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Environmental Engineering Technicians
SOC Code: 17-3025.00

Apply theory and principles of environmental engineering to modify, test, and operate equipment and devices used in the prevention, control, and remediation of environmental problems, including waste treatment and site remediation, under the direction of engineering staff or scientist. May assist in the development of environmental remediation devices.

Sample of reported job titles: Air Quality Instrument Specialist, Engineer Technician, Environmental Engineering Assistant, Environmental Engineering Technician, Environmental Field Technician, Environmental Specialist, Environmental Technician, Haz Tech (Hazardous Technician), Industrial Waste Inspector, Senior Environmental Technician

Tasks

  • Maintain project logbook records or computer program files.
  • Record laboratory or field data, including numerical data, test results, photographs, or summaries of visual observations.
  • Perform environmental quality work in field or office settings.
  • Produce environmental assessment reports, tabulating data and preparing charts, graphs, or sketches.
  • Collect and analyze pollution samples, such as air or ground water.
  • Decontaminate or test field equipment used to clean or test pollutants from soil, air, or water.
  • Prepare and package environmental samples for shipping or testing.
  • Maintain process parameters and evaluate process anomalies.
  • Review technical documents to ensure completeness and conformance to requirements.
  • Receive, set up, test, or decontaminate equipment.
  • Prepare permit applications or review compliance with environmental permits.
  • Review work plans to schedule activities.
  • Assist in the cleanup of hazardous material spills.
  • Inspect facilities to monitor compliance with regulations governing substances such as asbestos, lead, or wastewater.
  • Develop work plans, including writing specifications or establishing material, manpower, or facilities needs.
  • Perform statistical analysis and correction of air or water pollution data submitted by industry or other agencies.
  • Arrange for the disposal of lead, asbestos, or other hazardous materials.
  • Evaluate and select technologies to clean up polluted sites, restore polluted air, water, or soil, or rehabilitate degraded ecosystems.
  • Assess the ability of environments to naturally remove or reduce conventional or emerging contaminants from air, water, or soil.
  • Work with customers to assess the environmental impact of proposed construction or to develop pollution prevention programs.
  • Provide technical engineering support in the planning of projects, such as wastewater treatment plants, to ensure compliance with environmental regulations and policies.
  • Model biological, chemical, or physical treatment processes to remove or degrade pollutants.
  • Oversee support staff.
  • Create models to demonstrate or predict the process by which pollutants move through or impact an environment.
  • Improve chemical processes to reduce toxic emissions.

Technology Skills

  • Analytical or scientific software - Maplesoft Maple; The MathWorks MATLAB ; Visual MODFLOW Pro; Wolfram Research Mathematica (see all 31 examples)
  • Categorization or classification software - GAEA Technologies WinSieve
  • Compliance software - Hazardous materials management HMS software; Material safety data sheet MSDS software; Site remediation management software; Waste management software (see all 8 examples)
  • Computer aided design CAD software - Autodesk AutoCAD ; Bentley Microstation ; Mathsoft Mathcad; SofTech CADRA (see all 6 examples)
  • Data base user interface and query software - Database software; Microsoft Access ; Structure query language SQL
  • Desktop publishing software - Adobe Systems Adobe PageMaker
  • Development environment software - Formula translation/translator FORTRAN; National Instruments LabVIEW
  • Document management software - Gel documentation software; Microsoft Office SharePoint Server MOSS
  • Electronic mail software - Email software; Microsoft Outlook
  • Graphics or photo imaging software - Photogrammetric software
  • Industrial control software - Fugitive emission leak detection software
  • Internet browser software
  • Map creation software - ESRI ArcGIS software ; Geographic information system GIS software ; Geomechanical design analysis GDA software; Soil mapping software
  • Object or component oriented development software - C++ ; Python
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Presentation software - Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Air pumps - Aeration pumps
  • Air samplers or collectors - Air monitoring equipment; Airborne particulate samplers; Dichotomous particulate matter samplers; Multistage agar impactors
  • Air velocity and temperature monitors - Air velocity meters
  • Analytical balances
  • Anemometers
  • Atomic absorption AA spectrometers
  • Bench refractometers or polarimeters - Interferometeric refractormeters
  • Benchtop centrifuges - High-speed centrifuges
  • Bi distillation units - Water distillation units
  • Binocular light compound microscopes - Optical compound microscopes
  • Calorimeters
  • Chemical absorption gas analyzers - Surface area analyzers
  • Chemiluminescence or bioluminescence analyzers - Microtox toxicity systems
  • Chemistry analyzers - Mercury analysis equipment
  • Chromatographic detectors - Low pressure liquid chromatographs with fraction collectors
  • Conductivity meters
  • Darkfield microscopes - Phase contrast microscopes
  • Density gradient fractionators - Universal fractionators
  • Desktop computers
  • Dewatering equipment - Filter press simulators
  • Digital cameras
  • Dissolved carbon dioxide analyzers - Respirometers
  • Dissolved oxygen meters
  • Dropping pipettes - Micropipettes
  • Electronic counters - Particle counters
  • Electrophoresis system accessories - Electrophoresis tanks; Fraction collectors; Zeta meters
  • Extracting equipment for laboratories - Supercritical fluid extractors
  • Filtering machinery - Particulate filters
  • Flame ionization analyzers - Flame ionization detectors FID
  • Flow injection analysis equipment - Flow injection analyzers
  • Flowmeters - Flow meters
  • Fluorescent microscopes - Epifluorescence microscopes; Total internal reflection fluorescence TIRF microscopes
  • Forced air or mechanical convection general purpose incubators - Incubators
  • Freeze dryers or lyopholizers - Freeze dryers
  • French pressure cells - French presses
  • Fume hoods or cupboards - Chemical fume hoods
  • Gas chromatographs - Gas chromatographs GC
  • Gel documentation systems
  • Global positioning system GPS receiver - Global positioning system GPS receivers
  • Hazardous material protective apparel - Hazardous material protective clothing
  • Heated walk in environmental or growth chambers - Heated environmental chambers
  • Heating mantles or tapes - Heating mantles
  • Heating or drying equipment or accessories - Dessicator chambers
  • HEPA filtered enclosures - Biosafety cabinets
  • High pressure liquid chromatograph chromatography - High pressure liquid chromatograph HPLC with ultraviolet/visible UV/Vis absorbance detectors
  • Hydrocarbons analyzers or detectors - Total organic halide analyzers
  • Inductively coupled plasma ICP spectrometers - Plasma spectrometers
  • Instrumentation for capillary electrophoresis - Electrophoresis equipment
  • Inverted microscopes
  • Ion chromatographs
  • Ion selective electrode - Specific ion probes
  • Ion selective electrode ISE meters
  • Isolation glove boxes - Anaerobic laboratory glove bags
  • Laboratory adapters or connectors or fittings - Glassware adapters
  • Laboratory bailers - Bailers
  • Laboratory balances - Balances; Laboratory scales; Pan balances
  • Laboratory beakers - Beakers
  • Laboratory blenders or emulsifiers - Blenders
  • Laboratory box furnaces - Muffle furnaces
  • Laboratory centrifugal pumps
  • Laboratory flasks - Erlenmeyer flasks
  • Laboratory funnels - Filtering funnels; Funnels
  • Laboratory graduated cylinders - Graduated cylinders
  • Laboratory heat exchange condensers - Glassware condensers
  • Laboratory mechanical convection ovens - Laboratory ovens; Mechanical convection ovens
  • Laboratory mixers - Mixer mills
  • Laboratory safety furnaces - Furnaces
  • Laboratory vacuum pumps
  • Laminar flow cabinets or stations - Laminar flow hoods
  • Land drilling rigs - Tractor mounted drill rigs
  • Laser printers
  • Lasers - Argon lasers
  • Leak testing equipment - Tracer gas detectors
  • Light scattering equipment - Simultaneous static and dynamic light scattering systems
  • Liquid scintillation counters - Liquid scintillation equipment; Scintillation counters
  • Magnetic stirrers
  • Mainframe computers
  • Mass spectrometers - Gas mass spectroscopes; Liquid mass spectroscopes
  • Microcentrifuges
  • Microplate readers - Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay ELISA plate readers
  • Microscope slides
  • Multipurpose or general test tubes - Test tubes
  • Nephelometers - Benchtop nephelometers
  • Nitrogen or nitrate or nitrite analyzer - Soil carbon-nitrogen CN analyzers
  • Notebook computers
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance NMR spectrometers - 13C nuclear magnetic resonance NMR spectrometers; Proton nuclear magnetic resonance NMR spectrometers
  • Open stream water level recorders - Water level recorders
  • Optical diffraction apparatus - Particle size analyzers
  • Orbital shakers - Laboratory shakers
  • Orbital shaking water baths - Fecal coliform constant temperature shaker baths
  • Organic carbon analyzers - Carbon analyzers; Total organic carbon TOC analyzers
  • Ozone analyzers - Ozone concentration percentage meters
  • Ozone generator - Ozone bubble contactors; Ozone generators
  • Particle size measuring apparatus - Differential mobility analyzers; Soil particle size testers
  • Penetrometers - California bearing ratio CBR testing devices
  • Peristaltic pumps
  • Permeability testing apparatus - Soil permeability testers
  • Personal computers
  • pH meters
  • Photo attachments for microscopes - Camera-equipped microscopes
  • Photometers
  • Portable data input terminals - Dataloggers
  • Potentiometers - Potentiostats
  • Rapid amplification or complementary deoxyribonucleic acid ends RACE technology products - Polymerase chain reaction PCR equipment
  • Reactors or fermenters or digesters - Aerobic laboratory scale reactors; Anaerobic laboratory scale reactors; Digester apparatus; High-pressure/temperature reactors
  • Reciprocating pumps
  • Refrigerated benchtop centrifuges - Benchtop refrigerated centrifuges; Refrigerated centrifuges
  • Respirators
  • Reverse osmosis equipment - Low pressure reverse osmosis water treatment systems
  • Robotic or automated liquid handling systems - Liquid handling robots
  • Sample oxidizer - Biological oxidizers
  • Scanners - Flatbed scanners
  • Scanning light or spinning disk or laser scanning microscopes - Scanning microscopes
  • Scanning probe microscopes - Atomic force microscopes; Scanning probe microscopes SPM
  • Shaking incubators - Incubator shakers
  • Soil core sampling apparatus - Soil samplers
  • Soil testing kits - Soil expansion testers; Soil vapor sampling equipment
  • Spectrofluorimeters or fluorimeters - Fluorimeters; Spectrofluorimeters; Ultraviolet UV spectrometers
  • Spectrometers - Single particle spectroscopes; Visible spectrometers
  • Spectrophotometers
  • Standard fermentation units - Fermenters
  • Steam autoclaves or sterilizers - Autoclaves
  • Sterilization cabinets - Sterilizer chambers
  • Stirring hotplates - Hot plate stirrers
  • Surface tension measuring instruments - Drop volume tensiometers; Dynamic contact angle apparatus
  • Thermal conductivity analyzers - Thermal conductivity detectors
  • Thermocouples
  • Titration equipment - Autotitration systems; Titrators
  • Transmission electron microscopes - Transmission electron microscopes TEM
  • Turbidimeters
  • Ultra cold or ultralow upright cabinets or freezers - Freezers
  • Ultra pure water systems
  • Ultrafiltration equipment - Ultrafiltration cells
  • Ultrasonic cleaning equipment - Ultrasonic cleaners
  • Vacuum or rotary evaporators - Rotavapors
  • Video attachments for microscopes - Video microscopes
  • Vortex mixers - Two-vortex mixers
  • Water analyzers - Streaming current detectors; Titrimeters; Toxicity analyzers; Water quality monitors
  • Water baths
  • Water meters - Meters
  • Water samplers - Groundwater pumps; Groundwater sampling equipment; Water sampling pumps

Knowledge

  • 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.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • 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.

Skills

  • 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.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • 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.
  • Management of Personnel Resources - Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • 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.

Abilities

  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Number Facility - The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • 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.

Interests

  • Interest code: RIC
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.

Work Context

  • Electronic Mail - 85% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 80% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone - 29% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 60% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 54% responded “Important results.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 41% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 54% responded “Very important.”
  • Letters and Memos - 43% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 48% responded “40 hours.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 51% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 42% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 38% responded “Every day.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather - 35% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 47% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 34% responded “Important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 31% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment - 32% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 32% responded “Every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 40% responded “Important.”
  • Time Pressure - 57% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 36% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 38% responded “Very important.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 50% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Sitting - 46% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 29% responded “Every day.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
67%Bachelor's degree
11%High school diploma or equivalent
8%Post-secondary certificate

Work Styles

  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Work Values

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $24.15 hourly, $50,230 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 17,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Faster than average (10% to 14%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 1,700

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