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Environmental Technician Job Description

Job Title: Environmental Technician

Overview/Summary of the role:
An Environmental Technician is responsible for performing various environmental tests and collecting data on ecosystems, water quality, and air pollution levels. They also work with pollutants and hazardous wastes to ensure that safety procedures are followed as well as develop new methods for cleaning up and preventing environmental contamination.

Responsibilities and Duties:
-Collect samples of soil, water and air for testing and analysis
-Conduct environmental assessments to determine whether ecosystems are disturbed
-Prepare and maintain records and reports on environmental assessments and analytical work
-Identify sources of pollutants and hazardous waste and recommend decontamination methods
-Develop plans and implement strategies to reduce environmental impact on ecosystems and reduce pollutants in the atmosphere
-Conduct routine maintenance and recommend updates to laboratory equipment to ensure all testing is accurate
-Perform site assessments, collect site data, and prepare calibration reports
-Develop and maintain regular communication and coordination with clients, regulatory agencies, and internal team members

Qualifications and Skills:
Hard skills:
-Knowledge of standard laboratory methods and equipment
-Experience in data collection, analysis, and interpretation
-Ability to use GIS software and other data collection software
-Experience with statistical analysis and modeling

Soft skills:
-Good communication skills to interact confidently and effectively with clients, regulators, and team members
-Ability to work independently and as a part of a team
-Strong problem-solving skills
-Good time management skills

Education and Experience (Required and preferred):
-Associate or Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science or related field
-Minimum of 2 years of experience in environmental sampling, analysis, and reporting
-Experience or knowledge of EPA regulations and hazardous waste management is preferred.

Licensing: In some states, environmental technicians may be required to hold licenses or certifications. The requirements may vary by state and depend on the specific type of work being done. For example, those working with asbestos may need to hold a specific certification.

Typical Employers: Environmental technicians may work for a variety of organizations, such as government agencies, consulting firms, research institutions, and businesses in various industries, such as manufacturing or construction.

Work Environment: Environmental technicians may work both indoors and outdoors depending on their job tasks. They may be exposed to various hazardous materials, such as chemicals or pollutants. Safety procedures and equipment are necessary for this type of work.

Career Pathways: To become an environmental technician, a certificate or associate's degree in environmental science or a related field may be required. Some individuals may work their way up to this position through on-the-job training or previous experience in a related field. Possible next positions may include environmental scientist, environmental engineer, or project manager.

Job Growth Trend: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of environmental science and protection technicians is projected to grow 8% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. The global job growth trend for environmental technicians will likely follow a similar pattern due to increasing concerns about environmental protection and sustainability.

Career Satisfaction:
Environmental Technicians generally report a good level of career satisfaction, as they are able to make a positive impact on the environment and contribute to the overall well-being of society. They are often seen as key players in environmental protection and management.

Related Job Positions:
Jobs related to Environmental Technician include Environmental Engineer, Environmental Scientist, Occupational Health and Safety Specialist, and Conservation Scientist.

Connected People:
Environmental Technicians often work closely with Environmental Engineers, Environmental Scientists, and Occupational Health and Safety Specialists. They may also interact with other environmental professionals, such as Conservation Scientists and Wildlife Biologists. In addition, they may communicate with government officials, community members, and industry representatives.

Average Salary:
The average salary for an Environmental Technician varies depending on location and experience. According to PayScale, the average salary in the USA is $43,000 per year. In the UK, it is £22,500 ($31,500) per year. In Germany, it is €33,000 ($40,000) per year. In India, it is ₹225,000 ($3,000) per year. In Brazil, it is R$38,000 ($7,000) per year.

Benefits Package:
Environmental Technicians may receive benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, vacation time, and sick leave. The specific benefits offered can vary depending on the employer and location.

Schedule and Hours Required:
Environmental Technicians typically work full-time and may be required to work evenings, weekends, or overtime as needed. They may work both indoors and outdoors, and may be exposed to hazards such as chemicals, noise, and extreme temperatures.

Level of Autonomy:

As an Environmental Technician, you will typically work under the direction of a supervisor or project manager. While you may be responsible for tasks such as data collection or analysis, you will typically be expected to follow established procedures and protocols. You may need to exercise some independent judgment and decision-making in situations where unexpected issues arise, but overall your work will be largely guided by your supervisors or project goals.

Opportunities for Professional Development and Advancement:

As you gain experience as an Environmental Technician, you may be able to take on more complex projects or move into a supervisory or management role. Some Environmental Technicians choose to pursue advanced degrees or additional certifications in areas such as environmental science or engineering, which can open up new career opportunities. You may also have the opportunity to attend professional conferences or seminars to stay up-to-date on industry trends and best practices.

Specialized Skills or Knowledge Required:

To succeed as an Environmental Technician, you will need to have a strong foundation in environmental science and relevant regulations and policies. You should also have strong analytical skills and be comfortable working with data and technical equipment. Depending on your specific role, additional training or certifications may be required, such as hazardous waste removal or water treatment certification.

Physical Demands:

Environmental Technicians may need to work in a variety of settings, including both indoor and outdoor environments. You may need to lift heavy equipment or samples, and you may be exposed to harsh weather conditions, chemical hazards, or noise pollution. Good physical stamina and coordination is important to perform tasks such as sampling, data collection, or equipment maintenance.

Tools and Technologies Used:

Environmental Technicians use a variety of tools and technologies to perform their job duties. This may include sampling equipment such as water quality meters or air quality monitors, data analysis software, or GIS mapping tools. Depending on your specific role, you may also need to use specialized equipment such as hazmat suits, respirators, or radiation detectors. Training and certification in the proper use of this equipment is typically required.

Work Style:
Environmental Technicians generally have a high attention to detail and are meticulous in their work, as even small errors can have significant consequences for the environment. They often work independently, but also need to be able to take direction from supervisors and collaborate with other team members. They must also be able to manage their time effectively and prioritize tasks to meet project deadlines.

Working Conditions:
The working conditions for Environmental Technicians can vary greatly depending on the job site and the type of environmental monitoring being done. They may work outdoors in all types of weather conditions, or indoors in a laboratory setting. Fieldwork may require handling heavy equipment, standing or walking for long periods of time, exposure to hazardous materials, and potential for physical strain. Proper safety protocols must always be followed.

Team Size and Structure:
Environmental Technicians generally work in teams, which may vary in size depending on the nature and scope of the project. They may work under the supervision of an Environmental Scientist or a Project Manager, along with other Technicians, Analysts, or Engineers.

Collaboration and Communication Requirements:
Environmental Technicians must have strong communication skills in order to work effectively with team members and clients. They need to be able to convey technical data and observations effectively, and be able to document their work in clear and concise reports. They also need to be able to explain their findings to non-technical stakeholders, such as clients or the general public.

Cultural Fit and Company Values:
Environmental Technicians must understand and adhere to the values and culture of their employer, such as prioritizing safety, protecting the environment, and providing unbiased data. They must also be comfortable with the potential ethical challenges that may arise, such as communicating findings that may not be favorable to clients, or dealing with the potential for conflicting interests. A commitment to upholding professional standards and ethical conduct is crucial.