Please review the How to Apply section for application instructions.
19 Sep 2023

Full-Time Principal Air Quality Specialist

Bay Area Air Quality Management District – Posted by [email protected] San Francisco, California, United States


Job Description

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Air District) is a regional government agency, committed to achieving clean air to protect the public’s health and the environment. The Air District accomplishes this goal through regulation of industrial facilities and various outreach and incentive programs designed to encourage clean air choices.

The Air District’s jurisdiction encompasses all of seven counties – Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Napa, and portions of two others – southwestern Solano and southern Sonoma.

The Air District is currently accepting applications for the position of Principal Air Quality Specialist for the Meteorology and Measurement Division (M&M). This is an open recruitment for one (1) full-time, represented position.

The Meteorology and Measurement Division supports the mission of the District by monitoring air quality in the San Francisco Bay Area and emissions from industrial facilities; forecasting regional and local air quality; and conducting and supporting community organizations to do community-scale monitoring to guide actions to reduce emissions in the Bay Area and in neighborhoods most impacted by air pollution.

About the Position 
Air Monitoring – Projects and Technology (AMPT) is a section in the Meteorology and Measurement Division. Our team performs local scale, community focused air monitoring, and coordinates quality assurance activities and data management across the Division. As part of the AMPT leadership team, the Principal Air Quality Specialist (PAQS) provides lead direction on projects related to air quality monitoring, providing guidance and training to others.

Utilizing the team’s mobile and transportable monitoring platforms, the PAQS will help plan, document, and manage complex field studies, develop and document methods to appropriately utilize and verify instrumentation, and research, develop, validate, and document novel monitoring approaches designed to respond to the data needs of various stakeholders. The PAQS is the point person for inquiries regarding theory of operation and appropriate application of the team’s collection of highly sophisticated instrumentation and handles the most complicated troubleshooting and maintenance.

This position will also support projects related to quality assurance and/or data management with a broad range of applications, including generating and reviewing QAPPs, SOPs, and monitoring project plans, designing and deploying fit-for-purpose data acquisition systems, streamlining network communications in a variety of applications, and helping scope and apply data management tools to increase the accessibility of air monitoring data.


Under direction, performs the most complex and highly specialized level of program assignments in the areas of inspection, investigation, air monitoring instrument and equipment operation, air quality planning, rule development, enforcement and compliance operations, and other air quality program areas; may provide project supervision or team leadership on a project specific basis; performs related work as assigned.

Distinguishing Characteristics

This class provides the most complex and specialized program assignments in support of the Air District’s goals and objectives. Incumbents are responsible for providing project leadership for coordinating and developing programs that require considerable technical knowledge and use of independent judgment. This class is distinguished from Supervising Air Quality Specialist, in that the latter assigns, supervises, reviews and evaluates the work of assigned staff on a continuing basis and conducts performance appraisals. This class is also distinguished from manager levels in that the latter performs management duties with responsibilities for a program or defined functional area.

Examples of Duties for this Position

General Duties:

Coordinates and carries out the most complex assignments relating to the development, review and approval processes for the Air District’s new or revised rules and regulations; equipment operation and maintenance; data collection and analysis; technical review; the development of technological justifications; and/or other special projects as assigned. 

Provides lead direction, training and work review to technical and support staff, prioritizes and follows up on work assignments to ensure timely completion.

May provide technical training and participate in program and staff development.

Maintains data and data systems supporting Air District programs.
Advises staff on technical, regulatory and programmatic issues.
Provides technical development and training. 
Develops and implements policies, procedures, and manuals.

Develops, recommends and implements Air District policies and programs to enforce statutory and regulatory requirements for enforcement; develops and recommends the Air District’s position on various enforcement matters such as hearing board actions and settlement conferences.

Provides input into hiring selection decisions and performance evaluations.

Develops, implements, recommends and revises forms, webpages, and other program tools.

Reviews and summarizes data, prepares special and periodic reports, and ensures program effectiveness.

Conducts and participates in meeting and workshops with a variety of legal, public and private agency officials to explain and interpret technical policies, data rules and regulations regarding programs.

Participates in meeting, conferences, hearing boards and workshops with public and private agencies; serves on special committees and task forces relating to air quality program activities.

Interacts and represents the Air District with industry, attorneys, the public and other agencies; provides technical expertise to Air District staff, to counsel, to industry, the public and other agencies.

May provide input to air quality program budgetary needs.

Maintains detailed technical records, standard operating procedures, and logbooks to comply with regulatory guidelines.

Performs other related duties as assigned.

In addition to the duties listed above, the following duties (illustrative only) may be performed for positions in the select program areas:

Meteorology & Measurements

Leads the development of special study designs by providing input on technical implementation details. Develops study specific procedures for field staff and provides training as needed.
Advises on testing, diagnosis, and repair of non-routine equipment problems. Works with instrument manufacturers to solve instrument problems caused by design, supply, or implementation issues. 
Evaluates data to ensure that quality control standards are met, and quality control systems are functioning appropriately to ensure robust data is being produced. Suggests changes to the quality system necessary to correct or prevent data quality issues. 
Works with the data management team to ensure that data systems meet the needs of the Air District in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations for the storage, processing, and transmittal of regulatory data. 
Leads the procurement, testing, and implementation of new technology and develops operating procedures for new and existing technology. 
Researches and analyzes new technology, procedures, and regulations relevant to air monitoring and source testing, and makes recommendations to management regarding the implementation process.

Performs complex duties involving installation, operation, maintenance, calibration and repair of air monitoring, meteorological, and source test equipment and instrumentation.

Evaluates and makes recommendations to ensure that all programs are following applicable regulations in support of Air District goals and objectives.

Works with outside contractors to provide specialized air quality and source test measurements.

Advises on the development, implementation, and evaluation of new air monitoring and source test programs and makes recommendations to ensure that existing programs continue to comply with federal requirements.

Conducts mobile, portable, or stationary source-oriented monitoring. Prepares and collects various samples of ambient air and source test pollutants at air monitoring sites and stationary sources.

Maintains detailed technical records and logbooks.

Minimum Qualifications

A typical way to obtain the knowledge and skills is:


Equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university with major coursework in chemistry, computer science, electronics, engineering, environmental science, mathematics, meteorology, physical sciences, physics, or a closely related field.



Five (5) years of experience performing air quality inspections; installing, operating and maintaining air monitoring and quality assessment instruments and equipment, or developing and administering air quality programs, of which at least two (2) years included performing lead or supervisory responsibilities equivalent to the Air District’s Senior Air Quality Specialist.

Substitution: Any combination of relevant training and work experience in the listed or related fields may substitute for the education criteria on a year for year basis.

Desirable Qualifications

  • Direct experience with such technologies as semi-real-time gas chromatography (GC) and/or
    • proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) and/or
    • particulate matter analyzers (such as FMPS, SMPS, and continuous multi-metals) is highly desirable.
  • Experience working with mobile data is desirable.
  • Experience with quality system documentation is desirable.
  • Experience working with various data collection, storage, and analysis tools is desirable.

How to Apply

How to Apply & Selection Criteria

Interested individuals must submit a completed Air District application, along with a chronological resume and the answers to the Supplemental Questionnaire no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, October 16, 2023. Applications are accepted online; please click here to apply.

Resumes must be attached to the application and will not be accepted in lieu of the required application materials. Postmarks, faxes, and e-mailed applications will not be accepted.

Supplemental Questions Instructions

Individuals who apply for this position must respond to each of the required supplemental questions. Applications must be received by the Human Resources Office no later than the time and date specified in this vacancy announcement. The responses to the supplemental application questions will be used in accordance with the procedures indicated under the Selection Criteria section.

Please limit your responses to no more than one page (500 words) per question. Do not combine your responses or reference your application, resume, or any other requested documentation that you have included with your application packet to answer a question. This information will be evaluated as is and may be used to determine those applicants with the most directly related experience, education, and training to continue in the selection process. It is very important to provide a concise, clear, legible, complete response to each question.

Selection Criteria

Selection may be based upon a competitive examination consisting of a written exercise, interview, or combination of the two. Depending on the number of qualified applicants, an application screening and/or panel interview may be used to determine the most qualified applicants.

The District may hire from this recruitment process to fill future vacancies occurring within the next 18 months.

Persons with disabilities who may require reasonable accommodations during the application and/or selection process should notify the Human Resources Office at (415) 749-4980

The District is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Job Categories: Environmental. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: Air Quality, environmental, green collar, program management, and Science. Salaries: See posting for details.

Job expires in 2 weeks.

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