Water/Wastewater Engineers

water wastewater engineers_1.webp
$89,940 Median Wage (2022)
21,200 Projected job openings (2022-2032)
5.00% Projected growth (2022-2032)

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.

Experience Requirements Overview

  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
  • A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
  • Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
  • Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Education, Training and Experience

Required Level of Education: Bachelor's Degree

Related Work Experience: Over 6 months, up to and including 1 year

On-Site or In-Plant Training: N.A.

On-the-Job Training: Over 6 months, up to and including 1 year

Detailed Work Activities

  • Prepare technical or operational reports.
  • Evaluate designs or specifications to ensure quality.
  • Advise others regarding green practices or environmental concerns.
  • Supervise engineering or other technical personnel.
  • Provide technical guidance to other personnel.
  • Recommend technical design or process changes to improve efficiency, quality, or performance.
  • Develop technical methods or processes.
  • Prepare detailed work plans.
  • Select tools, equipment, or technologies for use in operations or projects.
  • Design civil structures or systems.
  • Investigate the environmental impact of projects.
  • Create models of engineering designs or methods.
  • Analyze operational data to evaluate operations, processes or products.
  • Direct environmental development activities.
  • Research advanced engineering designs or applications.
  • Analyze costs and benefits of proposed designs or projects.
  • Analyze physical, survey, or geographic data.
  • Design structures or facilities.
  • Design industrial processing systems.
  • Identify opportunities to improve operational efficiency.
  • Evaluate characteristics of equipment or systems.

Work Values

Achievement

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Recognition

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Relationships

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Support

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Independence

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Tasks

  • Analyze and recommend sludge treatment or disposal methods.
  • Provide technical direction or supervision to junior engineers, engineering or computer-aided design (CAD) technicians, or other technical personnel.
  • Review and critique proposals, plans, or designs related to water or wastewater treatment systems.
  • Design domestic or industrial water or wastewater treatment plants, including advanced facilities with sequencing batch reactors (SBR), membranes, lift stations, headworks, surge overflow basins, ultraviolet disinfection systems, aerobic digesters, sludge lagoons, or control buildings.
  • Evaluate the operation and maintenance of water or wastewater systems to identify ways to improve their efficiency.
  • Design or select equipment for use in wastewater processing to ensure compliance with government standards.
  • Design pumping systems, pumping stations, pipelines, force mains, or sewers for the collection of wastewater.
  • Design water distribution systems for potable or non-potable water.
  • Conduct water quality studies to identify and characterize water pollutant sources.
  • Analyze and recommend chemical, biological, or other wastewater treatment methods to prepare water for industrial or domestic use.
  • Identify design alternatives for the development of new water resources.
  • Design water runoff collection networks, water supply channels, or water supply system networks.
  • Design water or wastewater lift stations, including water wells.
  • Conduct cost-benefit analyses for the construction of water supply systems, runoff collection networks, water and wastewater treatment plants, or wastewater collection systems.
  • Provide technical support on water resource or treatment issues to government agencies.
  • 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.
  • Analyze storm water or floodplain drainage systems to control erosion, stabilize river banks, repair channel streams, or design bridges.
  • Oversee the construction of decentralized or on-site wastewater treatment systems, including reclaimed water facilities.
  • Develop plans for new water resources or water efficiency programs.
  • Perform hydrological analyses, using three-dimensional simulation software, to model the movement of water or forecast the dispersion of chemical pollutants in the water supply.
  • Perform hydraulic analyses of water supply systems or water distribution networks to model flow characteristics, test for pressure losses, or to identify opportunities to mitigate risks and improve operational efficiency.
  • Write technical reports or publications related to water resources development or water use efficiency.
  • Design water storage tanks or other water storage facilities.
  • Design sludge treatment plants.
  • Gather and analyze water use data to forecast water demand.
  • Conduct environmental impact studies related to water and wastewater collection, treatment, or distribution.
  • Analyze the efficiency of water delivery structures, such as dams, tainter gates, canals, pipes, penstocks, or cofferdams.
  • Perform mathematical modeling of underground or surface water resources, such as floodplains, ocean coastlines, streams, rivers, or wetlands.

Work Styles

Persistence

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Achievement/Effort

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Initiative

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Leadership

Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Cooperation

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Concern for Others

Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Social Orientation

Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Self-Control

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Stress Tolerance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

Adaptability/Flexibility

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Dependability

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Attention to Detail

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Integrity

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Independence

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Innovation

Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Analytical Thinking

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Data Source: This page includes information from the O*NET 28.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. This page includes Employment Projections program, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.