Environmental engineering technicians carry out the plans that environmental engineers develop. They test, operate, and, if necessary, modify equipment used to prevent or clean up environmental pollution. They may collect samples for testing, or they may work to mitigate sources of environmental pollution.
Most environmental engineering technicians work full time. They typically work indoors, usually in laboratories, and often have regular working hours. However, they must sometimes work irregular hours in order to monitor operations.
How to Become an Environmental Engineering Technician
Environmental engineering technicians typically need an associate’s degree in environmental engineering technology or a related field.
Employment of environmental engineering technicians is projected to grow 10 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment in this occupation is typically tied to projects created by environmental engineers. State and local governments are expected to focus their efforts and resources on efficient water use and wastewater treatment, and thus to increase demand for environmental engineering technicians.
This occupation supported 19,000 jobs in 2012 and 18,600 jobs in 2014, reflecting a decline of 2.1%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 18.4% in 2022 to 22,500 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 19,700, compared with an observed value of 18,600, 5.6% lower than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 9.5% in 2024 to 20,400 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 23,200 jobs for 2024, 13.7% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are much worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.