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Water/Wastewater Engineer

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All About Water/Wastewater Engineers

Job Description & Duties Design or oversee projects involving provision of potable water, disposal of wastewater and sewage, or prevention of flood-related damage. Prepare environmental documentation for water resources, regulatory program compliance, data management and analysis, and field work. Perform hydraulic modeling and pipeline design.

Water/Wastewater Engineer Responsibilities

  • Review and critique proposals, plans, or designs related to water or wastewater treatment systems.
  • Identify design alternatives for the development of new water resources.
  • Oversee the construction of decentralized or on-site wastewater treatment systems, including reclaimed water facilities.
  • Design sludge treatment plants.
  • Analyze the efficiency of water delivery structures, such as dams, tainter gates, canals, pipes, penstocks, or cofferdams.
  • Conduct feasibility studies for the construction of facilities, such as water supply systems, runoff collection networks, water and wastewater treatment plants, or wastewater collection systems.

Things a Water/Wastewater Engineer Should Know How to Do

These are the skills Water/Wastewater Engineers say are the most useful in their careers:

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Other Water/Wastewater Engineer Job Titles

  • Water Systems Designer
  • Water/Wastewater Project Engineer
  • Acting Section Chief
  • Water Project Engineer
  • Dimensional Engineer

Is There Job Demand for Water/Wastewater Engineers?

There were about 53,800 jobs for Water/Wastewater Engineer in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 8.4% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 4,500 new jobs for Water/Wastewater Engineer by 2026. The BLS estimates 4,000 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Water/Wastewater Engineers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Water/Wastewater Engineer are Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Alaska, or Mississippi. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Water/Wastewater Engineer Salary

The salary for Water/Wastewater Engineers ranges between about $53,180 and $137,090 a year.

Salary Ranges for Water/Wastewater Engineers

Water/Wastewater Engineers who work in Alaska, Louisiana, or California, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Water/Wastewater Engineers in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $82,020
Alaska $116,680
Arizona $80,330
Arkansas $89,540
California $105,480
Colorado $98,350
Connecticut $88,810
Delaware $84,480
District of Columbia $100,060
Florida $80,540
Georgia $79,700
Hawaii $91,270
Idaho $96,870
Illinois $92,200
Indiana $82,180
Iowa $79,210
Kansas $85,400
Kentucky $80,900
Louisiana $108,980
Maine $75,440
Maryland $102,650
Massachusetts $90,070
Michigan $93,770
Mississippi $72,400
Missouri $72,290
Montana $84,960
Nebraska $90,320
Nevada $92,810
New Hampshire $99,840
New Jersey $88,360
New Mexico $95,720
New York $90,470
North Carolina $82,110
North Dakota $76,770
Ohio $85,970
Oklahoma $79,590
Oregon $97,440
Pennsylvania $89,410
Rhode Island $91,940
South Carolina $76,970
South Dakota $99,760
Tennessee $93,620
Texas $102,660
Utah $76,530
Vermont $82,430
Virginia $86,330
Washington $99,750
West Virginia $69,800
Wisconsin $81,860
Wyoming $93,680

What Tools do Water/Wastewater Engineers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Water/Wastewater Engineers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Python
  • Microsoft Access
  • Word processing software
  • Microsoft Project
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Structured query language SQL
  • Geographic information system GIS software
  • Minitab
  • Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Bentley Microstation
  • SAP software
  • Autodesk Revit
  • Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D

How do I Become a Water/Wastewater Engineer?

Education needed to be a Water/Wastewater Engineer:

Water/Wastewater Engineer Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Water/Wastewater Engineer Work Experience

Who Employs Water/Wastewater Engineers?

Water/Wastewater Engineer Sectors

Below are examples of industries where Water/Wastewater Engineers work:

Water/Wastewater Engineer Industries


Image Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alesia Goosic via Public Domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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