Field Science Technician TRAINEE

City of Portland, Bureau of Environmental Services
Portland, OR


Are you passionate about your local environment and have a sense of adventure?  Would you rather work outdoors and apply yourself outside the walls of a cubicle? Are you concerned you might not have enough education and experience to enter the workforce as an environmental professional?  Maybe you are the perfect candidate for a Field Science Technician--Trainee position with the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES)!


The Field Science Technician--Trainee program is a structured on-the-job training program, typically lasting approximately two years, with established work performance measures and goals.  The Trainee works with experienced Field Science Specialists and Technicians to build skills in a wide variety of environmental monitoring disciplines. Upon successful completion of the training program Trainees will be eligible for appointment as a Field Science Technician.


Typical field activities include surface water sampling; watershed health assessments; biological monitoring including electrofishing and macro invertebrate collection, industrial wastewater monitoring, stormwater sampling, sewer flow monitoring, groundwater monitoring, and other monitoring services. Much of the fieldwork is physically demanding and may involve climbing steep stream banks, operating motorized and non-motorized watercraft, performing work in manholes, sewer pipes, and other confined spaces, working in and around traffic, performing heavy lifting (up to 70 pounds), and working in inclement weather and at irregular hours. Approximately 80% of this position will be spent in the field.  The remaining 20% is spent in the office for record keeping, data entry, and organizational activities; including but not limited to: database management, analyzing and summarizing monitoring data, entering water-quality and watershed data, managing bureau and City files, and maintaining monitoring equipment and data collection devices.


The following minimum qualifications are required for this position: 

  1. Knowledge of basic environmental monitoring techniques, practices, and procedures to collect field data and samples.
  2. Perform detailed work neatly, accurately, and efficiently.
  3. Ability to operate a variety of computer software programs to record and analyze data, maintain technical files, and prepare maps, plans, records, graphics, documents and reports.
  4. Ability to demonstrate minimal knowledge of physical and biological sciences, and their relationship to environmental monitoring.
  5. Ability to work well in a team setting, demonstrating accountability for individual assignments as well as collaborating with teammates to accomplish work objectives.

Applicants must also possess: 

  • A valid state driver's license and an acceptable driving record at the time of hire. 
  • Ability to routinely enter confined spaces including manholes and sewers; and work in rough, steep and uneven terrain.
  • Ability to lift and carry up to 70 pounds and work outdoors in all weather conditions.
  • Ability to perform very physical and strenuous work under hazardous working conditions, significant traffic risk and potential exposure to unknown chemicals.

Why work at the City of Portland?
The City of Portland is committed to offering medical, dental, vision, basic life, and long-term disability coverage that provides quality care, support and value to eligible employees and their family members. Additional benefits such as flexible spending accounts, supplemental life insurance and employee assistance program coverage is available to ensure employees have the appropriate tools to safeguard themselves and their family.