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Environmental Compliance Inspectors
SOC Code: 13-1041.01

Inspect and investigate sources of pollution to protect the public and environment and ensure conformance with Federal, State, and local regulations and ordinances.

Sample of reported job titles: Compliance Investigator, Enforcement Officer, Environmental Compliance Officer, Environmental Protection Specialist, Environmental Quality Analyst, Environmental Specialist, Oil Program Compliance Specialist, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Enforcement Officer (RCRA Enforcement Officer), Toxics Program Officer, Waste Management Specialist


  • Examine permits, licenses, applications, and records to ensure compliance with licensing requirements.
  • Prepare written, oral, tabular, and graphic reports summarizing requirements and regulations, including enforcement and chain of custody documentation.
  • Determine the nature of code violations and actions to be taken, and issue written notices of violation; participate in enforcement hearings as necessary.
  • Prepare, organize, and maintain inspection records.
  • Verify that hazardous chemicals are handled, stored, and disposed of in accordance with regulations.
  • Interview individuals to determine the nature of suspected violations and to obtain evidence of violations.
  • Research and keep informed of pertinent information and developments in areas such as EPA laws and regulations.
  • Learn and observe proper safety precautions, rules, regulations, and practices so that unsafe conditions can be recognized and proper safety protocols implemented.
  • Monitor follow-up actions in cases where violations were found, and review compliance monitoring reports.
  • Inspect waste pretreatment, treatment, and disposal facilities and systems for conformance to federal, state, or local regulations.
  • Investigate complaints and suspected violations regarding illegal dumping, pollution, pesticides, product quality, or labeling laws.
  • Evaluate label information for accuracy and conformance to regulatory requirements.
  • Determine sampling locations and methods, and collect water or wastewater samples for analysis, preserving samples with appropriate containers and preservation methods.
  • Inform individuals and groups of pollution control regulations and inspection findings, and explain how problems can be corrected.
  • Review and evaluate applications for registration of products containing dangerous materials, or for pollution control discharge permits.
  • Observe and record field conditions, gathering, interpreting, and reporting data such as flow meter readings and chemical levels.
  • Determine which sites and violation reports to investigate, and coordinate compliance and enforcement activities with other government agencies.
  • Inform health professionals, property owners, and the public about harmful properties and related problems of water pollution and contaminated wastewater.
  • Participate in the development of spill prevention programs and hazardous waste rules and regulations, and recommend corrective actions for hazardous waste problems.
  • Analyze and implement state, federal or local requirements as necessary to maintain approved pretreatment, pollution prevention, and storm water runoff programs.
  • Prepare data to calculate sewer service charges and capacity fees.
  • Perform laboratory tests on samples collected, such as analyzing the content of contaminated wastewater.
  • Maintain and repair materials, worksites, and equipment.
  • Research and perform calculations related to landscape allowances, discharge volumes, production-based and alternative limits, and wastewater strength classifications, then make recommendations and complete documentation.

Technology Skills

  • Analytical or scientific software - DQO-PRO; Environmental Knowledge and Assessment Tool EKAT; Spatial Analysis and Decision Assistance SADA; Sustainable Management Approaches and Revitalization Tools SMARTe (see all 11 examples)
  • Computer aided design CAD software - Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Customer relationship management CRM software - Salesforce software
  • Data base user interface and query software - Database software; Microsoft Access
  • Document management software - Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Electronic mail software - Microsoft Outlook
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software - SAP software
  • Map creation software - Geographic information system GIS software
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Operating system software - UNIX
  • Presentation software - Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Project management software - Microsoft Project ; Microsoft SharePoint
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Acoustic sensors - Surface acoustic wave sensors SAWS
  • Air samplers or collectors - Atmosphere monitors
  • Analytical balances - Laboratory analytical balances
  • Atomic absorption AA spectrometers - Graphite furnace atomic absorption GFAA spectrometers
  • Chemiluminescence or bioluminescence analyzers - Chlorophyll-a probes
  • Coliwasas - Composite liquid waste samplers COLIWASA
  • Colorimeters - Colorimetric field sampling devices
  • Conductivity meters - Conductance meters; Specific conductance probes
  • Desktop computers
  • Dissolved oxygen meters - Dissolved oxygen probes
  • Dropping pipettes - Laboratory dropping pipettes
  • Enzyme analyzers - Enzyme immunoassay kits
  • Flame ionization analyzers - Continuous flame ionization detectors FID
  • Flowmeters
  • Gas chromatographs - Portable gas chromatographs GC
  • Gear pumps - Water sampling gear pumps
  • Hand pumps - Hand sampling pumps
  • Hydrocarbons analyzers or detectors - Fuel fluorescence detectors FFD; Laser-induced fluorescence LIF instruments; Total petroleum hydrocarbon TPH analyzers; Ultraviolet fluorescence UVF test kits
  • Inductively coupled plasma ICP spectrometers - Inductively coupled plasma ICP spectrophotometers
  • Infrared spectrometers - Extractive Fourier transform infrared FTIR spectrometers; Infrared IR spectrometers
  • Interferometers
  • Ion analyzers - Photoionization detectors PID
  • Ion selective electrode ISE meters - Ion selective electrode ISE testers
  • Laboratory bailers - Bottom fill bailers; Double check valve bailers; Thief samplers
  • Laboratory graduated cylinders - Measuring cylinders
  • Laboratory vials - Headspace vials
  • Ladders - Aluminum ladders
  • Lasers - Helium-neon lasers
  • Liquid chromatographs - Liquid chromatographs LC
  • Magnetometer geophysical instruments - Magnetic locators
  • Mass spectrometers - Portable mass spectrometers MS
  • Notebook computers - Laptop computers
  • Optical beamsplitters - Optical beamsplitting devices
  • Organic carbon analyzers - Volatile organic compound VOC measurement devices
  • Peristaltic pumps - Groundwater sampling peristaltic pumps; Suction-lift pumps
  • pH meters - pH indicators
  • Photometers - Differential photometers
  • Piezo electric crystals - Piezoelectric sensors
  • Portable data input terminals - Dataloggers
  • Progressive cavity pumps - Progressive cavity sampling pumps
  • Radarbased surveillance systems - Ground penetrating radar GPR
  • Rotating piston pumps - Reciprocating piston sampling pumps
  • Sample holders - Sample bottles; Sample collection chambers
  • Sample preparation bombs - Bacon bomb samplers
  • Sampling pumps - Bladder pumps; Centrifugal water sampling pumps
  • Scaffolding
  • Single gas monitors - Chlorine samplers; Mercury vapor analyzers
  • Soil core sampling apparatus - Bucket augers; Power augers; Van Veen grab samplers; Waste pile samplers (see all 20 examples)
  • Spectrofluorimeters or fluorimeters - X ray fluorescence XRF spectrometers
  • Spectrometers - Laser-induced breakdown spectrometers LIBS
  • Spectrophotometers
  • Striking hammers - Rotary hammer systems
  • Syringe pumps
  • Test sieves - Sediment sieves
  • Turbidimeters - Turbidity probes
  • Two way radios - Portable two way radios
  • Water analyzers - Continuous water quality monitors; Water quality data sondes
  • Water samplers - Kemmerer depth samplers; Wastewater samplers; Weighted bottle samplers; Wheaton dip samplers (see all 8 examples)


  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.


  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.


  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Speed of Closure - The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
  • Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Number Facility - The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.


  • Interest code: CIR
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
    • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Work Context

  • Electronic Mail - 95% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 76% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone - 67% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 55% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 48% responded “Very important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 48% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Letters and Memos - 57% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 71% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 43% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Time Pressure - 33% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 43% responded “Contact with others about half the time.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 33% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 38% responded “Important results.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 33% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 43% responded “Very important.”
  • Spend Time Sitting - 55% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 43% responded “Important.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather - 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 52% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 38% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled - 48% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Physical Proximity - 62% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations - 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 48% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment - 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 48% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”


Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
86%Bachelor's degree
10%Post-baccalaureate certificate
5%Master's degree

Work Styles

  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Work Values

  • Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $32.63 hourly, $67,870 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 288,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Average (5% to 9%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 25,900

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