Environmental Field Technician How to Hire, Salary Data, and Job Descriptions

Environmental field technicians are responsible for conducting tests on the environmental impact of a potential source of pollutants. They typically test soil, water, and air to prevent environmental degradation and expose public health threats. They must be familiar with state and local environmental laws to identify violations. Environmental field technicians are employed by various agencies, companies, and other firms to gather data they can use to monitor pollution. The environmental field technician investigates the sources, prepares reports, and communicates findings to the company or agency. They must be familiar with relevant equipment such as air sampling monitors, microscopes, sound level meters, water pumps, and lead sampling kits. 

Environmental field technicians must have excellent verbal and written communication skills, research and investigative skills, and good reading comprehension skills to understand work-related documents. They need to be critical thinkers and be able to work independently or as part of a team. The ability to convey information factually and clearly to engineers or team leaders is critical. Observational skills are also important in this role.

Sample job description #1

Specific responsibilities in this role will include

  • Operation of pump pulling unit
  • Pump installation and troubleshooting
  • Operation of small backhoes and forklifts
  • Welding and torch operation
  • Jobsite housekeeping
  • Perform groundwater monitoring and remediation system operation and maintenance tasks
  • Perform soil and groundwater sampling
  • Support clients during emergency response and remediation projects

Successful skills and qualifications

  • High School Diploma/GED required
  • Up to 3 years of environmental experience preferred
  • Ability and willingness to perform field work 100% of the time
  • Ability and willingness to travel, including some overnights, as needed
  • Valid driver’s license required; CDL Class A preferred (or must be able to obtain CDL)
  • OSHA 40hr HAZWOPER training a plus

Sample job description #2

What you’ll do

  • Train and work with tools and test equipment to provide service of multiple different technologies and network designs
  • Recommend products and services that resolve their communications needs
  • Work in both buried and aerial plant requiring pole climbing and ladder skills
  • Safely operate and maintain clean and organized company service vehicle
  • Work in both inside and outside environments
  • Complete necessary safety training and follow safety standards and regulations
  • You will report to the Manager of Local Operations

Qualifications

  • Basic technology and math skills
  • Valid driver’s license and safe driving record
  • Ability to distinguish colors in use of color-coded cable
  • Ability to use equipment with maximum load capacity of 275lbs
  • Ability to lift up to 50lbs, capable of working aloft
  • Ability to successfully complete required safety training
  • Ability to work assigned schedules and extended hours including day, evening, weekend, and holiday hours
  • Ability to respond to after hour call-outs
  • High School Degree or GED equivalent

Even better

  • Customer service or sale experience
  • Certifications or training directly related to the position
  • Two-year technical degree in computers or electronics, or the equivalent in work experience

Sample job description #3

Begin your journey outdoors! Our field technicians get hands-on experience collecting data while spending most of their time outdoors in a hardhat rather than in a cubicle.

As a key member of the stack team, this role will be responsible for a full range of duties including:

  • Project preparation: glassware preparation, cleaning procedures, repair, calibration and fabrication
  • Project deployment, testing per prescribed methods, breakdown, and demobilization of equipment
  • Record test data ensuring information on datasheets is complete and accurate
  • Practice safety methods and procedures, and report all potential dangers and hazards

Necessary qualifications

To perform this job successfully, individuals must be able to perform each duty and responsibility satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.

  • High School diploma through Bachelor’s degree
  • No experience necessary
  • Transferable experience: laborer, construction, industrial maintenance, mechanical, laboratory, environmental, field science, etc.
  • Capacity for overnight and local travel for multi-weekday projects up to 70% of the time or more
  • Flexibility is a must as the position may require weekend travel or work for a few projects during the year
  • Ability to work in outdoor industrial settings, including climbing to and working on elevated platforms (50ft – 300ft)
  • Must be able to exert moderate physical effort, including lifting heavy materials up to 50 pounds
  • Capability to pass background checks and initial and random drug screening
  • Valid driver’s license and ability to obtain a DOT medical certification

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for an environmental field technician is $41,850 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$41,600$56,300
Los Angeles, California$46,950$63,550
Denver, Colorado$39,150$52,950
Washington, DC$47,650$64,500
Miami, Florida$38,950$52,700
Orlando, Florida$35,950$48,600
Tampa, Florida$36,300$49,100
Atlanta, Georgia$38,050$51,500
Chicago, Illinois$43,750$59,200
Boston, Massachusetts$47,300$64,000
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$37,700$51,000
New York City, New York$49,800$67,400
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$40,550$54,850
Dallas, Texas$39,500$53,400
Houston, Texas$39,150$52,950
Seattle, Washington$45,550$61,600
National Average$35,550$48,150

Sample interview questions

  • Tell me how you go about organizing and prioritizing your workday.
  • What makes you want to be an environmental field technician?
  • Have you applied new technology or methodology recently? What was the result?
  • Would you consider analyzing and organizing data a strength of yours?
  • How would you go about collecting and analyzing a sample from start to finish?
  • Can you describe a time in which you struggled to perform your job? What was the cause and what was the resolution?
  • Would you consider yourself a team-oriented performer or do you prefer to work alone?
  • Can you share a time in which you’ve isolated, identified, and prepared specimens for examination?

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