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Pollution Control Technologist

Pollution control technologists conduct inspections, tests and field investigations to determine the extent of existing air, water or soil contamination and find ways to control and prevent contamination.

  • Avg. Salary $62,913.00
  • Avg. Wage $30.64
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed 2,300
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Air Quality Specialist, Biological Sciences Technician/Technologist, Environmental Technician/Technologist, Laboratory Technician/Technologist, Water Quality Specialist

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Chemical Technologists (2211.1) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Chemical Technologists and Technicians (C111) 
  • 2011 NOC: Chemical technologists and technicians (2211) 
Interest Codes
The Pollution Control Technologist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Chemical Technologists

Interest in precision working to operate and maintain laboratory equipment and apparatus, to operate chemical and petrochemical pilot plants, and to conduct air and water quality testing and assessments


Interest in analyzing data to develop and conduct programs of sampling and analysis to maintain quality standards of raw materials, chemical intermediates and products


Interest in supervising to oversee environmental monitoring and protection activities and compliance with standards; in assisting in the development of chemical engineering processes, standards, procedures and health and safety measures; in assisting in studies of chemical engineering procurement, construction, inspection and maintenance; and in preparing solutions of gas and liquid, reagents and sample formulations

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Feb 08, 2016

Pollution control technologists often work as part of a team of environmental specialists that primarily may be concerned with:

  • air quality
  • water quality
  • soil quality
  • noise control
  • hazardous waste control
  • a combination of the above.

Duties and responsibilities vary depending on their area of specialization but, in general, pollution control technologists:

  • conduct inspections of industrial facilities, municipal facilities and waste management facilities to determine compliance with standard operating procedures or environmental legislation
  • collect and analyze environmental samples such as soil samples, gas samples from industrial emissions or water samples from streams according to sampling protocol
  • set up, operate and maintain environmental monitoring equipment and test instrumentation in fixed or mobile stations
  • help clean up hazardous waste spills and measure the extent of damage to the surrounding environment 
  • help monitor and control pollutant emissions into the water and air
  • help monitor and control the clean-up of contaminated land
  • conduct environmental audits in solid waste, air and water management
  • interpret sample analyses and field information to prepare environmental reports and maintain records
  • make recommendations regarding the equipment and procedures to be used in removing or reducing the level of pollutants.

For a description of the duties performed by technologists who work primarily in laboratories analyzing samples, see the Chemical Technologist profile.

Working Conditions
Updated Feb 08, 2016

Working conditions range from pleasant office environments to unpleasant outdoor environments (for example, working in bad weather conditions or around odorous substances, pollutants or hazardous wastes). Some jobs involve a lot of physical activity including lifting equipment weighing up to 20 kilograms, travel to field sites or being away from home for several days or weeks at a time.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Feb 08, 2016

Pollution control technologists need the following characteristics:

  • the patience and perseverance required to gather and test field samples
  • the ability to ensure legal compliance tactfully but persistently
  • good observation and analytical skills
  • the ability to be innovative and creative
  • the ability to work independently as well as part of a team
  • good verbal and written communication skills.

They should enjoy working with tools and instruments at tasks requiring precision, analyzing data to find solutions to problems, taking a methodical approach to their work and supervising others.

Educational Requirements
Updated Feb 08, 2016

Most pollution control technologists have related post-secondary education such as a diploma in biological or environmental sciences, or a degree in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, environmental science and earth science, or environmental engineering technology.

Post-secondary institutions throughout Alberta offer programs in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, environmental science and related disciplines.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Evergreen College - Calgary

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

Yellowhead Tribal College Edmonton - AB

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Feb 08, 2016

Certified Engineering Technologist

Under the supervision of a professional engineer or professional technologist in engineering, certified engineering technologists undertake the routine application of industry recognized codes, standards, procedures and practices. They use established engineering, geoscience or applied science principles and methods of problem solving. Duties may include design, production, marketing, testing, quality control, estimating, surveying, inspecting, diagnostic evaluation, supervision, management and technical sales.


Under Alberta's Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act (PDF) and ASET Regulation (PDF), you must be a registered member of the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) to use the title Certified Engineering Technologist (CET). You do not have to be registered if you do not call yourself a Certified Engineering Technologist.

What You Need

Registration requires:

  • successful completion of an applied science, engineering or information technology program accredited at the technologist level by the Canadian Technology Accreditation Board (CTAB), or equivalent
  • at least 2 years of acceptable technical experience
  • 3 professional references
  • completion of a competency report
  • successful completion of ASET's Professional Practice Exam
  • demonstration of proficiency in English.

For detailed official information, contact the regulatory organization below.

Working in Alberta

Engineering technologists who are certified by and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for certification in Alberta if certified engineering technologists in the 2 jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory? and the Alberta regulatory organization above.

To learn about the certification process for internationally educated engineering technologists, see Mechanical Engineering Technologist Certification Process (PDF) and Electrical Engineering Technologist Certification Process (PDF) on

Contact Details

The Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET)
1600 - 9888 Jasper Ave.
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 5C6
Phone: 780-425-0626
Toll-free in Alberta: 1-800-272-5619
Fax: 780-424-5053

Professional Technologist (Engineering or Geoscience)

Professional Technologists (Engineering) and Professional Technologists (Geoscience) are currently unique to Alberta. They practise independently in accordance with established methodologies and specifications in the fields of engineering, geology and geophysics, and they have the authority to sign off and stamp work within a prescribed scope of practice.


Under Alberta's Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act (PDF) and Professional Technologists Regulation (PDF), you must be registered as a Professional Technologist (Engineering or Geoscience) by the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) to practise engineering, geology or geophysics within a prescribed scope of practice, or to use the titles Professional Technologist (Engineering) or Professional Technologist (Geoscience) or the abbreviations P.Tech. (Eng.) or P.Tech. (Geo.).

What You Need

Registration requires:

  • designation as a Certified Engineering Technologist (CET) in good standing
  • at least 6 years of work experience in areas that relate to engineering or geoscience, with at least 2 years under the supervision and control of a Professional Engineer or Professional Geologist in the applicant's proposed area and scope of practice
  • at least 2 years of post-secondary education or 10 years of experience that matches the proposed scope of practice
  • 3 professional references
  • proof of compliance with ASET's Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program
  • proficiency in English
  • successful completion of the National Professional Practice Exam.

For detailed official information, contact the regulatory organization below.

Working in Alberta

Professional technologists are currently only recognized in Alberta. They may be eligible for a limited licence with engineering regulatory organizations in other jurisdictions. Information on obtaining a limited licence is available through the regulatory organizations.

A professional technologist may also transfer to another province and receive recognition as a Certified Engineering Technologist by completing a transfer form and paying the associated transfer fee. Transfer forms are provided by the provincial regulatory organizations for technologists. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory? and the Alberta regulatory organization below.

Contact Details

The Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET)
1600 - 9888 Jasper Ave.
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 5C6
Phone: 780-425-0626
Toll-free in Alberta: 1-800-272-5619
Fax: 780-424-5053

Employment & Advancement
Updated Feb 08, 2016

Pollution control technologists may work for the following types of organizations:

  • government research laboratories or inspection and maintenance departments
  • environmental consultants
  • electric utility generation facilities
  • water and wastewater treatment plants
  • private research organizations
  • environmental monitoring agencies
  • waste management companies
  • oil and gas companies
  • petrochemical companies
  • pulp and paper companies.

Pollution control technologists sometimes work as inspectors, instrument specialists, technical representatives for equipment manufacturers, or in other fields directly related to environmental investigation and enforcement.

In large organizations, experienced technologists may advance to supervisory and management positions.

Pollution control technologists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2211: Chemical Technologists and Technicians. In Alberta, 83% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Feb 08, 2016

Pollution control technologists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2211: Chemical technologists and technicians.

According to the 2017 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Chemical technologists and technicians occupational group earned on average from $21.65 to $44.24 an hour. The overall average was $30.64 an hour. For more information, see the Chemical technologists and technicians wage profile.

Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
  • Natural Resources
    • Environmental Stewardship
    • Primary Resources
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
  • Environment, Forestry and Related Studies
  • Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Feb 08, 2016

Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta - ASET website:

Canadian Environmental Certification Approvals Board (CECAB) website:

ECO Canada (Environmental Careers Organization) website:

Environmental Services Association of Alberta (ESAA) website:

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Mar 01, 2012. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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