Air Quality Engineer

County Of Sonoma   Santa Rosa, CA   Full-time     Quality Control
Posted on September 16, 2022
Apply Now

Position Information


Clean Air for Everyone. Join the Northern Sonoma County Air Pollution Control District (NoSoCoAir) in its mission to maintain a healthy, beautiful, and sustainable environment for all.
Starting salary up to $63.38/hour ($132,281/year) and a competitive total compensation package!*

What We Offer 

When you join us you become part of a challenging and rewarding work environment where you gain the satisfaction of knowing that you are working to better your community. You can also look forward to flexible work arrangements and excellent benefits* including:

  • A hybrid telework schedule that meets the needs of our team, District operations, and the communities we serve
  • Eligibility for a salary increase after 1,040 hours (6 months when working full-time) for good work performance; eligibility for a salary increase for good performance every year thereafter, until reaching the top of the salary range
  • Competitive vacation and sick leave accruals, 12 paid holidays, and an additional 8 floating holiday hours per year
  • A paid 100% premium contribution for the majority of employee-only and employee + family health plan options
  • An annual Staff Development/Wellness Benefit allowance of up to $1,500 and ongoing education/training opportunities
  • A contribution to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement to help fund post-retirement employee health insurance/benefits
  • Retirement fully integrated with Social Security
  • May be eligible for up to 8 weeks (320 hours) of Paid Parental Leave after 12 months of employment

The NoSoCo Air District

Located off the square in beautiful downtown Healdsburg, the NoSoCoAir District is one of 35 local air pollution control districts in the State of California. Working with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the District is responsible for permitting stationary sources, monitoring ambient (outdoor) air quality, community incentive programs, and the compliance and enforcement of federal, state, and District rules and regulations in the geographic region of Northern Sonoma County. The Air Pollution Control Officer (APCO) and his team of five work in the office and remotely to diligently support NoSoCoAir's clean air mission to reduce air pollutants. Please visit the District's website to learn more about the valuable services they provide which promote and protect our communities' health, welfare, quality of life, and ecological resources.

The District's compact team of dedicated individuals works both independently and collaboratively with each other to implement and enhance public and environmental health and safety air quality mandates and programs. When you join the team as an Air Quality Engineer (AQE), you will have an important supporting role in helping the District to implement and to ensure compliance with air pollution control policies, regulations, and rules. In this role, sound judgment and initiative are essential to developing effective solutions to problems and in speaking, conferring, and advising citizen groups, advisory bodies, the District Board of Directors, and other stakeholders regarding District programs and activities. Additional responsibilities include:

  • Reviewing construction and operating permit applications for industrial activities that are subject to District oversight and regulation
  • Preparing the technical evaluations that provide the basis for the District to issue or deny the permit
  • Instructing District staff in the work related to permitting review and inspection procedures
  • Responding to public information requests and complaints
  • Calculating air pollutant emissions, performing air toxics risk assessments, maintaining emissions inventories
  • Performing compliance audits and oversight of source testing of industrial plants
  • Supporting the District’s open burning program
  • Assisting the APCO with planning and budget processes

As the ideal candidate to join the District's dedicated team, you bring your engineering skills, open and customer-focused communication style, flexibility, and working knowledge of local and regional meteorology. You also bring your:

  • Knowledge of the effective application of air pollution control technology for a wide variety of industrial processes and equipment
  • Ability to apply good air pollution control and engineering principles to the review of various formats of mechanical and chemical industrial processes i.e. written narratives, process flow diagrams, and in-person onsite inspections
  • Knowledge of the geothermal energy production industry and/or its pollution controls and processes
  • Ability to correctly interpret federal, state, and District air pollution rules and regulations in order to explain them to non-technical persons and to apply them to District actions in a consistent manner
  • Experience working in local government and/or under a Board of Directors and the ability to exhibit effective interpersonal skills and tactfully interact with a variety of individuals from diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds

Additionally, the ideal candidate will be able to apply their technical acumen in innovative and practical ways to enhance the District programs and address the implementation of its many dynamic, ongoing, and future regulatory obligations.

Please note that the AQE works outdoors and indoors in an office setting. Due to the nature of the work the AQE performs, incumbents are required to drive the District car or the pickup truck which is equipped with a ladder rack. The AQE performs facility inspections at industrial sites or complaint investigations in the field which requires driving to a variety of locations within the District territory. The AQE provides secondary support for the District’s ambient air monitoring sites that are located on flat one-story rooftops and require the safe use of a ladder for access. When visiting facilities, monitoring sites, or out in the field, the AQE utilizes proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and may encounter inclement weather. The AQE typically works a Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm schedule, or upon approval of the APCO may telework with a flex schedule. On rare occasions, the AQE may work briefly in the evening or weekend to assess and/or remedy a critical monitor equipment malfunction and/or assist during emergency events.

While not required at the time of application submission, a candidate for the AQE position needs to be able to obtain a smoke certification for Visible Emissions (VE) to perform compliance and field inspections. Additionally, upon hire, the incumbent will cross-train with the outgoing AQE for smooth onboarding and transfer of important program knowledge.  

The District is currently recruiting to fill an Air Quality Engineer position. The employment list established from this recruitment may be used to fill future full-time, part-time, or extra-help (temporary) positions as they occur during the active status of the list. Qualified County employees who wish to be considered for future positions should consider applying to this recruitment. All District staff are hired through the County of Sonoma Civil Service System.

*Salary is negotiable within the established range. Benefits described herein do not represent a contract and may be changed without notice. Additional information can be found in the Western Council of Engineers Memorandum Of Understanding (WCE MOU) and our Employee Benefits directory.



Minimum Qualifications


EducationAcademic course work which directly relates to the knowledge and abilities listed. Normally, a college degree with a major in chemical, environmental, mechanical, industrial, metallurgical or petroleum engineering would provide the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and abilities.
Experience: Professional experience which would provide an opportunity to acquire the knowledge and abilities listed. Normally, three years of professional engineering experience, including two years in air pollution control, would provide the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and abilities.
License: Possession of a valid driver's license at the appropriate level including special endorsements, as required by the State of California, may be required depending upon assignment to perform the essential job functions of the position.


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities


Considerable knowledge of: the principles, practices, methods and techniques of air quality control; and principles of air pollution management, analysis, atmospheric pollution control devices and surveillance instruments.
Working knowledge of: the engineering design and use of air pollution control devices and control instruments; laws, rules, regulations and legal opinions related to air quality control; and statistical techniques and methodology utilized in the analysis of air pollution data.
Knowledge of: geothermal design, development engineering; and geothermal activities and resources within Sonoma County.
Ability to: research and prepare complex technical reports relating to air quality control; design, develop, and utilize instrumentation and operating procedures for air monitoring systems and other air quality measuring facilities; deal tactfully, convincingly and effectively with department personnel, governmental officials, representatives of specific interest groups, and the general public; and effectively assemble, organize and present in written and/or oral form, reports containing alternative solutions and recommendations regarding specific resources, plans and policies.


Selection Procedure & Some Helpful Tips When Applying


  • Your application information and your responses to the supplemental questions are evaluated and taken into consideration throughout the entire selection process.
  • You should list all employers and positions held within the last ten years in the work history section of your application and should be as thorough as possible when responding to the supplemental questions.
  • You may include history beyond ten years if related to the position for which you are applying. If you held multiple positions with one employer, list out each position separately.
  • Failure to follow these instructions may impact your competitiveness in this process or may result in disqualification.