Water / Wastewater Engineer

Career Area: Engineering

Occupation Group: Civil and Safety Engineering

Salary

Percentile wages tell how much a certain percentage of an overall population in a geographic area or within a given industry or field makes. The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall.

An example would be the 25th percentile, 25 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 75 percent earn more than the estimated wage value. At the 75th percentile, 75 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 25 percent earn more than the estimated wage value.

A typical Water / Wastewater Engineer earns the following wages (national and state):

State

The average salary in North Carolina for those pursuing this career is $77,514

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

National

The average salary in the United States for those pursuing this career is $81,176

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

Specializes in the treatment and management of contaminated water. Designs sewage systems and water treatment plants.

Employment Trends

The job demand and job growth statistics shown here were derived from job posts over the past year. Expected job growth projections are extrapolated from year-over-year job post listing history.

Job demand and job growth is expected at the following rates:

LocationGrowth
North Carolina177+8.9%
Nationwide3972+8.4%

Skills

A professional in this position typically utilizes the following skills in the course of everyday work in this exciting and challenging field:

Baseline Skills

The following are baseline skills every Water / Wastewater Engineer is expected to have in order to experience success in this field:

  • Communication Skills: The ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently.
  • Planning: Working experience with the process of thinking about and organizing the activities required to achieve desired goals.
  • Microsoft Office: Microsoft Office is an office suite of applications, servers, and services developed by Microsoft.
  • Writing: Experience expressing business messages effectively in written form. This may include planning drafting and revising as necessary.
  • Teamwork / Collaboration: Experience working in collaborative efforts with a team to achieve a common goal or to complete a task in the most effective and efficient way.

Specialized Skills

These skills are specific to working in this career:

  • Project Management: Project management is the discipline of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria.
  • Civil Engineering: Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings.
  • Budgeting: Experience planning how the financial resources of a business or department are to be allocated during the next business period.
  • Professional Engineer: A Professional Engineer (PE) is an engineer certified by a state board of registration to practice engineering.
  • Wastewater Treatment: Wastewater treatment is a process used to convert wastewater - which is water no longer needed or suitable for its most recent use - into an effluent that can be either returned to the water cycle with minimal environmental issues or reused.

Distinguishing Skills

Any Water / Wastewater Engineer that possesses the following skills will stand out against the competition:

  • Wastewater Collection: Wastewater collection systems gather the used water from our homes, businesses and industries and convey it to a wastewater treatment plant.
  • Stream Restoration: Stream restoration or river restoration, sometimes called river reclamation in the UK, describes a set of activities that help improve the environmental health of a river or stream.
  • Drainage Design: Road drainage design has as its basic objective the reduction and/or elimination of energy generated by flowing water.
  • Watershed Management: A watershed is an area where water running off the land drains into a specific body of water, and a watershed manager makes sure that the water in our respective communities is free from contaminants and safe to drink and use.
  • Sedimentation Control: Working experience of Sedimentation Control, which is a practice or device designed to keep eroded soil on a construction site, so that it does not wash off and cause water pollution to a nearby stream, river, lake, or sea. Sediment controls are generally designed to be temporary measures, however, some can be used for storm water management purposes.

Experience

This position typically requires the following level of experience. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Experience Required%
0 to 2 years16%
3 to 5 years34%
6 to 8 years19%

Many of the programs offered through NC State are designed for working professionals who need additional credentials to enhance existing work experience.

Students who do not have the expected level of experience may wish to look into internship and employment opportunities.

Common Job Titles

It is possible to find work in this field in positions commonly listed as the following job titles:

  • Water Resources Engineer
  • Water/Wastewater Project Manager
  • Project Manager - Water/Wastewater
  • Senior Water Resources Engineer
  • Wastewater Engineer, Pe

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