Environmental Technician Responsibilities

It is absolutely essential that we protect our natural resources for the future generation. Owing to this growing awareness and stringent environmental rules and laws, there is a huge demand for environmental technicians and engineers who help in conserving these natural resources to provide pure air, healthy water, and safe land for human beings. Environmental technician responsibilities include sampling, testing, inspecting, monitoring, and documenting the relevant details to ensure environmental compliance and management.

Key Responsibilities of an Environmental Technician

Environmental technicians generally work under the supervision of senior engineering staff or a scientist. They assist in waste water management, recycling, controlling the pollutants, disposing the hazardous material, and assisting in compliance to environmental regulatory laws. Thus, they help in protecting, preserving, and enhancing the natural environment. If you are not sure of what exactly are the key responsibilities handled by an environmental technician, here is a detailed description of his daily work activities:

  1. To conduct research, review operations, and conduct routine inspections, including the planning assessments
  2. To assist and conform the compliance with environmental procedures, policies, and plans
  3. To ensure project compliance standards related to permit, legislation, and regulation obligations along with state and federal requirements
  4. To manage the storage of fuels, spill prevention and advise the operators and managers regarding the nature of violation and evaluate procedures for corrective actions
  5. To ensure waste water management, recycling and pollution control
  6. To document and retrieve all the environmental data and observations, and record and compile them in the form of reports and files

He collects different samples of soil, water, asbestos, and lead products to measure and test the pollution levels with the help of various equipment and devices. The samples are generally collected from manufacturing plants, smoke stacks, mechanical equipment, etc. He monitors the pollution controlling programs and keeps the clients updated with the results. He maintains and calibrates the pollution control equipment. He makes sure that clean up plans, close up plans and permits are distributed and followed properly.

The samples are analyzed carefully to measure the concentration of the contaminants. They also help in developing test procedures, guide the subordinates on the same and make sure that relevant safety specifications are being adhered to. Thus, they need to work inside the office as well as on the field to investigate, detect, inspect, analyze, research, test, and find out ways to control or remove the impurities by ensuring adherence to environmental laws.

Essential Skills

If you want to establish and make a mark as an environmental technician, you must be able to follow the given guidelines perfectly. You should be able to grasp and understand the written information and should have excellent communication skills. You need to make minute observations, hence you should pay attention to details, be able to work in a team, and should be proficient in computers, as you will need to maintain and update different records, files, etc. You should have good analytical skills as well as have an in depth knowledge of handling various equipment. You should be physically fit and have an ability to work in adverse weather conditions.

Educational Background

To be a successful environmental technician, a bachelor's degree in chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, biochemistry, or environmental geochemistry is required. Alternatively, an associate degree in applied science or science related technology certification would also prove to be beneficial. It also varies depending on the requirements of the employer.

Work Hours

The job of an environmental technician is a full time job and requires him to work for at least forty to forty five hours per week, Monday through Friday. He works in a normal office environment as well as on the field. He may sometimes need to work extra in the evenings at late nights, or sometimes even on the weekends or holidays. Occasionally, he may need to travel to conduct field visits.

Salary Details

The average salary for an environmental technician falls in the range of $38,000 to $41,000. However, it varies depending on the type and size of the employer. It also depends on the experience, skills, and qualifications of the candidate applying for that job.

Career Prospects

The career prospects for environmental technicians are bright, and the employment opportunities are definitely going to multiply in the coming years. With more experience, they can advance to higher positions or may need to supervise a large scale project. Due to complexity of environmental regulations, more and more companies will try to hire trained, experienced and highly qualified environmental technicians.

Thus, you can be assured of a rewarding career, if you are able to shoulder environmental technician responsibilities efficiently and effectively.

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