What Does an Environmental Field Technician Do?
Environmental field technicians are responsible for testing 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 need to be familiar with equipment such as air sampling monitors, microscopes, sound level meters, water pumps, and lead sampling kits.
Environmental field technicians should have excellent verbal and written communication skills, research and investigative skills, and strong reading comprehension skills to understand technical documents. They need to be critical thinkers and be able to work both independently and as part of a team as they will work on a variety of projects.
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National Average Salary
Environmental field technician salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for an Environmental Field Technician is:
Environmental Field Technician Job Descriptions
When it comes to recruiting an environmental field technician, having the right job description can make a big difference. Here are some real world job descriptions you can use as templates for your next opening.
Environmental field technicians perform lab and field tests to investigate and protect against contaminants. They track sources of pollution and monitor the health effects of people and animals in the area to keep their environment safe for future generations. These technicians will often work alongside scientists and other specialists in the field. They’ll gather samples from the field and work in labs using scientific equipment to track, catalog, and source potential environmental dangers. Do you like hands-on projects working in nature? Do you have a passion for protecting the environment? If so, please apply to our open position.
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Collect water, soil, air and other samples for analysis to assess pollution and other problems
- Maintain data on samples and other fieldwork
- Perform basic calculations and computer data entry
- Prepare, maintain, and present reports and records
- Set up and operate equipment or stations to monitor and collect pollutants from sites
Education and experience
This position requires an associate degree, preferably with courses in ecology, biology, chemistry, and global environmental issues. Employers often prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree and certification as an environmental professional.
Required skills and qualifications
- Broad knowledge of federal, state, and local environmental regulations
- Experience with ecological surveying and reporting
- Knowledge of various sampling techniques and equipment
- Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
- Robust technical writing, analytical, and communications skills
- Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite and industry-related software
- Comfortable with fieldwork
- OSHA certified
- Bachelor’s degree in related field
- Strong knowledge of environmental science
- Excellent mathematical skills
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
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
- 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
- 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
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
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
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- OSHA Safety Certification. By obtaining this federally recognized certification in safety, candidates demonstrate their ability to operate in a safe work environment. They’ll develop recognition and identification of physical hazards and health risks and implement proactive health and safety procedures.
- Geographic Information Systems Professional. The GISP was founded on real-world principles and combined with education and professional excellence to establish a foundation for geographic and environmental understanding. This certification provided by the GIS&T requires some experience and education to apply for.
- Certified Environmental Professional: Environmental Operations. The Academy of Board Certified Environmental Professionals established the CEP to designate senior environmental professionals as exemplary in their position. This certification shows high standards of conduct, professional standards, and exceptional skills.
- Certified Environment Systems Manager. The CESM is specifically designed for candidates that are looking to have a thorough understanding of environmental systems and operational facilities. By obtaining this degree, they’ll have demonstrated their ability to work within the best practices within environmental systems management and operations.
Sample Interview Questions
- What makes you want to be an environmental field technician?
- Have you applied new technology or methodology recently? What was the result?
- Can you describe your experience with various types of environmental testing equipment and methods, such as air quality testing or soil sampling?
- Why is it important to collect and analyze environmental samples accurately and precisely?
- Can you share an experience when you encountered an unexpected problem during an environmental test, and how you handled it?
- When working with hazardous materials or in potentially dangerous environments, what safety precautions do you take?
- What are your strategies for managing your time and prioritizing tasks when working on multiple environmental testing projects at once?
- Do you have experience interpreting and reporting environmental test results to clients?
- Can you describe a time when you had to work independently in the field and how you ensured efficient and accurate testing?
- Do you have experience maintaining and troubleshooting environmental testing equipment?
- In what ways do you keep up with the latest developments in environmental testing and monitoring?