Assistant Air Quality Specialist/Air Quality Specialist (Advanced Monitoring Technologies)

Diamond Bar, California
$68,624.04 - $105,879.72 Annually
Aug 14, 2019
Aug 27, 2019
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type


South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) is one of the largest and most technologically sophisticated environmental regulatory agencies in the Nation. We serve a four-county region that includes all of Orange County, and parts of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, home to more than 17 million people. South Coast AQMD's headquarters is located in Diamond Bar, 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, at the junction of the 57 and 60 freeways. With a highly diverse "Clean Air Team" of over 900 employees, an annual budget of $170.9 million, and a state-of-the-art air quality laboratory, our mission is to ensure clean air and a healthy environment. South Coast AQMD is an organization you can be proud to work for -- we make a difference in the quality of life in Southern California!


We are recruiting for either Assistant Air Quality Specialists or Air Quality Specialists in the Advanced Monitoring Technologies (AMT) unit of our Science and Technology Advancement (STA) division, a major branch of South Coast AQMD. From this recruitment process, we expect to establish an eligible list from which current and future vacancies may be filled, during the life of the list.  We anticipate filling several vacancies.

The primary responsibility of these positions will be to support activities within three different units/groups of the AMT division: Special Monitoring/AB 617, Rule 1180 Implementation/Optical Remote Sensing, and Air Quality Sensor Performance Evaluation Center (AQ-SPEC).  In each case, these positions will also work in collaboration with other governmental agencies, the public, private institutions, and environmental and community organizations to identify available air monitoring technologies, discuss their potential applications, and serve as subject matter experts in these fields. Specific roles and responsibilities of each of these groups are reported below. Successful candidates will be assigned to the unit/group that is more appropriate to their background, training, and work experience.

  • Special Monitoring/AB 617: The primary responsibility of staff working on this group is to support activities within the Special Monitoring program, assist in the development and implementation of air monitoring efforts for community monitoring applications, validate and analyze air quality data, write reports and prepare presentations, and communicate results to the public.  Successful candidates will work in collaboration with scientists, other governmental agencies, public and private institutions, and environmental and community organizations to develop and implement methods and techniques for a wide variety of air quality studies and research projects.  Special Monitoring is a pioneering program developed to conduct exciting, comprehensive and impactful investigative and community-based monitoring efforts that focus on improving air quality and public health in environmental justice communities, through development of scientific and thorough monitoring studies.  This group is also tasked to implement the community monitoring and analysis required under Assembly Bill (AB) 617* that focuses on reducing emissions and exposure in communities most impacted by air pollution.  Activities conducted within AB 617, includes community air monitoring utilizing a variety of monitoring techniques and technologies, ranging from most advanced monitoring instruments to low-cost sensor technology.  Individuals assigned to this program will develop and implement monitoring systems and networks; assist in the interpretation and communication of monitoring data to the public and other stakeholders. More details about the AB 617  program can be found at: *
  • Rule 1180 Implementation/Optical Remote Sensing:  For this vacancy, we are seeking individuals that will support a wide range of activities within the South Coast AQMD's optical remote sensing (ORS) and Rule 1180 (Refinery Fenceline and Community Air Monitoring) programs.  Example of duties include the evaluation and interpretation of multi-pollutant data collected at community and fenceline air monitoring stations; conduct mobile ORS measurements and subsequent data analysis; prepare reports, presentations and grant applications; communicate results to the affected communities, industry and other stakeholders; work with field air monitoring technicians that operate advanced air monitoring equipment such as UV-DOAS and FTIR optical multi-pollutant analyzers, auto-GS's, etc.  The successful candidate will also work in collaboration with scientists, other governmental agencies, public and private institutions, and environmental and community organizations to advance and promote South Coast AQMD ORS program, and conduct research projects. More details about this program can be found at:;
  • AQ-SPEC:  The primary responsibility of the individual hired for this position will be to support a wide range of activities within AQ-SPEC, a pioneering program developed to perform systematic and detailed characterizations of commercially available "low-cost" air monitoring sensors. Within AQ-SPEC program the successful candidate will evaluate the performance of commercially available air quality sensors, help develop sensor networks for fenceline and community monitoring applications, validate and analyze sensor data, develop mobile platforms to conduct mobile monitoring using sensors, assist in developing the AQ-SPEC sensor library program, write reports, and communicate results to the public. The AQ Specialist will also work in collaboration with other governmental agencies, public and private institutions, and environmental and community organizations to identify available sensor technologies, discuss their potential applications, and serve as a subject matter expert in this field. More details about this program can be found at: 

Duties for these positions may include, but are not limited to:

  • Participate in the design and implementation of air monitoring projects involving the development and deployment of monitoring systems and networks/optical remote sensing technology/low-cost sensor networks
  • Coordinate field and laboratory evaluations of air quality regulatory-grade monitoring systems/optical remote sensing monitors/low-cost sensors?
  • Use, operate and maintain a wide range of monitoring equipment for fenceline and community monitoring applications
  • Collect, validate, analyze, and interpret air monitoring data deployed within the AMT and other South Coast AQMD Programs
  • Perform complex air quality and meteorological data analysis
  • Prepare research reports and publications based on air quality modeling and monitoring studies
  • Participate in the development of cloud-based backend applications for validating, analyzing and mapping air quality data
  • Validate and analyze air monitoring data from air quality monitors deployed within the, AB617, Rule 1180, AQ-SPEC and other District Programs
  • Help develop a certification program for air quality sensors to identify technology to be used for fenceline, community monitoring and other specific applications
  • Develop and manage public website content
  • Interact efficiently and effectively with sensor manufacturers, vendors, developers by keeping consistent with the AQ-SPEC and South Coast AQMD mission, goals and objectives
  • Communicate results and conclusions, and explain air quality data to community members, industry, and other stakeholders
  • Prepare and/or perform presentations to convey complex air quality concepts to technical and/or general-public audiences
  • Prepare a range of written documents, reports, graphs, charts, statistical summaries, scientific papers, and grant applications
  • Collaborate with other government agencies, academic institutions and other professional communities
  • Conduct applied air quality research to support the mission of the agency

MINIMUM EXPERIENCE:  No experience is required for Assistant Air Quality Specialist.  For the Air Quality Specialist, two years of technical air quality or professional analytical experience that would demonstrate the requisite knowledge, skills and abilities of the position to which assigned.

BOTH LEVELS REQUIRE THE MINIMUM EDUCATION:  Bachelor of Science degree in engineering, environmental science, planning, or the physical, social, or biological sciences, depending upon the functions of the assigned unit.

DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS:  Please see the job flyer for to check for DESIRABLE qualifications for each specific position.

BENEFITS:  South Coast AQMD offers an excellent benefits package and a defined benefits retirement program.  Our beautiful corporate campus houses our 700+ employees, a large public conference center, cafeteria, and fitness and childcare centers.  (Sorry, no relocation funds are available.)


See our Careers web page at for more detailed information about these positions, the requirements and how to apply.

Posting will close at 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 27, 2019
OR when a sufficient number of qualified candidates have applied.