you imagine if the kitchen in your house never got cleaned? Eventually
the rotting food and dirty dishes would create a very unpleasant
and physically unsafe environment in which to live. It is the job
of environmental technologists and technicians to ensure that we
live in as clean an environment as possible. This involves collecting
information regarding the presence and effects of pollutants in
our air, water and soil.
Environmental technologists and technicians have a comprehensive
knowledge of waste reduction, management methods and issues. They
are capable of data handling and acquisition using computer software.
Some specific duties of technologists and technicians would
- Field sampling: air, water and soil
- Solid, liquid and air treatment methods and waste minimization
- Hazardous goods and waste handling methods
- WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Management Information Systems) implementation
and compliance evaluation
- Emergency planning and spill response methods
- Recycling and waste minimization program design
- Environmental issue analysis and environmental law and ethics
- Developing and implementing air, water or soil quality measurement
- Taking inventory of and quantifying sources of locally-generated
- Using different laboratory techniques and instruments to prepare
and analyze samples
- Preparing reports of lab results for internal and external use
- Responding to complaints about air, water or soil quality from
Where Will You Work?
As an environmental technologist or technician, you might find
yourself working for the provincial or federal government, or
for private industry. If you work for private industry, you may
find yourself working for environmental labs, consulting firms,
pulp and paper mills, chemical refineries or utility companies.
You will work both indoors and outdoors, and normally work a
regular Monday to Friday work week, with occasional overtime.
You will work in lab environments and be exposed to toxic materials
so you must be trained and knowledgeable in safety measures.
How Much Will You Earn?
||$55,000 - $70,000/yr
|| $54,000 - $60,000/yr
How Does the Future Look?
Public and government awareness of environmental issues has greatly
expanded the roles of environmental technologists and technicians.
The job prospects for this field are expected to remain good-to-excellent
over the next 10 years.
How Can You Get Started?
In high school, be sure to take courses in English, math, physics,
chemistry and biology.
What Will You Need?
To be a successful environmental technologist or technician you
should enjoy the outdoors and have a passion to improve the quality
of the environment. You need to be analytical, efficient, research
oriented and be skilled at presentations, written communications
and time or priority management.
Post Secondary Possibilities
Kwantlen University College
- Programs listed are those accredited by the Applied Science
Technologists & Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC); check
www.asttbc.org for updates on accredited programs.
- Check with your career facilitator or counsellor for other
sources of information applicable to education options for this
- Salary figures indicated in the 'How Much Will You Earn?' section
are extracted from ASTTBC's Member Compensation Survey or other
Canadian sources applicable to the specific technology discipline.
These figures are representative only; actual figures will vary
depending on academic training, practical experience, job responsibilities
and location of employment.
- The TechWORKS! web site is an important online resource and provides links to career information that will be of interest to students pursuing a career in technology.