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What Is an Air Quality Specialist and How to Become One

What Is an Air Quality Specialist?

An air quality specialist is a scientist who tests and analyzes the air quality of a specific environment, such as a factory, power plant, or municipality. As an air quality specialist, your job duties can also involve enforcing regulations for vehicle emissions or factory pollution to maintain air quality standards. To become an air quality specialist, you typically need a bachelor’s degree in a field such as environmental science, biology, or chemistry. Your skills and experience should include the ability to collect samples, analyze data, and perform both simple and complex lab tests on samples. Strong communication skills are also essential in this career. Air quality specialists often work in the field to interview and discuss air quality issues with companies and government officials, along with making presentations or recommendations based on their findings.

How to Become an Air Quality Specialist

To become an air quality specialist, you need a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, environmental science, or a related field. Some employers prefer candidates who have a master's degree. Most positions also require several years of working with air quality monitoring programs or similar industry experience. You must be familiar with federal, state, and local governmental regulations concerning air quality, such as the Clean Air Act, National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs), New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), and Title V Permitting/Renewals. Additional qualifications include proficiency in Microsoft Office, excellent communication and analytical skills, and attention to detail.