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What is an Environmental Technician?

Also known as: Environmental Engineering Technician, Environmental Health Specialist, Environmental Specialist, Environmental Science and Protection Technician.

Environmental technology is an umbrella term, under which there are many different types of specialized jobs. In some environmental fields, there are already established guidelines for individuals to follow and work within.

An environmental technician is someone who works with environmental engineers and environmental scientists to help identify, evaluate, prevent and control contamination of the environment.

Environmental technicians inspect and maintain equipment, control and manage hazardous waste, collect samples, manage waste operations, and assist with regulatory compliance and other duties as needed.

What does an Environmental Technician do?

Environmental technicians monitor the environment and look for sources of pollution and contamination, including those affecting public health. They also work to make sure that environmental violations are prevented.

Environmental technicians that work for state and local governments spend a lot of their time inspecting businesses and public places. They also investigate any complaints that come through related to water quality, air quality, and food safety.

Sometimes environmental technicians may be involved with enforcing environmental regulations. They may perform environmental impact studies of new construction or evaluate the environmental health of sites that may contaminate the environment, such as abandoned industrial sites.

Environmental technicians often work in testing laboratories. They collect and track samples, and perform tests that are often similar to what is done by biological technicians, chemical technicians, or microbiologists. The main difference is that the work done by environmental technicians focuses mainly on topics that are directly related to the environment and how it affects human health.

Environmental technicians that work for consulting firms help their clients comply with regulations as well as monitor and manage the environment. They help their clients develop cleanup plans for contaminated sites, and recommend ways to control, reduce, or eliminate pollution. They also conduct feasibility studies and monitor the environmental impact of new construction projects.

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What is the workplace of an Environmental Technician like?

Environmental technicians often work in lab environments, offices, and in the field. They work for state or local governments, testing laboratories, or consulting firms. They typically specialize in either laboratory testing or in fieldwork and sample collection.

Work can vary greatly in this career. For example, environmental technicians may work outdoors testing the water quality of lakes and rivers and the levels of pollution caused by runoff from cities and landfills. They may investigate an abandoned manufacturing plant, or they may even have to go under the crawl spaces of a house in order to neutralize natural health risks such as radon.

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Further Reading

  • What Does an Environmental Technician Do? www.wisegeek.com

    An environmental technician takes various skills from fields like science and technology and applies them to environmental issues and projects. Many such technicians work as consultants to other firms, giving advice about issues from testing water and soil samples from a building site to confirming that a company is complying with environmental laws.

  • Environmental Technician www.thebalance.com

    An environmental technician, typically working under the direction of an environmental scientist, monitors the environment and investigates sources of pollution by performing laboratory and field tests.

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