Environmental pollution makes headlines in the news from time to time, but it’s the top concern every day for environmental engineering technicians. They run the equipment and collect test samples that monitor air and water quality to help keep the public healthy and secure. Environmental engineering technicians carry out the plans that environmental engineers develop. They operate equipment used to prevent or clean up environmental pollution, and modify the equipment to meet a particular need. They collect air and water samples, and work to mitigate sources of environmental pollution, including lead, asbestos, and other hazardous materials. In laboratories, and when inspecting facilities for compliance, these technicians record observations and test results. Some are responsible for maintaining supplies in their laboratories. Most technicians work full-time, regular business hours, in labs. If called on to contain a major environmental threat, or perform other work in a remote location, longer hours are common. Environmental engineering technicians can be exposed to hazards, and may need to wear hazmat suits, heavy rubber boots, and sometimes respirators, even in warm weather. Most environmental engineering technicians work in engineering services, consulting services, government, waste management, and manufacturing. An associate’s degree in environmental engineering technology or a related field is required to enter the field. High school science and math courses are helpful.
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