Contamination Control Technician Careers: Job Description & Salary

About this article
Learn about a contamination control technician's job description, salary and training requirements. Get straight talk about the pros and cons of a contamination control technician career.
View available schools

Pros and Cons of Becoming a Contamination Control Technician

Contamination control technicians clean and perform inspections in laboratories or controlled environments to insure production areas are free from contamination. Read on to understand the pros and cons of this career.

Pros of Becoming a Contamination Control Technician
Higher-paid contamination control technicians can make up to approximately $52,000 per year*
You might be able to pursue a contamination control career with a high school diploma or GED and related work experience**
Contamination control technicians usually have a conventional and focused career goal***
Opportunities to use specialized equipment (particle sensors, anemometers)**

Cons of Becoming a Contamination Control Technician
Workers in clean room environments must follow strict procedures***
Exposure to hazardous or contaminated materials can damage skin***
Contamination control technicians may be required to work overtime hours**
Technicians may be required to travel between work sites**

Sources: *PayScale.com, **Clean room industry job postings from April 2012, ***Coastwide Laboratories

Essential Career Information

Job Description and Duties

Contamination control technicians perform cleaning duties using pre-screened cleaning equipment. Common duties include removing trash, wiping down walls, vacuuming and changing floor mats. They're expected to follow specific cleaning processes determined by customers and may clean both facilities and specialized instruments and equipment within clean room environments. Contamination control technicians may be employed to perform inspections and monitor levels of contamination in certain clean room work environments. They may also be required to monitor employees in the clean rooms for compliance with clean room rules. While working in a clean room, these technicians must follow specific guidelines, including wearing specialized garments and removing personal items and cosmetics.

Salary Info

According to July 2015 salary data from PayScale.com, most clean room technicians earned approximately $8-$19 per hour. However, it should be noted that this salary data was based on a small number of survey respondents.

What are the Requirements?

Educational Requirements and Skills

Educational and training requirements for contamination control jobs may vary. Some employers require a high school diploma or GED in addition to related work experience, such as working in a clean room environment and/or in customer service. Many contamination control technician positions require a driver's license with a clean record.

In addition, employers look for candidates who have good customer service and communication skills. These technician positions could require some physical stamina. Employers of contamination control technicians often look for applicants with the following skill set:

  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Work well under pressure
  • Have effective organizational skills
  • Can perform close measurements
  • Able to multitask and prioritize

What Employers are Looking for

Employers of contamination control technicians generally need workers who are familiar with a variety of equipment and are able to learn to use advanced machinery as new technology is introduced. They also look for employees who have high initiative and the ability to follow highly-detailed cleaning procedures. The following contamination control technician job postings found in April 2012 illustrate the skills that employers look for:

  • A manufacturer in Pennsylvania was looking for an applicant who could perform cleaning duties in a controlled environment. The applicant needed to be detail-oriented and quality-driven.
  • An engineering company in Maryland wanted a technician who could use specialized equipment and monitor other employees to ensure they were safely following clean room procedures and policies. The job included cleaning duties and offered cross-training opportunities.
  • An electronics company in Utah needed a contamination control technician who was experienced with calibration of monitoring equipment and could provide support to contamination control engineer and security teams.

How to Stand Out in the Field

Since employers often look for applicants who have experience with or knowledge of contamination control methods, you may consider subscribing to industry magazines. Through your subscription, you may find opportunities to expand your knowledge by accessing webinars or white papers that cover various contamination control methods and technologies.

Alternative Career Choices

Occupational Health and Safety Technician

If you don't think cleaning controlled environments is the right job for you, you might think about becoming an occupational health and safety technician. Like contamination control technicians, they work toward creating a healthy environment, but these professionals are not limited to working in clean rooms. Occupational health and safety technicians focus their efforts on determining whether a workplace is deemed dangerous. They investigate incidents at the workplace and collect and evaluate data to determine whether safety improvements can be made to decrease the likelihood of another accident. Jobs in the field are expected to rise at an average pace between 2010 and 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The median hourly wage for these workers was around $22 as of May 2011, the BLS reported. Occupational health and safety technicians can begin their careers with a high school diploma or associate's degree.

Chemical Technician

If you'd like to have the option of supporting research and development efforts, you might consider becoming a chemical technician. In this position, you can choose to work with scientists in a lab environment, or you can work in manufacturing. This career typically requires an associate's degree in applied science or a related field, according to the BLS. A chemical technician's duties may vary widely, but they generally analyze compounds created by chemical processes or monitor the safety and quality of products and production processes. You can earn a higher salary in this career than in the contamination control field, but jobs may be limited. According to the BLS, chemical technicians made a median hourly wage of about $20 as of May 2011. Slower-than-average employment growth was expected for this career between 2010 and 2020, based on BLS data.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Johns Hopkins University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Energy Policy and Climate
      • Master of Science in Energy Policy and Climate
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Purdue University Global

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Environmental Policy and Management
      • Bachelor: Environmental Policy and Management
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • PhD in Business Admin - Management of Engineering and Technology
      • Doctor of Business Admin - Management of Engineering and Technology
      • PhD-TIM - Engineering Management
    Master's
      • MBA - Management of Engineering and Technology
      • MSTIM - Engineering Magagement
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Colorado Technical University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctorate: Management - Environmental & Social Sustainability
  • Philadelphia, PA

    University of Pennsylvania

  • Notre Dame, IN

    University of Notre Dame

  • Stanford, CA

    Stanford University

  • Nashville, TN

    Vanderbilt University

Featured Schools

Johns Hopkins University

  • Master of Science in Energy Policy and Climate

What is your highest level of education?

Purdue University Global

  • Bachelor: Environmental Policy and Management

Which subject are you interested in?

Northcentral University

  • PhD in Business Admin - Management of Engineering and Technology
  • Doctor of Business Admin - Management of Engineering and Technology
  • MBA - Management of Engineering and Technology
  • MSTIM - Engineering Magagement

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado Technical University

  • Doctorate: Management - Environmental & Social Sustainability

Are you a US citizen?