Environmental Science and Protection Technician Career

environmental-science-proteEnvironmental science and protection technicians conduct tests to observe the environment and find sources of pollution. Their goals are usually to protect public health and prevent environmental regulations from being violated.

Technicians usually work as part of a team with environmental scientists, researchers, or other specialists, and they often split their time between the lab and the field. They collect samples and perform tests involving water quality, air quality, food safety, and other issues relating to the environment. The job requires knowledge of biology, chemistry, environmental law, and technology.

Environmental Science & Protection Technician Career Snapshot

According to data from 2014, 26 percent of environmental science and protection technicians worked for consulting firms. In this setting, technicians may look for ways to reduce pollution at a construction site, or they may develop a plan to clean up a contaminated site. About 18 percent of technicians work for local governments by inspecting businesses or public places. The rest of technicians work for state governments, testing laboratories, and engineering services.

Further details on a career as an environmental science and protection technician are listed below (statistics from the May 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the median annual salary for environmental science and protection technicians.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a Bachelor’s degree while 14% have an Associate’s degree.

Environmental Science Tech Education

Around 55 percent of technicians have a bachelor’s degree, 14 percent have an associate’s degree, and 14 percent have a master’s degree. The level of education required depends on the demands of the workplace. In addition to knowledge of the sciences, technicians should have strong analytical and critical thinking skills.

Environmental Science Tech Job Duties

Environmental science and protection technicians collect samples of water, soil, or other substances in the field, and they analyze these samples to look for pollutants or contaminants. Then, they summarize the results and discuss them with clients. They also sometimes perform inspections to check for health or environmental hazards.

Environmental Science Tech Salaries

The median pay for environmental science and protection technicians in 2015 was $44,190 (BLS.gov data). The lowest 10 percent made $27,380 while the highest 10 percent made $75,980. Technicians working for local governments tend to make slightly more than those working for other fields or industries.

Environmental Science Tech Job Outlook

The career has a very positive outlook, with a predicted 9 percent growth from 2014 to 2024. As of 2014, there were 36,200 environmental science and protection technician jobs. As environmental concern and awareness increases, more technician jobs will become available.

Environmental Science & Protection Technician Skills & Traits

Environmental Science Tech Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Environmental Science Tech:Typical Work Activities:
• Active Listening
• Critical Thinking
• Reading Comprehension
• Speaking
• Oral Comprehension
• Written Comprehension
• Oral Expression
• Problem Sensitivity
• Air samplers or collectors
• Flowmeters
• Centrifugal water sampling pumps
• Sound measuring apparatus or decibel meter
• Documenting & Recording Information
• Getting Information
• Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
• Interacting With Computers

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