Air Quality Engineer

Identify and recommend solutions for air pollution problems.
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Quick Stats


Outlook
Good

Salary Range
$49,000 – $119,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Air Quality Engineers do?

We breathe air every second of every day, but we don’t always give much thought to how clean or safe it is. But that’s not true for Air Quality Engineers. It is actually the focus of their everyday life. Air Quality Engineers spend their days studying the ways humans pollute the air, and then find ways to clean it up.

As an Air Quality Engineer, your job is to solve problems. Say, for example, the paper mill’s emissions are stinking up the entire town. You design and implement systems that filter the air so it is more pleasant for everyone.

The same thing goes for other businesses. You consult with them to find out what the options are—both from their end and yours—in handling the pollutants that they release into the air.

Another aspect of your job involves evaluating the systems that are already in place. For example, you make sure companies have filed the right permits, and abide by state and federal air quality regulations. You gather samples, perform tests, ask questions, audit their procedures, and create reports on your findings.

You also work for governments, evaluating smog, and studying global warming and the ozone layer. You perform research to identify contributors to the problems, and work to devise solutions. That might sound as easy as placing a filter on a stovepipe. But these issues are complex with no easy answers. They require an advanced level of math, science, and problem-solving skills, which you luckily have.


Should I be an Air Quality Engineer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Water Quality-Control Engineer

    How to become an Air Quality Engineer

    Most Air Quality Engineers have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaa9ga&chl=|||bachelor%27s+%2890%25%29|master%27s+%2810%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,90
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