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Career Profile: Environmental Science and Protection Technicians, Including Health

Perform laboratory and field tests to monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution, including those that affect health, under the direction of an environmental scientist, engineer, or other specialist. May collect samples of gases, soil, water, and other materials for testing.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 34,200 people employed as environmental science and protection technicians, including health in the United States. The median annual salary is $46,900. Entry level employees earn approximately $29,280 per year and senior employees earn approximately $80,530 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Perform statistical analysis of environmental data.
  • Analyze potential environmental impacts of production process changes, and recommend steps to mitigate negative impacts.
  • Set up equipment or stations to monitor and collect pollutants from sites, such as smoke stacks, manufacturing plants, or mechanical equipment.
  • Make recommendations to control or eliminate unsafe conditions at workplaces or public facilities.
  • Distribute permits, closure plans, or cleanup plans.
  • Maintain files, such as hazardous waste databases, chemical usage data, personnel exposure information, or diagrams showing equipment locations.
  • Calculate amount of pollutant in samples or compute air pollution or gas flow in industrial processes, using chemical and mathematical formulas.
  • Direct activities of workers in laboratory.
  • Weigh, analyze, or measure collected sample particles, such as lead, coal dust, or rock, to determine concentration of pollutants.
  • Initiate procedures to close down or fine establishments violating environmental or health regulations.
  • Prepare samples or photomicrographs for testing and analysis.
  • Determine amounts and kinds of chemicals to use in destroying harmful organisms or removing impurities from purification systems.
  • Develop testing procedures.
  • Discuss test results and analyses with customers.
  • Record test data and prepare reports, summaries, or charts that interpret test results.
  • Develop or implement programs for monitoring of environmental pollution or radiation.
  • Investigate hazardous conditions or spills or outbreaks of disease or food poisoning, collecting samples for analysis.
  • Calibrate microscopes or test instruments.
  • Provide information or technical or program assistance to government representatives, employers, or the general public on the issues of public health, environmental protection, or workplace safety.
  • Collect samples of gases, soils, water, industrial wastewater, or asbestos products to conduct tests on pollutant levels or identify sources of pollution.
  • Monitor emission control devices to ensure they are operating properly and comply with state and federal regulations.
  • Inspect sanitary conditions at public facilities.
  • Examine and analyze material for presence and concentration of contaminants, such as asbestos, using variety of microscopes.
  • Inspect workplaces to ensure the absence of health and safety hazards, such as high noise levels, radiation, or potential lighting hazards.
  • Develop or implement site recycling or hazardous waste stream programs.
  • Conduct standardized tests to ensure materials or supplies used throughout power supply systems meet processing and safety specifications.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
34,200
Annual Openings:
4,700
Increase in Openings by 2030:
11%
Annual Salary Range:
$29,280 - $80,530
Education Requirements:
Associate's degree