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RESEARCH TECHNICIAN, IN-DEPTH: You Solve Problems Never Solved Before

About this video 

Joseph, a Research Technician at a University laboratory, describes what he loves most about his job, its challenges, how hard it is to get a job in his field, and work-life balance. It's a very specific job, and you probably won't find one like it through any online posting -- you have to know people and do your own research. But it'll be worth it.

Degree: Structural Engineering
Job Title: Research Technician

Job Summary: Environmental Engineering Technicians

Job Description

Environmental engineering technicians carry out the plans that environmental engineers develop. They test, operate, and, if necessary, modify equipment for preventing or cleaning up environmental pollution. They may collect samples for testing, or they may work to mitigate sources of environmental pollution.

On-the-Job Training

None

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$30,000 - $75,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
20 to 30 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Hospital / Clinic, Indoor, Outdoor, Remote
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Problem solving skills, Teamwork
P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='540'>I</span> <span m='710'>like</span> <span m='880'>the</span> <span m='1010'>university</span> <span m='1440'>environment.</span> <span m='2420'>I</span> <span m='2560'>like</span> <span m='3080'>being</span> <span m='3250'>able</span> <span m='3380'>to</span> <span m='3440'>come</span> <span m='3620'>and</span> <span m='3720'>go</span> <span m='3830'>as</span> <span m='4010'>I</span> <span m='4150'>please,</span> <span m='4410'>pretty</span> <span m='4620'>much,</span> <span m='5000'>wear</span> <span m='5270'>the</span> <span m='5370'>clothes</span> <span m='5660'>I</span> <span m='5730'>like</span> <span m='5920'>to</span> <span m='6010'>wear,</span> <span m='6750'>and</span> <span m='6910'>I</span> <span m='6970'>think,</span> <span m='7540'>like</span> <span m='7820'>I</span> <span m='8029'>said,</span> <span m='8170'>it's</span> <span m='8340'>fun.</span> <span m='9340'>You know,</span> <span m='9480'>it's</span> <span m='10870'>like</span> <span m='11060'>building</span> <span m='11370'>with</span> <span m='11490'>LEGOs</span> <span m='11840'>every</span> <span m='12030'>day,</span> <span m='12320'>pretty</span> <span m='12610'>much,</span> <span m='13430'>but</span> <span m='13610'>it's</span> <span m='14050'>a</span> <span m='14490'>thousand</span> <span m='14860'>dollars,</span> <span m='15600'>tens</span> <span m='15820'>of</span> <span m='15870'>thousands</span> <span m='16130'>of</span> <span m='16390'>dollars'</span> <span m='16480'>worth of</span> <span m='16580'>equipment</span> <span m='16860'>every</span> <span m='17140'>day,</span> <span m='17390'>instead of</span> <span m='17820'>LEGOs.</span> <span m='18440'>And</span> <span m='18820'>that</span> <span m='19010'>environment</span> <span m='19790'>of</span> <span m='19880'>talking</span> <span m='20260'>to</span> <span m='20370'>students</span> <span m='20830'>and</span> <span m='21220'>researchers,</span> <span m='21740'>and</span> <span m='22560'>learning</span> <span m='22860'>new</span> <span m='23000'>things</span> <span m='23270'>all the</span> <span m='23450'>time.</span> </p><p><span m='23710'>So</span> <span m='24810'>that's</span> <span m='24980'>what</span> <span m='25090'>I</span> <span m='25130'>like</span> <span m='25370'>about it.</span> <span m='25695'>And</span> <span m='26020'>challenging</span> <span m='26840'>is,</span> <span m='27590'>you</span> <span m='27690'>know,</span> <span m='28230'>there's</span> <span m='28420'>always</span> <span m='28830'>some</span> <span m='29050'>problem</span> <span m='29325'>that</span> <span m='29600'>needs to</span> <span m='29810'>be</span> <span m='29930'>solved,</span> <span m='30205'>and</span> <span m='30480'>there's</span> <span m='30560'>often,</span> <span m='31430'>we're</span> <span m='31550'>doing</span> <span m='31850'>things</span> <span m='32080'>that</span> <span m='32560'>have</span> <span m='32729'>not</span> <span m='33020'>been</span> <span m='33190'>done</span> <span m='33380'>before,</span> <span m='33800'>so</span> <span m='33900'>you</span> <span m='33990'>can't</span> <span m='34220'>go</span> <span m='34350'>to</span> <span m='34480'>the</span> <span m='34580'>store</span> <span m='34870'>and</span> <span m='34980'>buy</span> <span m='35770'>a</span> <span m='36510'>piece</span> <span m='36710'>of</span> <span m='36780'>equipment</span> <span m='37190'>that you</span> <span m='37270'>need.</span> <span m='37610'>You</span> <span m='37680'>have</span> <span m='37850'>to</span> <span m='37970'>buy</span> <span m='38430'>bits</span> <span m='38650'>and</span> <span m='38760'>pieces</span> <span m='39130'>and</span> <span m='39260'>put them</span> <span m='39520'>together</span> <span m='39830'>to</span> <span m='39870'>make</span> <span m='40030'>it</span> <span m='40090'>work.</span> <span m='40990'>I</span> <span m='41070'>think</span> <span m='41260'>that's</span> <span m='42460'>the</span> <span m='42520'>fun</span> <span m='42800'>part</span> <span m='43010'>of</span> <span m='43100'>challenging.</span> </p><p><span m='45080'>Some</span> <span m='45490'>things that</span> <span m='45600'>aren't</span> <span m='45800'>so</span> <span m='45950'>fun is</span> <span m='46400'>sometimes</span> <span m='46990'>you're</span> <span m='47100'>having</span> <span m='47440'>to</span> <span m='47550'>deal</span> <span m='47840'>with</span> <span m='48990'>a</span> <span m='49010'>lot</span> <span m='49150'>of</span> <span m='49220'>paperwork</span> <span m='49820'>and</span> <span m='50200'>university</span> <span m='50680'>bureaucracy</span> <span m='51440'>to</span> <span m='52310'>buy the</span> <span m='52510'>things,</span> <span m='52980'>or</span> <span m='53060'>do</span> <span m='53190'>the</span> <span m='53310'>things</span> <span m='53610'>that you</span> <span m='53730'>want</span> <span m='53890'>to</span> <span m='53950'>do.</span> <span m='54350'>So that</span> <span m='54540'>sometimes,</span> <span m='54910'>like,</span> <span m='55395'>you can</span> <span m='55880'>spend</span> <span m='56020'>a</span> <span m='56050'>whole</span> <span m='56230'>day</span> <span m='56470'>just</span> <span m='56990'>filing</span> <span m='57290'>papers,</span> <span m='57720'>which</span> <span m='57920'>is</span> <span m='58560'>not</span> <span m='58760'>so</span> <span m='58910'>fun.</span> <span m='59500'>I</span> <span m='59570'>think</span> <span m='59780'>I</span> <span m='59860'>was</span> <span m='60070'>lucky</span> <span m='60510'>in</span> <span m='60680'>that</span> <span m='60940'>it</span> <span m='61330'>was</span> <span m='61570'>sort</span> <span m='62000'>of</span> <span m='62110'>something</span> <span m='62480'>that</span> <span m='63620'>I</span> <span m='63760'>fell</span> <span m='64090'>into,</span> <span m='64400'>I</span> <span m='64470'>would</span> <span m='64680'>say,</span> <span m='64970'>and</span> <span m='65340'>that</span> <span m='65970'>when</span> <span m='66410'>I</span> <span m='66500'>needed</span> <span m='66830'>a</span> <span m='66880'>job</span> <span m='67240'>opportunity,</span> <span m='67510'>it</span> <span m='67780'>was</span> <span m='67910'>there.</span> </p><p><span m='68980'>I</span> <span m='69140'>don't</span> <span m='69320'>think</span> <span m='69510'>I</span> <span m='69610'>had</span> <span m='69850'>any</span> <span m='70040'>real</span> <span m='70540'>key</span> <span m='70860'>decisions,</span> <span m='71440'>just</span> <span m='71710'>sort</span> <span m='71880'>of</span> <span m='73110'>the</span> <span m='73420'>way</span> <span m='73600'>I</span> <span m='73700'>live</span> <span m='73830'>my</span> <span m='73950'>life,</span> <span m='74270'>and</span> <span m='74470'>then</span> <span m='74870'>the</span> <span m='75000'>people</span> <span m='75270'>that</span> <span m='75330'>were</span> <span m='75480'>surrounding</span> <span m='75930'>me</span> <span m='76040'>at</span> <span m='76120'>the</span> <span m='76200'>time,</span> <span m='76820'>that</span> <span m='76910'>got me</span> <span m='77160'>to where</span> <span m='77430'>I</span> <span m='77490'>am</span> <span m='77620'>now.</span> <span m='78280'>Yeah, I</span> <span m='78400'>think</span> <span m='78560'>it's</span> <span m='78670'>hard</span> <span m='78850'>to</span> <span m='78910'>find</span> <span m='79150'>work</span> <span m='79320'>in</span> <span m='79410'>the</span> <span m='79630'>field,</span> <span m='79990'>and</span> <span m='80330'>it's</span> <span m='80630'>not</span> <span m='80960'>a</span> <span m='81760'>well</span> <span m='82670'>known</span> <span m='82980'>field,</span> <span m='83460'>and is</span> <span m='85280'>somewhat</span> <span m='85520'>limited</span> <span m='85980'>in</span> <span m='86100'>that</span> <span m='86370'>there</span> <span m='86540'>aren't</span> <span m='87380'>thousands</span> <span m='87830'>and</span> <span m='87940'>thousands</span> <span m='88340'>of</span> <span m='88410'>this</span> <span m='88620'>particular</span> <span m='88910'>type</span> <span m='89100'>of</span> <span m='89220'>job.</span> <span m='89780'>Most</span> <span m='90150'>of</span> <span m='90210'>them</span> <span m='90310'>are</span> <span m='90390'>related</span> <span m='90830'>to</span> <span m='91190'>some</span> <span m='91440'>research</span> <span m='91780'>institute,</span> <span m='92280'>or some</span> <span m='92410'>university.</span> </p><p><span m='92820'>And</span> <span m='93230'>so</span> <span m='94460'>if</span> <span m='94580'>you</span> <span m='94660'>go</span> <span m='94850'>to</span> <span m='95150'>a</span> <span m='95910'>online</span> <span m='96390'>resource, it's</span> <span m='96890'>probably</span> <span m='97140'>not</span> <span m='97360'>going</span> <span m='97460'>to</span> <span m='97510'>list</span> <span m='97930'>research</span> <span m='98280'>technician</span> <span m='99170'>in</span> <span m='99260'>this</span> <span m='99450'>particular</span> <span m='100080'>capacity.</span> <span m='101040'>The</span> <span m='101180'>way</span> <span m='101360'>I</span> <span m='101480'>got</span> <span m='101630'>the</span> <span m='101710'>job</span> <span m='101960'>was</span> <span m='102330'>knowing</span> <span m='102670'>people</span> <span m='102970'>that</span> <span m='103310'>worked</span> <span m='103830'>in</span> <span m='103900'>the</span> <span m='104620'>lab,</span> <span m='105020'>and</span> <span m='106140'>so</span> <span m='106505'>it's,</span> <span m='106870'>again,</span> <span m='107545'>who</span> <span m='107840'>you</span> <span m='108040'>know</span> <span m='108210'>rather</span> <span m='108460'>than</span> <span m='108630'>what</span> <span m='108790'>you</span> <span m='108880'>know</span> <span m='109030'>in</span> <span m='109090'>some</span> <span m='109320'>respects.</span> <span m='109930'>Work</span> <span m='110370'>and life</span> <span m='110680'>balance.</span> <span m='113270'>I</span> <span m='113510'>think</span> <span m='113720'>you</span> <span m='113800'>can</span> <span m='113940'>make</span> <span m='114110'>it</span> <span m='114190'>whatever</span> <span m='114440'>you</span> <span m='114550'>want.</span> <span m='114990'>For</span> <span m='115150'>me,</span> <span m='115680'>my</span> <span m='115920'>family's</span> <span m='116320'>very</span> <span m='116500'>important.</span> </p><p><span m='117000'>I</span> <span m='117080'>spend</span> <span m='118150'>eight</span> <span m='118420'>hours,</span> <span m='118780'>pretty</span> <span m='118950'>much,</span> <span m='119280'>at</span> <span m='119350'>work,</span> <span m='119740'>and</span> <span m='119970'>the</span> <span m='120010'>rest of the</span> <span m='120270'>time</span> <span m='120470'>I</span> <span m='120570'>go</span> <span m='120730'>home</span> <span m='120930'>and</span> <span m='121260'>spend</span> <span m='121530'>with my</span> <span m='121660'>family.</span> <span m='122130'>There's</span> <span m='122380'>other</span> <span m='122590'>people</span> <span m='122990'>that</span> <span m='124350'>don't</span> <span m='124540'>have</span> <span m='125150'>an</span> <span m='125230'>immediate</span> <span m='125580'>family,</span> <span m='125860'>maybe,</span> <span m='126140'>or</span> <span m='126620'>like</span> <span m='126800'>I</span> <span m='126830'>said,</span> <span m='127170'>many</span> <span m='127490'>of them</span> <span m='127580'>are</span> <span m='127970'>students,</span> <span m='128490'>or</span> <span m='129440'>young</span> <span m='129639'>people</span> <span m='129970'>who have</span> <span m='130080'>not</span> <span m='130620'>got</span> <span m='130810'>an</span> <span m='131100'>immediate</span> <span m='131360'>family</span> <span m='131660'>yet,</span> <span m='132020'>and</span> <span m='132660'>they</span> <span m='132840'>spend</span> <span m='133250'>many,</span> <span m='133480'>many,</span> <span m='133740'>many</span> <span m='134070'>hours</span> <span m='135190'>doing</span> <span m='135560'>similar</span> <span m='135910'>work.</span> <span m='136680'>So</span> <span m='137190'>I</span> <span m='137300'>think</span> <span m='137530'>you can</span> <span m='137610'>make</span> <span m='137800'>it</span> <span m='138520'>anything</span> <span m='138800'>you</span> <span m='138920'>want.</span> </p>","file":{"id":330998,"video_id":"2983003425001","name":"1683-Joseph-ResearchTechnician2","duration":139831,"thumbnail_url":null}});