Environmental Engineering Technicians

What Environmental Engineering Technicians Do

Environmental engineering technicians carry out the plans that environmental engineers develop.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBIUUlrJKjU

Work Environment

Most environmental engineering technicians work full time. They typically work indoors, usually in laboratories, and often have regular working hours. However, they must sometimes work irregular hours in order to monitor operations.

How to Become an Environmental Engineering Technician

Environmental engineering technicians typically need an associate’s degree in environmental engineering technology or a related field.

Pay

The median annual wage for environmental engineering technicians was $50,620 in May 2019.

Job Outlook

Employment of environmental engineering technicians is projected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment in this occupation typically is tied to projects created by environmental engineers. State and local governments’ concerns regarding water availability and quality should lead to efforts to increase the efficiency of water use.

Environmental engineering technicians carry out the plans that environmental engineers develop.

Duties

Environmental engineering technicians typically do the following:

  • Set up, test, operate, and modify equipment used to prevent or clean up environmental pollution
  • Maintain project records and computer program files
  • Conduct pollution surveys, for which they collect and analyze samples, such as samples of air and ground water
  • Perform indoor and outdoor work on environmental quality
  • Work to mitigate sources of environmental pollution
  • Review technical documents to ensure their completeness and conformance to requirements
  • Review work plans to schedule activities
  • Arrange for the disposal of lead, asbestos, and other hazardous materials

In laboratories, environmental engineering technicians record observations, test results, and document photographs. To keep laboratories supplied, they also may gather product information, identify vendors and suppliers, and order materials and equipment.

Environmental engineering technicians help environmental engineers develop devices used to clean up environmental pollution. They also inspect facilities for compliance with the regulations that govern substances such as asbestos, lead, and wastewater.

Environmental engineering technicians held about 18,500 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of environmental engineering technicians were as follows:

Engineering services 25%
Management, scientific, and technical consulting services 19
Government 14
Waste management and remediation services 13
Manufacturing 7

Environmental engineering technicians work under the direction of engineers and as part of a team with other technicians. They must be able to work well with both supervisors and peers.

Environmental engineering technicians typically work indoors, usually in laboratories, and often have regular working hours. They also work outdoors, sometimes in remote locations.

Because environmental engineering technicians help out in environmental cleanup, they can be exposed to hazards from equipment, chemicals, or toxic materials. For this reason, they must follow proper safety procedures, such as wearing hazmat suits and sometimes respirators, even in warm weather. When they work in wet areas, environmental engineering technicians wear heavy rubber boots to keep their legs and feet dry.

Work Schedules

Most environmental engineering technicians work full time and typically have regular hours. However, they must sometimes work irregular hours in order to monitor operations or contain a major environmental threat.

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of environmental engineering technicians.

Occupation Job Duties Entry-Level Education Median Annual Pay, May 2019

Environmental engineers

Environmental Engineers

Environmental engineers use the principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems.

Bachelor’s degree $88,860

Environmental Science and Protection Technicians

Environmental science and protection technicians monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution and contamination.

Associate’s degree $46,540

Environmental Scientists and Specialists

Environmental scientists and specialists use their knowledge of the natural sciences to protect the environment and human health.

Bachelor’s degree $71,360

Hazardous Materials Removal Workers

Hazardous materials removal workers identify and dispose of harmful substances such as asbestos, lead, and radioactive waste.

High school diploma or equivalent $43,900

For more information about accredited programs, visit

ABET

For more information about general engineering education and career resources, visit

Technology Student Association

For information on OSHA certification, visit

U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration

O*NET

Environmental Engineering Technicians


Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Environmental Engineering Technicians,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/environmental-engineering-technicians.htm (visited ).