Environmental Science Technician

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE TECHNICIANS PERFORM ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENTS, INVESTIGATE SOURCES OF POLLUTION, AND COLLECT ENVIRONMENTAL SAMPLES THAT MAY INCLUDE GASES, SOIL, WATER AND OTHER MATERIALS. They may work under the direction of a scientist of an environmental specialist, and other activities might include regulatory compliance audits.

The Workplace

Environmental science technicians work in the laboratory and in the field for employers that include federal and state government agencies, architectural and engineering firms, and scientific and technical consultants. They might also be employed by electric power companies or the petroleum and natural gas industries.

Educational Requirements

Most environmental science technician positions require an associate degree or a certificate, although some high school graduates may begin as trainees and work while earning a two-year postsecondary degree. Many technical and community colleges offer associate degrees in environmental science technology, and a number of these programs are designed to facilitate the transfer to bachelor's degree programs at colleges or universities.

Earnings

According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook, earnings for environmental science technicians vary from state to state and among industries, but the median annual income is $38,090, with the higher income earners at around $60,700. …