Laboratory/field Technician

City of Sunnyvale
Full Time $36 - $46 Per hour CA City of Sunnyvale Water Pollution Control Plant, 1444 Borregas Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94089, United States


2 Regular Full-Time Employment Opportunities 
The City of Sunnyvale is currently recruiting for TWO Field Technicians to join the Environmental Services Department team! The Environmental Services Department provides comprehensive and innovative utility services for Sunnyvale's residents and businesses, and facilitates initiatives to achieve the City's sustainability objectives. The Department brings together technical, operational, and administrative professional disciplines to form its dedicated and dynamic team.
City of Sunnyvale Field Technicians work in the field when assigned to the Compliance Inspection group in the Regulatory Programs Division. Field Technicians work under the supervision of the Senior Environmental Compliance Inspector primarily in the field collecting samples from industries, restaurants and the sanitary sewer collection system in order to determine compliance with local and federal discharge limits. The Field Technicians in Compliance Inspection work closely with the Environmental Compliance Inspectors to regulate dischargers. Field technicians also perform sampling at designated drinking water locations.
Additionally, the City of Sunnyvale offers:
  • Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits
  • Classic CalPERS members have 4% of the employee contributions paid by the City, leaving only 3% for the employee to contribute
  • Retiree medical benefits available

Under general supervision of the Senior Environmental Chemist or Senior Environmental Compliance Inspector, monitors and collects various samples of industrial waste, Water Pollution Control Plant influents and effluents, recycled water, potable water, storm water and other related discharges using various monitoring and sampling equipment; performs chemical, physical and bacteriological analyses testing of water, wastewater and/or industrial wastewater using laboratory and/or field instrumentation and analytical techniques; conduct basic inspections of treatment processes and facilities; and performs related work as required.


The position of Laboratory/Field Technician is a fully qualified journey-level technical classification. The Laboratory/Field Technician is distinguished from the higher-level Environmental Chemist I or Environmental Compliance Inspector by the lower-level analytical techniques used in laboratory analysis, inspection, and regulatory compliance activities.

Essential Job Functions

(May include, but are not limited to, the following):

  • Collects samples from locations within the Water Pollution Control Plant for operational decisions regarding treatment or process control in accordance with Federal, State and Local requirements.
  • Collects samples from drinking water sources within the City's water distribution system for laboratory analysis, ensuring compliance with Federal, State and Local requirements.
  • Collects samples from receiving waters in proximity to the Water Pollution Control Plant via boat.
  • Performs physical, chemical and bacteriological analyses of potable water, wastewater or industrial waste samples using analytical techniques or instruments in accordance with approved protocols or methods in the field or the laboratory.
  • Maintains records of physical, chemical and bacteriological tests performed on samples.
  • Reviews logbooks, field data, recordings, and other documentation related to the drinking water system discharges from the Water Pollution Control Plant, and industrial and commercial sites.
  • Keeps detailed and accurate records of field activities and observations, using logbooks, laboratory analysis sheets and computerized software programs.
  • Performs work assignments in accordance with appropriate safety rules, regulations and, when necessary, emergency procedures.
  • Maintains field equipment and vehicles for daily use in the field; operates motor vehicles to access sampling sites for collection of samples.
  • Assists laboratory and inspection staff with special assignments, under direction of assigned supervisor.
  • Attends staff and professional meetings, training classes and workshops.
  • Responds and assists in development of analytical test methods, monitoring techniques and other laboratory/monitoring services.

In addition to the above, if assigned to the Compliance Inspection Group, duties may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Collects wastewater samples from industrial dischargers in accordance with Federal, State and Local requirements.
  • Performs various monitoring activities for the Compliance Inspection Group, including dye testing and flow monitoring.
  • Collects wastewater from residential and commercial discharges via sanitary sewer manholes in the street. 
  • Collects measurements from Grease Removal Devices at commercial facilities. 
  • Collects samples from receiving waters and via storm system manholes. 
  • Conducts initial surveys of industrial and commercial facilities and drinking water complaint investigations. 


Position requires prolonged sitting, standing, walking on level, uneven and slippery surfaces, reaching, twisting, turning, kneeling, bending, squatting and stooping in the performance of daily activities. The position also requires grasping, repetitive hand movement and fine coordination in using a computer keyboard and certain tools. The position also requires near and far vision when performing tasks such as inspections and repair work, in reading written work-related documents and using a computer. Acute hearing is required when providing phone and personal customer service. The need to lift, drag, carry and push equipment, tools and supplies up to 50 pounds is also required. Additionally, the incumbent may be exposed to mechanical and electrical hazards, loud noise, and inclement weather conditions, such as wet, heat and cold. Some of these requirements may be accommodated for otherwise qualified individuals requiring and requesting such accommodations.

Minimum Qualifications

Education and Experience:

The minimum qualifications for education and experience can be met in the following way:

An Associate degree or 60 semester units or 90 quarter units from an accredited college or university in environmental science, including courses in chemistry, biology or other related science, AND

Two years of experience performing field technician and/or laboratory duties.

A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in environmental science, including courses in chemistry, biology or other related science may be substituted for one year of experience. 

Knowledge of:

  • Basic chemistry principles and/or basic laboratory testing methods.
  • Sampling techniques and chain of custody procedures.
  • Basic principles of potable water, wastewater and/or industrial waste pretreatment.
  • Field and laboratory safety practices and procedures.
  • Recordkeeping techniques.
  • Office methods, procedures, software and equipment.

Ability to:

  • Collect samples in the field.
  • Conduct chemical tests and analysis.
  • Use potable water and/or wastewater monitoring equipment.
  • Maintain accurate data and keep detailed records.
  • Develop precise and detailed statistical information, charts and data files.
  • Read and interpret complex technical documents and instructions.
  • Safely work with and around wastewater, industrial wastes and hazardous substances and in the immediate vicinity of chemicals and reactive agents used in industrial waste treatment.
  • Carry out specific functions in the laboratory.
  • Follow instructions and procedures.
  • Interpret tests appropriately and convey results clearly.
  • Convey technical information to supervisor, professional and field personnel.
  • Operate a computer using word processing and business software and other office equipment.
  • Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
  • Establish and maintain and promote positive and effective working relationships with employees, other agencies, public officials and the public.
  • Demonstrate initiative and exercise good judgment in the performance of duties.
  • Work independently and as a team member; recognize and set priorities and meet deadlines.
  • Observe safety principles and work in a safe manner.

Willingness to:

Wear protective clothing and use protective equipment.

Travel to sites within the City to conduct monitoring and sampling programs.


Possession and continued maintenance of a valid class C California driver's license and a safe driving record.


  • A Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in chemistry, environmental science or a related field.

Application and Selection Process

If you are interested in this opportunity, please submit a City of Sunnyvale employment application and responses to the supplemental questions to the Department of Human Resources no later than 5:00 pm on Thursday, May 30, 2024. Candidates are asked to fully describe any training, education, experience, or skills relevant to this position. Electronic applications may be submitted on-line through the City's employment page atand click on JOBS.  Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Applications will be competitively screened based on the minimum qualifications of this position. Based upon a review of the application materials, the most qualified candidates will be invited to participate in the examination process, which may consist of an oral examination scheduled for Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (Note: The examination process may be changed as deemed necessary by the Director of Human Resources).

Those candidates that receive a passing score on the examination will be placed on an eligibility list for up to one year, in accordance with the City's Civil Service Rules and Administrative Policies.  Top candidates on the eligibility list will be invited to participate in a selection interview with the Environmental Services Department tentatively scheduled for Wednesday June 26, 2024. *Please note: Selection interviews will take place in-person at the City of Sunnyvale's City Hall.  The City does not provide any travel reimbursement or assistance.  Any candidate selected by the hiring department will be required to successfully complete a pre-employment process, which may consist of a comprehensive background investigation, as well as medical exam(s) administered by a City-selected physician(s) before hire. Prior to starting work, all newly-hired employees will be fingerprinted to check conviction history. A conviction history will not necessarily disqualify an applicant from appointment; however, failure to disclose conviction history will result in refusal of employment or termination. 

Any successful candidate selected by the hiring department will be required to submit proof of education (i.e., original copy of the diploma or college/university transcripts).


For assistance on how to fill out your job application, watch the following video:
  • - YouTube (5:13)

The information contained within this announcement may be modified or revoked without notice and does not constitute either an expressed or implied contract.

The City of Sunnyvale is an Equal Opportunity Employer. It is the policy of the City of Sunnyvale not to discriminate against all qualified applicants or employees on the basis of actual or perceived race, religion (including religious dress or grooming practice), color, sex (includes gender, pregnancy, childbirth, medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth, breastfeeding or medical conditions related to breastfeeding), gender identity and/or gender expression, sexual orientation (including heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality), ethnic or national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, uniformed service member status, marital status, family relationship, age, cancer or HIV/AIDS related medical condition, genetic characteristics and/or genetic information, and physical or mental disability. Applicants needing special accommodations for testing should submit a request to the Department of Human Resources at time of application.