Environmental Engineering Technologists and Technicians
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 scientists. 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 Technician, Haz Tech (Hazardous Technician)

Occupation-Specific Information

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.
  • Obtain product information, identify vendors or suppliers, or order materials or equipment to maintain inventory.

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Technology Skills

  • Analytical or scientific software — Statistical software; The MathWorks MATLAB Hot technology ; Visual MODFLOW Pro; Wolfram Research Mathematica; 27 more
  • 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; 4 more
  • Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD Hot technology ; Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D Hot technology ; Bentley MicroStation Hot technology ; Computer aided design and drafting CADD software; 2 more
  • Data base user interface and query software — Database software; Microsoft Access Hot technology ; 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 In-Demand Hot technology
  • Geographic information system — ESRI ArcGIS software Hot technology ; Geographic information system GIS software; Geographic information system GIS systems In Demand
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Photogrammetric software
  • Industrial control software — Fugitive emission leak detection software
  • Internet browser software
  • Map creation software — Geomechanical design analysis GDA software; Soil mapping software
  • Object or component oriented development software — C++ Hot technology ; Python Hot technology
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office software In-Demand Hot technology
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint In-Demand Hot technology
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel In-Demand Hot technology
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word Hot technology
Hot technology
Hot Technologies are requirements most frequently included across all employer job postings.
In demand
In Demand skills are frequently included in employer job postings for this occupation.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

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Detailed Work Activities

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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.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Education
Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, conservation scientists, art directors, and cost estimators.
SVP Range
2-4 years of preparation (7.0 to < 8.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
State licenses
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

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.
  • Operations 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.

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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.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 67%
     
    responded: Bachelor’s degree required
  • 11%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 8%
     
    responded: Post-secondary certificate required

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Worker Characteristics

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 that 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.

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Interests

Interest code: RIC
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • 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.

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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.

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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.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$23.27 hourly, $48,390 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2021)
15,500 employees
Projected growth (2021-2031)
Average (4% to 7%)
Projected job openings (2021-2031)
1,600
State trends
Top industries (2021)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2021-2031 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2021-2031). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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