environmental service technicians are employed by private companies to operate instruments that test the quality of air, soil, and water at job sites. They make sure that pollution isn't present or come up with ways to minimize its effects. The job typically requires a 2-year degree in environmental science or a related field as well as work experience.

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Environmental Service Technician Job Description

Environmental service technicians monitor job sites for pollution. Their purpose is to test for contaminants and, if located, eliminate the source. Air, ground and water all fall under the purview of environmental technicians. They're often employed by private consulting companies and work under an environmental scientist.

Environmental Service Technician Job Duties

An environmental service technician's primary duty is to test the environment around him or her for negative influences like pollution. To that end, he or she may perform a number of tasks. Environmental technicians operate equipment that samples air, soil and water quality. They also design and maintain remediation systems or concoctions that help remedy problems of contamination. They may be called upon to respond in the event of an environmental emergency as well.

Given that much of their work takes place in the field at outdoor job sites, environmental technicians may travel a lot. They might also work in less-than-ideal conditions, including poor weather and potentially hazardous environments. In addition, to create the necessary remediation systems and ensure that job sites are set up as desired, they might have to perform light construction work.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Environmental service technicians are categorized by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as a part of environmental science and protection technicians. That larger group was predicted to see 24% growth in employment between 2010 and 2020. Their median salary was $41,240 as of May 2012, the BLS said.

Environmental Service Technician Requirements

Most environmental service technician jobs require at least an associate's degree in environmental science or a related field. Environmental science programs, available at many community colleges, prepare students specifically for hands-on careers in the field through the study of topics like water resource management and sustainability. A bachelor's degree in a scientific field may be helpful, especially for advancement, but isn't usually required for the position.

Besides education, environmental service technicians often need work experience. Technicians typically start as trainees performing routine tasks under the supervision of a scientist or more experienced technician. With experience, technicians gain more autonomy and responsibility.

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