Air Quality Inspector I

SALARY: $1,977.66 – $2,598.74 Biweekly
$51,419.04 – $67,567.20 Annually

OPENING DATE: 03/08/19

CLOSING DATE: 05/15/19 05:01 PM


South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) 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. SCAQMD’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 800 employees, an annual budget of $162.6 million, and a state-of-the-art air quality laboratory, our mission is to ensure clean air and a healthy environment. SCAQMD is an organization you can be proud to work for — we make a difference in the quality of life in Southern California!


SCAQMD is committed to protecting the health and safety of the residents of the South Coast Air Basin through an extensive and robust enforcement program.  Our inspectors are responsible for inspecting businesses and commercial and industrial facilities and operations to determine compliance with SCAQMD Rules and Regulations, permit requirements, federal laws and State statutes.  The type of facilities and operations that are inspected include large power plants and refineries; all sizes of industrial, commercial, and manufacturing operations; retail gasoline service stations; landfills and waste site excavations; demolition and land clearing for construction of homes or other buildings; portable engines and equipment; and other facilities and businesses.  Inspectors also respond to public complaints about air quality.

Qualified individuals willing to work as Inspectors in the San Fernando Valley, West LA, Long Beach, and Santa Monica areas are especially encouraged to apply. Inspectors are assigned SCAQMD vehicles that Inspectors take home for work-related travel to and from their work location and/or facilities within their geographic area for the purpose of conducting official business.

Essential duties include: Conducting inspections and investigations of commercial and industrial processes which may involve climbing ladders and investigating emission release points on building rooftops or equipment stacks; identifying instances of noncompliance with air pollution rules, regulations, permit requirements and federal laws and State statutes and taking appropriate and consistent enforcement action as required; educating owners and operators of commercial and industrial sources about achieving and maintaining compliance; informing and educating the community about our compliance program and how to effectively report their air quality concerns; analyzing and determining the cause and nature of air contaminant emissions; coordinating the testing of sources; preparing detailed reports on inspections and investigations; developing recommendations regarding new or proposed rules; preparing materials for and conducting training classes; assisting in the preparation of cases and providing testimony before SCAQMD’s Hearing Board; providing testimony in court on civil and criminal air pollution cases; and performing other related duties assigned.

Ability to effectively communicate both orally and in written form.  The most competitively qualified candidates will be diplomatic, professional, and able to establish good rapport and credibility with the public and the regulated community. They must also be able to communicate technical information clearly, sometimes under challenging circumstances.  Because we must earn and maintain the public’s trust, strong personal work ethics are a must. Those who possess the above, plus a balanced and relevant combination of education and experience, will have an edge in contending for these positions.

Air Quality Inspector I is the entry level class in our inspector classification series. Persons in this class receive extensive training and progress from performing routine inspections and complaint investigations to more difficult inspections and complaints while acquiring the necessary skills and knowledge for promotion to the next level.

Following two years of successful performance as an Air Quality Inspector I, employees who have demonstrated readiness for promotion to the next level may be promoted without competition to Air Quality Inspector II. A bachelor’s degree may substitute for six months of the required two years experience for this promotion. There are other higher level classifications in the inspector job series. Promotion to these positions is through a competitive process.

CLASSIFICATION STANDARDS:  This multi-position class reports to a Supervising Air Quality Inspector and is characterized by the responsibility for performing a variety of routine to difficult rule specific inspections and complaint investigations on commercial and industrial equipment, processes, and material that requires the knowledge, interpretation, and application of a limited number of air pollution control laws, regulations, rules, and inspections techniques in determining compliance.  The Air Quality Inspector I class is distinguished in that positions are assigned to the working-level for performing rule specific inspections such as, but not limited to, dry cleaners, service stations, floating roof tanks, auto body shops, bulk loading, valves and flanges, pumps and compressors; or assigned at the trainee-level to conduct a variety of routine to difficult journey-level commercial and industrial inspections.  The latter positions are budgeted at the Air Quality Inspector II level.


Conducts rule specific inspections and complaint investigations of commercial and industrial equipment, machines, control devices, materials, and processes to determine compliance with SCAQMD rules and regulations, State Health and Safety codes, and federal laws and regulations.

Issues notices to owners and operators of commercial and industrial sources to ensure compliance with air pollution laws, regulations and rules.

Analyzes and determines the cause and nature of air contaminant emissions; coordinates the physical testing of sources and reinspects sources found in noncompliance.

Prepares various reports to record the findings of inspections and complaint investigation activities; assists or develops recommendations on the implementation, effectiveness and enforceability of new or proposed air pollution rules.

Learns and applies a variety of inspections and investigation methods and techniques on petroleum and industrial equipment and processes that require the knowledge, interpretation and application of a variety of laws, regulations, and rules in determining compliance.

Assists in the preparation of Hearing Board cases or recommends variance conditions to ensure compliance with SCAQMD rules and regulations.

Provides testimony in court or administrative hearings on civil and criminal air pollution cases when requested.  Works closely with SCAQMD engineers and legal counsel in resolving a variety of air pollution problems.

Represents SCAQMD and Division at meetings, conferences and public and private agency meetings and responds to inquiries; provides information on SCAQMD rules, regulations, and procedures as necessary.

May assist in the training and provide technical guidance to new personnel.


Training and experience which would demonstrate possession of the knowledge, skills and abilities to apply inspection methods and techniques to air pollution emission control equipment and processes; knowledge of engineering, chemistry, mathematics, and physics principles and concepts; knowledge of commercial and industrial equipment and processes; SCAQMD rules and regulations, State Health and Safety codes, and federal laws and regulations; and safety and hazardous practices and procedures.

Ability to learn, interpret, and apply SCAQMD rules and regulations, State Health and Safety codes, and federal laws and regulations to equipment, processes, and materials to determine compliance with air quality standards; analyze and inspect equipment and processes and prepare reports and other supporting information; communicate in a clear and concise manner, both orally and in writing; understand and follow verbal and written instructions; maintain and establish effective working relationships with public and private agency representatives, members of the public, and SCAQMD personnel; operate and maintain a variety of equipment, detectors, and sampling devices.

Evidence of the required knowledge, skills and abilities will be demonstrated by the completion of at least 34 semester (51 quarter) units of core courses from an accredited college or university required for a major in engineering, chemistry, mathematics, physics or a related field, OR one year of experience as an Air Quality Inspector.

LICENSE: Possession of a valid California Class “C” Driver’s License.

Graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree in engineering, chemistry, mathematics, physics or a related field is highly desirable and may be used as one of the criteria in determining which candidates are most competitively qualified for these positions.

Experience that is sufficiently similar (i.e., shows you learned/applied directly transferable skills) may also be seen as more highly competitive than unrelated experience; however, recent graduates who possess directly related degrees will be considered.  A record of steady employment and/or good educational record is also important with grades in core coursework at a “C” level or above.

The ability to learn and understand complex technical information and related rules and regulations and communicate this information to a highly diverse public in clear and simple English is essential, as is the ability to interact effectively with concerned business owners and the public, even under challenging circumstances, using active listening skills, patience and diplomacy.

The ability to climb ladders and perform inspections on rooftops, as well as the ability to carry and use portable monitoring and sampling equipment in the field, is important for this job.

The most desirable candidates:

  • Will have the ability to analyze emission sources, recognize problems and recommend solutions.
  • Will possess strong personal and work ethics (which will be verified by checking references).

The ability to effectively communicate both orally and in writing.
Bilingual skills are always a plus!

CERTIFICATION: Smoke School Certification, Breathing Apparatus Certification, and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Certification may be required of some positions in the class.



  • A completed employment application covering at least the past 10 years of employment (if applicable), listing separately, each position you have held.
  • Four references which include the names and phone numbers of your present and past supervisor or managers, or persons for who you have directly provided services, not peers.
  • Responses to the Supplemental Questionnaire (SQ). The SQ is a form of written test, and will be evaluated as such. Your responses should be well written, clear, concise, and directly responsive to all parts of each question. Please limit your responses to no more than one page per answer.
  • If you claim education on your application, an unofficial copy of your transcripts, documenting all qualifying education and/or occupational training claimed, must be submitted as an attachment to your online application.  Official transcripts will be requested at a later date.

Job applications must be completely filled out; a resume cannot be substituted for the required information. Be sure to detail any education, training or other relevant coursework that would make you a particularly strong candidate.


Application packages and supplemental questionnaires will first be screened and the most competitively qualified candidates will be invited to a multiple-choice examination and writing exercise, to be rated on a pass/fail basis. If you are invited to this portion of the selection process, a current printout of your “H-6” driving record from the Department of Motor Vehicles will be required at the time you appear for testing.

Candidates who pass will be invited to a panel interview. The interviews (weighted at 100%) are expected to result in a ranked eligible list from which current and future vacancies occurring during the six to twelve-month life of the list may be filled.
Only those who demonstrate at each successive step of the selection process that they are among the most competitively qualified will be advanced to the next step.  SCAQMD reserves the right to add, delete, or modify any elements of the selection process deemed appropriate, based on the number and quality of applicants at each step.

Candidates who may need a special accommodation during the selection process must call the Human Resources Department at least one week prior to any test dates.

Important note for potential candidates who do not have the continued and unrestricted right to work full time in the United States:  If you currently, or will in the future, require sponsorship (i.e., H1-B Visa) in order to maintain your right to work in the United States, please be aware that decisions regarding sponsorship for maintaining a right to work in the United States are made on a case-by-case basis. You are welcome to participate in this recruitment process, but there is no guarantee that a job offer with the requested sponsorship will be made to you.
Application packages and responses to the Supplemental Questionnaire will first be screened and the most competitively-qualified candidates will be invited to the next phase of the recruitment process, which is expected to be a panel interview.  The interviews (weighted at 100%) are expected to result in a ranked eligible list. Pursuant to Section 4(g)(3)(d) of the Personnel Rules, this eligible list may be used to fill current and future Air Quality Specialist vacancies, in any SCAQMD department, during the 6-12 month life of the list.


Only those who demonstrate at each successive step of the selection process that they are among the most competitively qualified will be advanced to the next step.  SCAQMD reserves the right to add, delete, or modify any elements of the selection process deemed appropriate, based on the number and quality of applicants at each step.


If you have any questions regarding this recruitment, please contact the Human Resources Department at (909) 396-2800.

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