Environmental Engineering Technologists and Technicians

Career, Salary and Education Information

What They Do: Environmental engineering technologists and technicians carry out the plans that environmental engineers develop.

Work Environment: Most environmental engineering technologists and technicians work full time. They typically work indoors, usually in laboratories, and often have regular working hours. However, they must sometimes work irregular hours in order to monitor operations.

How to Become One: Environmental engineering technologists and technicians typically need an associate’s degree in environmental engineering technology or a related field.

Salary: The median annual wage for environmental engineering technologists and technicians is $51,630.

Job Outlook: Employment of environmental engineering technologists and technicians is projected to grow 7 percent over the next ten years, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment in this occupation typically is tied to projects created by environmental engineers. State and local governments’ concerns regarding water availability and quality should lead to efforts to increase the efficiency of water use.

Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of environmental engineering technologists and technicians with similar occupations.

Following is everything you need to know about a career as an environmental engineering technologist or technician with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this page to continue reading about the career:

Top 3 Environmental Engineering Technician Jobs

  • Senior Engineering Technician - Volt - Everett, WA

    Senior Engineering Technician This company located in Everett WA which is a leader in the design ... Perform environmental tests. Evaluate circuit performance and testing procedures. Derive, test and ...

  • Engineering Technician 2 - 8242 - US - Volt - Hillsboro, OR

    Engineering Technician 2 This company in Hillsboro, Oregon which is an American semiconductor ... environment , and being a team player required. Volt is an Equal Opportunity Employer

  • Senior Engineering Technician - AvtechTyee Inc - Everett, WA

    ... environmental tests Evaluate circuit performance and testing procedures. Derive, test and document corrective actions necessary to solve problems Participate in improving the operation of the ...

See all Environmental Engineering Technician jobs

What Environmental Engineering Technologists and Technicians Do[About this section] [To Top]

Environmental engineering technologists and technicians carry out the plans that environmental engineers develop.

Duties of Environmental Engineering Technologists and Technicians

Environmental engineering technologists and technicians typically do the following:

  • Set up, test, operate, and modify equipment used to prevent or clean up environmental pollution
  • Maintain project records and computer program files
  • Conduct pollution surveys, for which they collect and analyze samples, such as samples of air and ground water
  • Perform indoor and outdoor work on environmental quality
  • Work to mitigate sources of environmental pollution
  • Review technical documents to ensure their completeness and conformance to requirements
  • Review work plans to schedule activities
  • Arrange for the disposal of lead, asbestos, and other hazardous materials

In laboratories, environmental engineering technologists and technicians record observations, test results, and document photographs. To keep laboratories supplied, they also may gather product information, identify vendors and suppliers, and order materials and equipment.

Environmental engineering technologists and technicians help environmental engineers develop devices used to clean up environmental pollution. They also inspect facilities for compliance with the regulations that govern substances such as asbestos, lead, and wastewater.

Work Environment for Environmental Engineering Technologists and Technicians[About this section] [To Top]

Environmental engineering technologists and technicians hold about 18,500 jobs. The largest employers of environmental engineering technologists and technicians are as follows:

Engineering services 25%
Management, scientific, and technical consulting services 19%
Government 14%
Waste management and remediation services 13%
Manufacturing 7%

Environmental engineering technologists and technicians work under the direction of engineers and as part of a team with other technicians. They must be able to work well with both supervisors and peers.

Environmental engineering technologists and technicians typically work indoors, usually in laboratories, and often have regular working hours. They also work outdoors, sometimes in remote locations.

Because environmental engineering technologists and technicians help out in environmental cleanup, they can be exposed to hazards from equipment, chemicals, or toxic materials. For this reason, they must follow proper safety procedures, such as wearing hazmat suits and sometimes respirators, even in warm weather. When they work in wet areas, environmental engineering technologists and technicians wear heavy rubber boots to keep their legs and feet dry.

Environmental Engineering Technologist and Technician Work Schedules

Most environmental engineering technologists and technicians work full time and typically have regular hours. However, they must sometimes work irregular hours in order to monitor operations or contain a major environmental threat.

How to Become an Environmental Engineering Technologist or Technician[About this section] [To Top]

Get the education you need: Find schools for Environmental Engineering Technologists and Technicians near you!

Environmental engineering technologists and technicians typically need an associate's degree in environmental engineering technology or a related field.

Education for Environmental Engineering Technologists and Technicians

Environmental engineering technologists and technicians typically need an associate's degree in environmental engineering technology or a related field. Programs in environmental engineering technology generally include courses in mathematics, chemistry, hazardous-waste management, and environmental assessment, among others.

Programs can be found in vocational–technical schools and community colleges. Both types of school offer similar programs, but community colleges include more theory-based and liberal arts coursework. Some environmental engineering technologists and technicians enter the occupation with a bachelor's degree in a natural science, such as biology or chemistry.

ABET accredits engineering and engineering technology programs at the associate's level and above.

Prospective engineering technicians should take as many high school science and math courses as possible to prepare for programs in engineering technology after high school.

Important Qualities for Environmental Engineering Technologists and Technicians

Communication skills. When working on teams, environmental engineering technologists and technicians must listen well and report back to their group or team leader.

Critical-thinking skills. Environmental engineers rely on environmental engineering technologists and technicians to help identify problems and solutions and to implement the engineers' plans. To do these tasks, technicians must be able to think critically and logically.

Observational skills. Environmental engineering technologists and technicians are the eyes and ears of environmental engineers and must assume responsibility for properly evaluating situations onsite. These technicians must recognize problems so that the environmental engineers are informed as quickly as possible.

Problem-solving skills. Environmental engineering technologists and technicians implement plans designed by engineers. They often operate and maintain complex machinery. They must devise solutions to problems, such as mechanical breakdowns or unexpected findings at a worksite.

Reading skills. Environmental engineering technologists and technicians must be able to read and understand legal and technical documents in order to ensure that regulatory requirements are being met.

Training for Environmental Engineering Technologists and Technicians

Some environmental technician positions require training on working with hazardous materials in accordance with Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) standards.

Advancement for Environmental Engineering Technologists and Technicians

Environmental engineering technologists and technicians usually begin work as trainees in entry-level positions supervised by an environmental engineer or a more experienced technician. As they gain experience, technicians take on more responsibility and carry out assignments under general supervision. Some eventually enter positions as senior environmental technicians or lead environmental technicians, who function as supervisors when onsite.

Technicians with a bachelor's degree often are able to advance to become environmental engineers.

Environmental Engineering Technologist and Technician Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]

The median annual wage for environmental engineering technologists and technicians is $51,630. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,850, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $87,730.

The median annual wages for environmental engineering technologists and technicians in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Manufacturing $57,820
Government $57,210
Management, scientific, and technical consulting services $51,940
Engineering services $49,970
Waste management and remediation services $41,900

Most environmental engineering technologists and technicians work full time and typically have regular hours. However, they must sometimes work irregular hours in order to monitor operations or contain a major environmental threat.

Job Outlook for Environmental Engineering Technologists and Technicians[About this section] [To Top]

Employment of environmental engineering technologists and technicians is projected to grow 7 percent over the next ten years, faster than the average for all occupations.

Employment in this occupation is typically tied to projects created by environmental engineers. State and local governments are expected to focus their efforts and resources on efficient water use, storm water management, and wastewater treatment over the next decade. The demand for more environmental technicians by consulting firms will arise as governments and larger firms look to reduce costs.

Employment projections data for Environmental Engineering Technologists and Technicians, 2019-29
Occupational Title Employment, 2019 Projected Employment, 2029 Change, 2019-29
Percent Numeric
Environmental engineering technologists and technicians 18,500 19,900 7 1,400


A portion of the information on this page is used by permission of the U.S. Department of Labor.


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