Investigators and Inspectors: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more

In state and local governments, environmental science and protection technicians inspect businesses and public places, and investigate complaints related to air quality, water quality, and food safety. They may be involved with the enforcement of environmental regulations. They also may help protect the environment and people’s health by performing environmental impact studies of new construction. Or they may evaluate the environmental health of sites that may contaminate the environment, such as abandoned industrial sites.
Education Required
Environmental science and protection technicians typically need an associate’s degree in environmental science, environmental health, or public health, or a related degree. Because of the wide range of tasks, environments, and industries in which these technicians work, there are jobs that do not require postsecondary education and others that require a bachelor’s degree.
Training Required
Technicians whose jobs involve handling hazardous waste typically need to complete training in accordance with Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) standards. The length of training depends on the type of hazardous material that workers handle. The training covers health hazards, personal protective equipment and clothing, site safety, recognizing and identifying hazards, and decontamination.
Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 12% (Faster than average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
Licenses/Certifications
In some states, environmental science and protection technicians can benefit from obtaining certification to conduct certain types of environmental and health inspections. For example, certification for technicians who test buildings for radon is offered through the National Radon Safety Board (NRSB).
Median pay: How much do Environmental Science and Protection Technicians make?
$44,190 Annual Salary
$21.25 per hour

Careers for Environmental Science and Protection Technicians

  • Air quality technicians
  • Environmental compliance technicians
  • Environmental science technicians
  • Groundwater monitoring technicians
  • Infectious waste technicians
  • Laboratory Technicians
  • Pollution control technicians
  • Public health sanitarian technicians
  • Radon inspectors
  • Technical Consultant
  • Waste minimization technicians

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