What is a Critical Environment Technician?

Typical Chilled Water Pump Configuration.
Typical Chilled Water Pump Configuration.

Critical Environment Technicians (CE Technicians) are responsible for the installation, repair, and maintenance of electrical, mechanical, and plumbing/piping equipment, machinery and controls located in the interior and exterior of a data center. They monitor operations and conduct routine assessments of the building systems, operations and performance.

If you enjoy working a regular schedule every day of the week, being a CE technician may not be the best choice. These technicians typically require rotating shifts and variable work hours to support a 7x24x365 data center environment.

Typical duties of a CE tech might include monitoring and preventive maintenance on mechanical equipment and electrical equipment; taking daily readings and making adjustments where necessary to ensure the proper operation of these systems. CE technicians must also be able to apply learning, knowledge, skills, and company policies to a wide range of tasks pertaining to electrical and mechanical equipment, controls, and operating systems.

In addition to routine maintenance, a critical environment technician installs and repairs mechanical and electrical equipment. They often will receive a work order for preventative and corrective maintenance on critical systems and building physical structure, or assist other Critical Environment Technicians with major repairs and maintenance of data center and equipment. CE techs may also responds to building emergencies and customer concerns, as required.


Becoming a critical environment technician can be a fun and rewarding job, especially for those interested in tech culture. In most cases you will be required to have 2+ years of technical training, military training, or workplace equivalency. You must also have some background in the areas of electrical and/or mechanical.

In addition to technical, electrical, and mechanical skills. Many critical environments require that technicians have a strong customer focus with the ability to analyze operations of various systems, determine the cause of problems and malfunctions and take corrective action.

Technicians must poses strong written, verbal and interpersonal skills and have the ability to function in a team environment. The job may involve frequent typing, standing, walking, pushing, pulling, bending, reaching and lifting.

Where to Apply

In the modern age of information technology, the data center has become an essential part of government, education, and business enterprise. All of the tech giants such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook all have critical environment technicians working at their facilities.

Telecom companies such as AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon also maintain their own data and call centers. In addition to the household names, there are several data center management companies that lease out data center space such as QTS, Vantage, Equinix, Coresite, and Cyxtera.

Preparing for Your Interview

After submitting your application, it will be reviewed by the building management. If your resume looks good, the next step will be either an in-person or virtual interview. During the interview process, you can expect to be quizzed on several different mechanical and electrical systems.

Critical Environment Technicians must posses and be able to demonstrate a wide-variety of knowledge and skill sets. In order to assess your knowledge, an interviewer might ask anything from the basics, all the way through troubleshooting electrical and mechanical systems.

How CET Preps Can Help

CET preps was designed as a “CliffsNotes” style guide to help refresh your memory and prepare for the type of material you may be required to know to get the job. Each lesson serves as an outline you can use as a roadmap to determine which areas you may need further study.

Readers should have at least 2+ years technical experience and some background in electrical or mechanical systems. Our guide is not designed as a complete study guide for those starting from scratch.

Ready to Start?

Use the table of contents on any page to get started, each lesson is ordered to help you naturally progress through the required knowledge but you may also jump into any lesson at anytime. You can also start at the top by reading about Data Center Fundamentals.