What You Need to Know About Becoming an Air Quality Engineer

What You Need to Know About Becoming an Air Quality Engineer

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The journey towards becoming an air quality engineer covers various aspects with the end goal of ensuring the highest level of air quality. Most engineers can choose to specialize in indoor or outdoor air quality with some of their primary roles including emission control, removal of contaminants and ventilation. However, there are a few factors to understand about the industry before becoming an air quality engineer. You need to be aware of certifications, required skills, and your working environment. Here is a breakdown of these factors. 


You need to understand all the certifications required to be a qualified air quality engineer. The relevant bodies grant the certification after completing the necessary education and training. The certification will be based on your niche, either outdoor or indoor. For instance, if you opt for an indoor air quality engineer career, you need to understand factors like an AC filter. You might need to renew the license in some jurisdictions after several years.

Besides the normal training, you might need to acquire additional skills to help you manage the role. Most of the skills are gained through work experience or taking extra courses. In addition to your skills, you need to have a vast understanding of the federal and state air quality and permitting regulations. Additionally, you need to be conversant with air emissions, emission reporting procedures and air modelling. Here are the important skills to know. 

Critical thinking
The job sometimes involves identifying errors in processes and systems. Some problems might be challenging to identify if you can't think critically. Excellent critical thinking is vital in improving the general quality of air. 

Problem solving 
Problem-solving comes in handy in instances like identifying sources of air contamination. The skill is necessary since you need to identify the right solution to the specific issue. Additionally, air quality engineers specializing in product design also need to have problem-solving skills to find ways for equipment to operate effectively while focusing on conserving the environment effectively. 

Attention to detail
Engineers in this field need to create and roll out quality systems while adhering to specific standards. In this case, you might need to point out any potential flaws and recommend how to fix them. As an engineer, you need to note the specific details and recommend the next course of action. 


You need to earn an associate’s degree in quality engineering as the basic qualification to become an air quality engineer. The course touches on the fundamentals of quality assurance. In some cases, you can venture into this field when you have completed a bachelor’s degree in quality, mechanical or industrial engineering. Generally, the education level allows you to better understand the work process and quality standards. 


An air quality engineer's basic responsibility is to improve air quality generally. Some of the tasks involved include designing and implementing systems to filter air. You can also be a consultant to individuals or organizations and share the right option aimed at enhancing air quality. Another part of the job involves evaluating the systems that are already in place. Carrying out these responsibilities requires advanced math, science, and problem-solving skills. 

Working environment 

Considering that air affects all elements of life, engineers tend to work in various industries. However, the work environment varies depending on your niche. Some common environments include manufacturing and laboratories. It is worth noting that certain work environments like manufacturing can be hazardous and might need extra safety precautions. Additionally, based on the industry, the working hours might also vary. 

Related careers 

Generally, an air quality engineer career deals with protecting and improving the environment. Therefore, individuals intending to pursue an air quality engineer career can also look at other related courses in protecting natural resources or other fields of environmental engineering. 

Potential employers 

Air quality engineers work in the private and public sectors for organizations of different sizes. In some cases, the salary range between the organizations varies based on factors like location. However, common air quality engineer employers include Government departments, construction, energy and utilities, engineering, environmental consultancy and industrial processing. To easily land employment opportunities, students with practical experience have a higher chance of employment. It is advisable to look for internships and other related programs to build on your skills. Additionally, earning extra qualifications like a master's degree is a plus. 


Air quality engineers are among the most sought after professionals. Getting a footing in the industry requires gaining the right skills and education. It is vital to understand the responsibilities you will handle while getting the right work experience. Bear in mind that you might also need to select a niche you are passionate about. 

Jason Walsh is a career coach. He conducts webinars and writes blogs about different career paths for individuals looking for one. Jason also enjoys traveling and camping with family and friends during his free time.

Header Image Source: Pixabay

We would like to thank Filterbuy for their support in producing this career advice article for New Engineer.


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