Duties and responsibilities
Air pollution control engineers (sometimes called air quality engineers) are environmental engineers that have specialized in controlling air pollution. They develop techniques to analyze and control air pollutions using sophisticated monitoring, chemical analysis, computer modeling and statistical analysis. They can work for the government, in the private industry, as consultants or in research and development. Regardless, their key tasks include:
- Giving testimonies in cases against noncompliant companies
- Dealing with public concerns and opinions
- Monitoring emissions and using the data to formulate methods of control
- Working to ensure products are produced in the most environmentally friendly way
- Selling, installing and running control systems
Air pollution control engineers will need a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from an ABET-accredited program. To obtain licensure, air pollution control engineers will need to pass several exams, participate in internships and obtain work experience. Many air pollution control engineers will go on to achieve a masters degree as this will allow them to enter high paying management positions.
Skills and relevant work experience
Air pollution control engineers will need skills such as:
- Problem-solving skills, as air pollution control engineers need to analyze data to find solutions
- Leadership skills, as air pollution control engineers may need to lead teams and instruct other professionals
- Communication skills, (both written and verbal) as air pollution control engineers must share their ideas with other professionals and keep reports up to date
- Analytical skills, as air pollution control engineers must be able to analyze data before making decisions
- Computer skills, as air pollution control engineers will have to use various softwares to interpret data
Air pollution control engineers are likely to work full time hours (40 hours per week). They may have to work overtime when working towards deadlines.
According to Salary.com, the median annual salary for a air pollution control engineer in the United States is $69,306. The lowest 10% earned less than $64,231 and the highest 10% earned over $80,591.
By obtaining a masters degree, air pollution control engineers will have lots more opportunities. They may progress to move into project management, consultancy, research and lecturing.