Environmental Engineering Technicians

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Environmental Engineering Technicians Overview

As environmental engineering technicians looks for work in a field affected by economic conditions and based on different specialties, acquiring a degree such as an associates degree in environmental engineering technology or other postsecondary training is valuable.

Nature of the Work for Environmental Engineering Technicians

Environmental Engineering Technicians

For environmental engineering technicians, the principles of mathematics, engineering and science are used. An environmental engineering technician will usually participate in areas of research, development, sales and manufacturing when on the job. They may also be involved in construction, inspection, and maintenance.

The job of an environmental engineering technician involves assisting environmental scientists and engineers in areas such as research and development. Their work, which is narrowly focused and more application-oriented, can involve participating in areas of product inspection, data collection, conducting tests, and quality control. Environmental engineering technicians can also assist with computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) equipment.

Though many environmental engineering technicians work in research and development to help with equipment set up, experiments and record collections, environmental engineering technicians in manufacturing can help assist scientists and engineers with designs, development and, production.

When environmental engineering technicians are assisting environmental engineers and scientists, their work involves working to prevent and control environmental hazards. Their jobs can include inspecting air recycling and pollution equipment as well as inspecting water and wastewater treatment systems to help control pollution.

Environmental engineering technicians usually work a 40 hour workweek in an office, industrial plant, laboratory or outdoors. Those working in such conditions should be aware that they may be exposed to chemicals from equipment, even though these incidents are rare.

Training, Other Qualifications and Advancement for Environmental Engineering Technicians

Recommended Education Level

It is important for environmental engineering technicians to complete some form of education, whether it is an associates degree in environmental engineering technology or postsecondary training in engineering technology. Due to the fact that many employers want to hire someone who has been educated, the reason being that those who are not educated may require more training on the job.

Environmental engineering technicians can earn a degree and training from a community college, university extension, technical institute, public or private vocational-technical schools or the Armed Forces.

Before obtaining an associates degree or postsecondary training, those looking to become environmental engineering technicians should complete high school courses in science and mathematics.

Two-year associate degree programs are accredited by the Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Those studying to become environmental engineering technicians should take either algebra or trigonometry and a science course. With about 700 ABET programs available, some programs may require more courses in math and science than others. Since each program varies, an example of coursework for environmental engineering technicians would be courses in environmental regulations and safe handling of hazardous materials.

Those who study at technical institutes learn through application and practice but less is provided on theory and general education. Two-year associate degree programs are available at technical institutes.

Similar to the curriculums of technical institutes, community colleges offer courses based on theory and liberal arts. There aren’t many differences between a technical institute and community college since they both offer 2-year programs for environmental and engineering technicians.

With the completion of this 2-year program, many technicians choose to either move forward with a 4-year degree or get a job as an engineering technician.

There are differences between an associates degree in pre-engineering and an associates degree in engineering technology. A 2-year associates degree in pre-engineering can equal having difficulty finding work without completing the 4-year program. Those with an associates degree in engineering technology may have trouble transferring credits when transferring to a 4-year program.

Colleges with 4-year programs rarely offer engineering technician training but taking courses in engineering, science, and mathematics are helpful when job hunting. Usually, 4-year programs offer bachelor degrees in engineering technology, where people tend to work as applied engineers or technologists.

Local students who train at vocational-technical schools are provided with training to help them get jobs with local employers. A high school diploma or its equivalent is usually required.

The Armed Forces provide those seeking to become environmental engineering technicians a place to learn technical skills. The training is narrowly-focused and highly regarded but it can be difficult for engineering technicians to gain work in the civilian industry, usually forcing them to take extra training classes.

Necessary qualifications for environmental engineering technicians are communication skills, willingness to work in teams, and creativity.

Once training and education are completed, many environmental engineering technicians begin working under trained professionals such as engineers and scientists before taking on harder tasks and sometimes moving up to supervisor positions.

Top 10 Most Popular Environmental Engineering Technology/Environmental Technology Schools

1. The University of Findlay (Findlay, Ohio)

2. Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg (Middletown, Pennsylvania)

3. University of Puerto Rico, Aguadilla (Aguadilla, Puerto Rico)

4. Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Cooper (Brooklyn, New York)

5. CUNY New York City College of Technology (Raleigh, North Carolina)

6. North Carolina State University at Raleigh (Big Rapids, Michigan)

7. Ferris State University (Lexington, Kentucky)

8. Three Rivers Community College, Norwich (Norwich, Connecticut)

9. Mt Hood Community College, Gresham (Gresham, Oregon)

10. Owens Community College, Toledo Campus (Perrysburg, Ohio)

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See All Environmental Engineering Technology/Environmental Technology Schools

Most Popular Online Environmental Engineering Technology/Environmental Technology Schools

1. University of Florida - Online School

2. Worcester Polytechnic Institute - Online School

Employment and Job Outlook for Environmental Engineering Technicians

Number of People in Profession


Changing Employment (2008-2018)

Employment is projected to grow much faster than average (increase 20% or more).

From the 497,300 jobs held by technicians, 20,630 of those jobs were held by environmental engineering technicians.

Of all the engineering technicians that were employed during that year, 33 percent worked in manufacturing while 25 percent worked in scientific, professional or technical service industries, such as manufacturing firms or working for the government.

Those who chose to work for the government usually worked for the Federal Government, employing 35,300 engineering technicians or for local governments, employing 25,100.

In comparison to the overall employment growth of 5 percent for engineering technicians between, environmental engineering technicians are expected to have a 30 percent growth.

Due to an increasing population and public health concerns, environmental engineering technicians will be crucial for assessing environmental regulations and developing ways to clean up hazardous materials. Since the emphasis is on prevention, environmental engineering technicians will be needed to aid in this process.

Even though employment growth is expected to increase 30 percent, competition and the use of automated machinery and updated facilities can affect job growth.

Other factors that can affect job growth are the relocation of development operations overseas to reduce cost and to speed up the completion of projects. Even though many companies are increasing globalization, many require on-site assistance which translates to a demand for engineering technicians in the US.

Since the employment of engineers also affects engineering technicians since they work so closely together, an associates degree or postsecondary training in engineering technology will create more job opportunities available for environmental engineering technicians.

Earnings and Salary for Environmental Engineering Technicians

Median annual wages for environmental engineering technicians are $42,350. The middle 50 percent earn between $33,490 and $54,560. The lowest 10 percent earn less than $27,160, and the highest 10 percent earn more than $70,840.

Annual Salary for Environmental Engineering Technicians

On average, Environmental Engineering Technicians earn $42,350 per year.

10% 25% 75% 90% $27,160/yr $33,490/yr $54,560/yr $70,840/yr

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

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