Environmental Science and Protection Technicians, Including Health

What they do:

Perform laboratory and field tests to monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution, including those that affect health, under the direction of an environmental scientist, engineer, or other specialist. May collect samples of gases, soil, water, and other materials for testing.

On the job, you would:

  • Record test data and prepare reports, summaries, or charts that interpret test results.
  • Collect samples of gases, soils, water, industrial wastewater, or asbestos products to conduct tests on pollutant levels or identify sources of pollution.
  • Respond to and investigate hazardous conditions or spills, or outbreaks of disease or food poisoning, collecting samples for analysis.
  • Provide information or technical or program assistance to government representatives, employers, or the general public on the issues of public health, environmental protection, or workplace safety.
  • Calibrate microscopes or test instruments.
  • Make recommendations to control or eliminate unsafe conditions at workplaces or public facilities.
  • Inspect sanitary conditions at public facilities.
  • Prepare samples or photomicrographs for testing and analysis.
  • Calculate amount of pollutant in samples or compute air pollution or gas flow in industrial processes, using chemical and mathematical formulas.
  • Initiate procedures to close down or fine establishments violating environmental or health regulations.

Knowledge

  • Chemistry
  • Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language
  • Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics
  • Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Law and Government
  • Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Biology
  • Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Physics
  • Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening
  • Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing
  • Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking
  • Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking
  • Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Science
  • Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Monitoring
  • Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Time Management
  • Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Abilities

  • Written Comprehension
  • The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression
  • The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression
  • The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension
  • The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity
  • The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Near Vision
  • The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Deductive Reasoning
  • The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning
  • The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering
  • The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Speech Clarity
  • The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

Work Activities

  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Processing Information
  • Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Getting Information
  • Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
  • Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Interests

  • Investigative
  • Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Third Interest High-Point
  • Tertiary-Cutoff/Rank Descriptiveness
  • Realistic
  • Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional
  • Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Enterprising
  • Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • First Interest High-Point
  • Primary-Rank Descriptiveness
  • Artistic
  • Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Social
  • Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Second Interest High-Point
  • Secondary-Cutoff/Rank Descriptiveness

Work Styles

  • Integrity
  • Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Attention to Detail
  • Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability
  • Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Cooperation
  • Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Initiative
  • Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Achievement/Effort
  • Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility
  • Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Independence
  • Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Persistence
  • Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.