Water/Wastewater Engineers: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

Water/Wastewater Engineers 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.

  • Provide technical direction or supervision to junior engineers, engineering or computer-aided design (CAD) technicians, or other technical personnel.
  • 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.
  • Design pumping systems, pumping stations, pipelines, force mains, or sewers for the collection of wastewater.
  • 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.
Read more about what does a Water/Wastewater Engineer really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.



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Salary

Average salary
$92640 per year

Average hourly wage
$45 per hour


Water/Wastewater Engineers with little to no experience tend to make between $53180 and $66590 while the more experienced ones can earn over $112230 per year.

Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual
AK$56$116,680
LA$52$108,980
CA$51$105,480
TX$49$102,660
MD$49$102,650

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Water/Wastewater Engineer is to move to a higher paying state like AK. Right now, the highest paying states for Water/Wastewater Engineers are AK, LA, CA, TX and MD.

However, a higher pay at AK doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at AK might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Water/Wastewater Engineer is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Requirements

Recommended degree level
Bachelor’s Degree

We asked other Water/Wastewater Engineers what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Bachelor’s Degree followed by a Master’s Degree.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering
Read more about how to become a Water/Wastewater Engineer and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Water/Wastewater Engineer.

PROS
Suitable for people who likes to solve problems mentally
Suitable for people who values achievements and are results-oriented
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
Very high salary (top 25% highest paid careers)
CONS
Not suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
It is hard to get into this career. A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

What is the job like

Job satisfaction
70%

Is this job meaningful
60%


70% of Water/Wastewater Engineers said they were satisfied with their job and 60% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.


Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Thinkers and The Builders

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally..

They also like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.




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