The need for environmental field technicians has never been greater, as societies around the world strive to protect the environment and mitigate the effects of climate change. If you’re passionate about preserving our natural resources and want to play a critical role in safeguarding the planet, a career as an environmental field tech could be the perfect fit for you. In this blog post, we’ll explore the steps to becoming an environmental field technician, salary and job growth data, and the benefits and drawbacks of this exciting career path.
What is an Environmental Field Technician?
Environmental field technicians are responsible for monitoring and assessing environmental conditions, collecting and analyzing samples, and enforcing environmental regulations. They work in a variety of settings, from government agencies and consulting firms to laboratories and industrial facilities. This hands-on profession is ideal for individuals who enjoy working outdoors and have a strong interest in environmental science.
Steps to Become an Environmental Field Technician
- Obtain the necessary education: Most environmental field techs have at least an associate degree or a certificate in environmental science, environmental technology, or a related field. Some positions may require a bachelor’s degree in environmental science, biology, chemistry, or a related field.
- Gain experience: Entry-level positions may require some experience in environmental monitoring, sample collection, or laboratory work. Internships, volunteering, or part-time positions in the environmental field can help you gain valuable hands-on experience.
- Obtain certifications: Several certifications are available for environmental field techns, including the Environmental Professional In-Training (EPI) certification and the Environmental Field Technician (EFT) certification. These certifications can enhance your resume and demonstrate your commitment to the profession.
- Develop relevant skills: Environmental field technicians need strong analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills, as well as the ability to work independently or as part of a team. Proficiency in relevant computer software and geographic information systems (GIS) can also be advantageous.
Salary and Job Growth Data
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for environmental science and protection technicians, which includes environmental field techs, was $46,540 in 2020. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,930, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $77,940.
Employment of environmental science and protection technicians is projected to grow 8 percent from 2020 to 2030, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. As environmental regulations and policies continue to evolve, the demand for skilled professionals to monitor and enforce these measures will increase.
Benefits of Becoming an Environmental Field Technician
- Job satisfaction: Environmental field technicians have the opportunity to make a tangible difference in the world by protecting and preserving our natural resources.
- Diverse work settings: You can work in various environments, from government agencies and consulting firms to laboratories and industrial facilities, providing ample opportunities for growth and specialization.
- Opportunities for advancement: With experience, environmental field techs can move into higher-level positions, such as environmental scientists, project managers, or consultants.
Drawbacks of Becoming an Environmental Field Technician
- Physical demands: The job can be physically demanding, as it often involves working outdoors in various weather conditions and carrying heavy equipment.
- Potential exposure to hazardous materials: Environmental field technicians may be exposed to hazardous substances, requiring the use of protective gear and adherence to safety protocols.
- Irregular work hours: Depending on the project, you may need to work irregular hours or be on call to respond to environmental emergencies.
Becoming an environmental field technician is a rewarding and fulfilling career choice for those passionate about the environment and eager to make a difference. While it comes with certain challenges, the benefits of protecting our natural resources
and contributing to a healthier planet far outweigh the drawbacks. By following the steps outlined in this guide and staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends and regulations, you can embark on a successful and impactful career as an environmental field technician.
In summary, pursuing a career as an environmental field tech allows you to combine your passion for the environment with a hands-on approach to protecting and preserving our natural resources. With the growing awareness of environmental issues and the increasing need for skilled professionals in this field, there’s never been a better time to consider becoming an environmental field tech. So go ahead, explore this exciting career path, and make your mark in safeguarding the planet for future generations.