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Environmental Science and Protection Technicians

Environmental science and protection technicians monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution and contamination, including those affecting health. Show Details


Environmental science and protection technicians typically do the following:

  • Inspect establishments, including public places and businesses, to ensure that there are no environmental, health, or safety hazards
  • Set up and maintain equipment used to monitor pollution levels, such as remote sensors that measure emissions from smokestacks
  • Collect samples of air, soil, water, and other materials for laboratory analysis
  • Perform scientific tests to identify and measure levels of pollutants in samples
  • Prepare charts and reports that summarize test results
  • Discuss test results and analyses with clients

Many environmental science and protection technicians work under the supervision of environmental scientists and specialists, who direct their work and evaluate their results. In addition, they often work on teams with scientists, engineers, and technicians in other fields to solve complex problems related to environmental degradation and public health. For example, they may work on teams with geoscientists and hydrologists to manage the cleanup of contaminated soils and ground water.

Most environmental science and protection technicians work either for state or local government or for private consulting firms.

In state and local governments, environmental science and protection technicians enforce regulations that protect the environment and peopleís health. They spend a lot of time inspecting businesses and public places and investigating complaints related to air quality, water quality, and food safety. They may issue fines or close establishments that violate environmental or health regulations.

In private consulting firms, environmental science and protection technicians help clients monitor and manage the environment and comply with regulations. For example, they help businesses develop cleanup plans for contaminated sites, and they recommend ways to reduce, control, or eliminate pollution. Also, environmental science and protection technicians conduct feasibility studies for, and monitor the environmental impact of, new construction projects.

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians

Medical laboratory technologists (also known as medical laboratory scientists) and medical laboratory technicians collect samples and perform the tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances. Show Details


Medical laboratory technologists and medical laboratory technicians have different job responsibilities: technologists perform more complex tests and procedures than do technicians, and they typically supervise technicians. Medical laboratory technologists typically do the following:

  • Analyze body fluids such as blood, urine, and tissue samples to determine normal or abnormal findings
  • Collect and study blood samples for use in transfusions by identifying the number of cells, the cell morphology or the blood group, blood type, and compatibility with other blood types
  • Operate sophisticated laboratory equipment such as microscopes and cell counters
  • Use automated equipment and computerized instruments capable of performing a number of tests at the same time
  • Log data from medical tests and enter results into a patientís medical record
  • Discuss results and findings of laboratory tests and procedures with physicians
  • Supervise or train medical laboratory technicians

Medical laboratory technicians usually work under the supervision of medical laboratory technologists or laboratory managers. Both technicians and technologists perform tests and procedures that physicians or other healthcare personnel order. However, technologists perform more complex tests and laboratory procedures than technicians do. For example, technologists may prepare specimens and operate automated analyzers or perform manual tests that are based on detailed instructions. †

Technologists in small laboratories perform many types of tests; in large laboratories, they generally specialize. The following are examples of types of specialized medical laboratory technologists:

Blood bank technologists, or immunohematology technologists, collect blood, classify it by type, and prepare blood and its components for transfusions.†

Clinical chemistry technologists prepare specimens and analyze the chemical and hormonal contents of body fluids.†

Cytotechnologists prepare slides of body cells and examine these cells with a microscope for abnormalities that may signal the beginning of a cancerous growth.†

Immunology technologists examine elements of the human immune system and its response to foreign bodies.†

Microbiology technologists examine and identify bacteria and other microorganisms.†

Molecular biology technologists perform complex protein and nucleic acid tests on cell samples.

Like technologists, medical laboratory technicians may work in several areas of the laboratory or specialize in one particular area.

Phlebotomists collect blood samples.

Histotechnicians cut and stain tissue specimens for pathologists, doctors who study cause and development of diseases at a microscopic level.

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