Environmental Science and Protection Technicians, Including Health

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About the Job

Perform laboratory and field tests to monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution, including those that affect health, under the direction of an environmental scientist, engineer, or other specialist. May collect samples of gases, soil, water, and other materials for testing.

It is also Called

  • Water Treatment Specialist
  • Water Quality Technician
  • Water Quality Specialist
  • Water Quality Analyst
  • Water Purification Chemist
  • Water Analyst
  • Wastewater Treatment Plant Chemist
  • Wastewater Analyst
  • Waste/Materials Exchange Specialist
  • Waste Minimization Technician
View All

What They Do

  • Conduct standardized tests to ensure materials or supplies used throughout power supply systems meet processing and safety specifications.
  • Develop testing procedures.
  • Determine amounts and kinds of chemicals to use in destroying harmful organisms or removing impurities from purification systems.
  • Prepare samples or photomicrographs for testing and analysis.
  • Initiate procedures to close down or fine establishments violating environmental or health regulations.
  • Weigh, analyze, or measure collected sample particles, such as lead, coal dust, or rock, to determine concentration of pollutants.
  • Direct activities of workers in laboratory.
  • Calculate amount of pollutant in samples or compute air pollution or gas flow in industrial processes, using chemical and mathematical formulas.
  • Maintain files, such as hazardous waste databases, chemical usage data, personnel exposure information, or diagrams showing equipment locations.
  • Distribute permits, closure plans, or cleanup plans.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IRC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Realistic and Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Support and Relationships in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • 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.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • 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.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $45,450 with most people making between $25,310 and $69,250

Outlook

1.16%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 1,810 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 2,020 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 21 openings due to growth and about 79 replacement openings for approximately 100 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education