According to the World Health Organisation(WHO), air pollution is responsible for over one third of deaths from stroke,lung cancer and chronic respiratory disease. In the UK alone, it has been estimated that around 40,000 people every year die from air pollution related diseases. It is a serious problem and one that needs to be handled immediately.
If you have an interest in energy and want to use your passion to enter a career that will allow you to have a tangible effect on the lives on millions of people around the world, becoming an air quality technician might be your calling. Allow us to delve into the details of what it means to be an air quality technician.
Basics of the Job
Air pollutants are some of the most dangerous toxins we encounter because, quite often, we cannot even see them. As an air quality technician, you will use the most up-to-date technology to detect harmful chemicals in the air. If there has been a fire in the vicinity,for example, it will be important to make sure the air is safe for local residents to breathe. If it is not, they may need to be evacuated.
The work you do will be pivotal in preventing the development of respiratory and lung diseases. You may end up sharing research and reports with other scientists across the planet in order to improve the quality of air on a global scale.
One of your main job duties as an air quality technician will be taking air samples and then analysing them to detect harmful pollutants. You will use aerometric monitoring stations to gather your data – these can be checked at regular intervals over a period of time. The information you collect will inform further decisions you take. Once the data is collected, you will need to ensure it is properly recorded and further steps are taken if necessary.
In tandem with your work in the field, you will assist with the development of plans to improve air quality. This may include research, experimentation, and collaboration. Written reports and presentations will be vital in conveying your ideas to investors and the public. You will need to stay abreast any technological developments in the air quality sector, as these could be essential to progressing your work.
Where You Will Work
An air quality technician has the joy of being able to work in a variety of different locations. You will often have an office or headquarters as a base, but you will not spend every single day there. You will need to test air qualities in a number of different places,including urban spaces, industrial areas, and anywhere there may be a higher level of air pollution than normal.
In the office, you will collate your data and write up reports. You may also spend time liaising with government departments or clients, depending on the avenue you take to become an air quality technician.
Who to Work for
As with many jobs in the energy industry,there is a range of potential employers on offer. Engineering and consulting firms are usually the top pick for someone starting out their career. If you would rather focus on the academic side of air quality, a research or education institution might suit you better.