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Environmental science and protection technicians monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution and contamination, including those affecting health.
Environmental Science and Protection Technicians typically do the following:
- Inspect establishments, including public places and businesses, to ensure that there are no environmental, health, or safety hazards
- Set up and maintain equipment used to monitor pollution levels, such as remote sensors that measure emissions from smokestacks
- Collect samples of air, soil, water, and other materials for laboratory analysis
- Perform scientific tests to identify and measure levels of pollutants in samples
- Prepare charts and reports that summarize test results
- Discuss test results and analyses with clients
Environmental science and protection technicians typically do the following:
Many environmental science and protection technicians work under the supervision of environmental scientists and specialists, who direct their work and evaluate their results. In addition, they often work on teams with scientists, engineers, and technicians in other fields to solve complex problems related to environmental degradation and public health. For example, they may work on teams with geoscientists and hydrologists to manage the cleanup of contaminated soils and ground water.
Most environmental science and protection technicians work either for state or local government or for private consulting firms.
In state and local governments, environmental science and protection technicians enforce regulations that protect the environment and people’s health. They spend a lot of time inspecting businesses and public places and investigating complaints related to air quality, water quality, and food safety. They may issue fines or close establishments that violate environmental or health regulations.
In private consulting firms, environmental science and protection technicians help clients monitor and manage the environment and comply with regulations. For example, they help businesses develop cleanup plans for contaminated sites, and they recommend ways to reduce, control, or eliminate pollution. Also, environmental science and protection technicians conduct feasibility studies for, and monitor the environmental impact of, new construction projects.