What It Takes to Be an Air Force Bioenvironmental Engineer

Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) 4B0X1

io-environmental engineering technician, tightens a gas mask on another airman in Air Force
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A1C Franklin Ramos/Public domain photograph from defenseimagery.mil.

Bioenvironmental engineering specialists in the Air Force are tasked with reducing health hazards for Air Force personnel and their work environments. This can mean detecting radioactive materials, checking for pollutants in drinking water, and ensuring safe industrial hygiene conditions.

Essentially, these airmen make sure the environment is not adversely affected by the Air Force or its activities. 

This job is categorized as Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) 4B0X1.

Duties of Air Force Bioenvironmental Engineers

These airmen manage bioenvironmental engineering activities in the fields of industrial hygiene, occupational health, radiological health, and environmental protection to ensure healthful working conditions. 

This can include evaluating and conducting internal inspections to ensure coverage of activities assigned to bioenvironmental engineering, providing guidance and supervision in selecting protective equipment, and monitoring its use in industrial environments.

Airmen in this job also review plans, work orders, contracts and specifications for compliance with environmental and occupational health directives, and serve on committees for occupational health, environmental protection, and medical readiness matters.

Another part of this role involves evaluating drinking water quality, swimming pools, and public bathing areas. They also evaluate domestic waste treatment and solid waste disposal systems and procedures, identifying potential pollution sources.

They'll use that knowledge to conduct water pollution surveillance programs. They also investigate chemical spills and other environmental releases, collect samples and coordinate necessary corrective actions with state, federal, and local officials.

In addition, these airmen advise on health hazards and protective measures for exposed populations and emergency response personnel. They also advise on decontamination procedures for medical personnel, patients, equipment and medical facilities. They also provide training for medical personnel, advice, and guidance for training non-medical personnel.

Training for AFSC 4B0X1

These airmen need to have knowledge of basic and applied mathematics, basic chemistry, physics and computer usage, industrial hygiene, community environmental surveillance, occupational health, radiological health, environmental protection, medical administration and bioenvironmental engineering aspects of medical readiness.

To be successful in this job, airmen need to be able to wear protective suits without experiencing claustrophobia and be able to carry heavy equipment at the same time.

Following basic training and Airmen's Week, these airmen will spend 68 days in technical training at Wright Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. They'll take the basic bioenvironmental engineering specialist course and receive training in bioenvironmental engineering evaluations and surveys. 

These airmen will also learn to perform and supervise industrial hygiene, occupational health, environmental protection, medical readiness, and radiological health surveys to include the preparation of all related correspondence, reports, and charts. They'll also learn to manage industrial hygiene, community environmental surveillance, and radiological health programs.

Qualifying for AFSC 4B0X1

Normal color vision is required for this job and you need to be qualified to operate government vehicles. 

You need a composite score of at least 49 on the general (G) section of the Air Force Qualification Area of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) tests