How Much Does a Smog Technician in California Make?

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California smog technicians are professionals that work with the government, as well as the public, to clean up California's air. Common duties include inspecting, diagnosing, adjusting, repairing and certifying the emissions control systems of vehicles in the state of California. The career of a smog technician falls under the broader career category of "Environmental science and protection technicians," according to the My Majors website.

California smog technicians are professionals that work with the government, as well as the public, to clean up California’s air. Common duties include inspecting, diagnosing, adjusting, repairing and certifying the emissions control systems of vehicles in the state of California. The career of a smog technician falls under the broader career category of "Environmental science and protection technicians," according to the My Majors website.

California

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, the state of California holds the highest levels of employment for environmental science and protection technicians, with an estimated 3,330 jobs in 2010. California is also a top-paying state, with an estimated hourly mean wage of $26.17 and an annual mean wage of $54,430 for environmental science and protection technicians, according to the BLS. Comparatively, those employed in Washington D.C. earn the highest hourly and annual mean wages in the country, with an hourly wage $30.37 and an annual wage of $63,180 as of 2010.

Metropolitan Areas

The earnings for smog technicians varies by metropolitan area in the state of California. For example, environmental science and protection technicians employed in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metropolitan area earned an hourly mean wage of $31.16 and an annual mean wage of $65,940 in 2010, according to the BLS. Technicians employed in the Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura metropolitan area earned an hourly mean wage of $29.89 and an annual mean wage of $62,120 that year. Technicians employed in the Bakersfield, California metropolitan area earned an hourly mean wage of $29.30 and an annual mean wage of $60,940.

Industry

The earnings for smog technicians and environmental science and protection technicians also varies by industry, the BLS reports. The oil and gas extraction industry is a top-paying industry for this occupation, with an hourly mean wage of $29.97 and an annual mean wage of $62,330 as of 2010, according to the BLS. Technicians employed by the state government earned an hourly mean wage of $22.85 and an annual mean wage of $47,520, while those employed by the local government earned an hourly mean wage of $22.85 and an annual mean wage of $47,190.

National Hourly and Annual Wages

Compared to California, the national mean hourly wage for environmental science and protection technicians in 2010 was $21.36, and the mean annual wage was $44,440, according to the BLS. The median hourly wage was $19.90, and the median annual salary was $41,380. The lowest paid 10 percent earned an hourly wage of $12.78 or less and an annual wage of $26,590 or less, while the lowest paid 25 percent earned an hourly wage $15.77 or less and an annual wage of $32,790 or less. The highest paid 25 percent earned an hourly wage of $25.93 or more and an annual wage of $53,940 or more, while the highest paid 10 percent earned an hourly wage of $32.52 or more and an annual wage of $67,630 or more.

References

About the Author

Chris Newton has worked as a professional writer since 2001. He spent two years writing software specifications then spent three years as a technical writer for Microsoft before turning to copywriting for software and e-commerce companies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of Colorado.

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