With the growing number and the complexity of environmental regulations throughout the world, especially in the United States, more environmental jobs are showing up on the horizon in both private and government sectors. Environmental field varies widely from the environmental policy lawyers to the environmental technicians.
The environmental technician and the environmental laboratory analyst are some of the entry-level jobs that don’t require college education or professional training. Environmental technician’s job normally involves collecting samples at various monitored locations, like the water bodies, gas stacks and/or the waste streams from manufacturing operations. One can expect to find this type of job either at the environmental firm working for private or government sector or manufacturing facilities in private sector. Normally this type of job requires undergoing safety training, provided by the company. No specific environmental training is usually required.
The position of the environmental laboratory analyst might require a college diploma, like a chemistry degree, but not necessarily. This type of job involves working at the chemical laboratory running chemical analysis on samples collected by the environmental technician and entering them into company’s computerized reporting system or reporting them directly to the higher management. This position involves working with various solid and liquid materials, solvents and other chemicals. The company will provide you with safety training specific to the nature of chemicals and other safety hazards specific to the job. Wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE) like goggles, gloves, etc might be a requirement and is normally provided by the company. No specific environmental training is required for this position.
In some cases, usually in small companies, the position of the environmental technician and the environmental laboratory analyst might be combined into one job.
Junior (Engineer-in-Training) Environmental Engineer is an entry-level position for a new college graduate with Bachelor degree in either the environmental, civil or chemical engineering. Junior engineer works on the projects under the supervision of another engineer or a manager. This is a good time to take Engineer-In-Training (EIT) exam, which is a requirement for the Professional Engineer (PE) certification. No specific environmental training is required for this position.
In most cases no environmental training is required for the entry-level positions in the environmental field, but due to the competitive job market now days, it’s always a good idea to get a feel about the company you’re interested in working for and do your research ahead of time. What sort of issues your potential employer might be faced with on the environmental front or what environmental regulations do they have to comply with?