Working for water offers purpose, fulfillment
For many of us, a new year represents an opportunity for a fresh start. Maybe it’s eating healthier, getting to the gym more often, or finally reading that novel gathering dust on the bookshelf (I’m looking at you, Game of Thrones). Or, perhaps it’s something decidedly more daunting like a new career.
Whether you’re just entering the workforce or looking for a change of scenery, there has never been a better time to consider the water industry. Demand for new talent is at an all-time high; with nearly half of the current workforce expected to retire over the next decade, the sector is flush with opportunities.
Job roles in the water industry run the gamut, from highly specialized disciplines requiring advanced degrees to entry-level positions with on-the-job training. Engineering, environmental science, operations, administration, and customer service are just a few of the career paths available. Many utilities even have federally supported apprenticeship programs designed to provide earn-as-you-learn opportunities to new entrants.
Some of the employment opportunities available in the waterworks industry include:
- Water Treatment Plant Operator: Operates and maintains water treatment facilities to ensure the purification of water for distribution.
- Water Distribution Operator: Manages the distribution system, including pipes, pumps, and valves, to deliver water to consumers.
- Water Quality Analyst/Chemist: Monitors and analyzes water samples to ensure compliance with water quality standards and regulatory requirements.
- Environmental Engineer: Designs and implements systems to manage water resources, reduce pollution, and protect the environment.
- Mechanical or Electrical Engineer: Focuses on maintaining and optimizing equipment like pumps, motors, and control systems within the water treatment process and distribution system.
- Field Service Technician: Conducts inspections, maintenance, and repairs on water infrastructure components in the field.
- Water Resource Planner: Plans and develops strategies for sustainable water resource management, taking into account variables such as population growth and the impacts of climate change.
- Customer Service Representative: Assists customers with inquiries, billing, and service-related issues.
- Regulatory Compliance Specialist: Ensures that water utilities adhere to local, state, and federal regulations and standards.
- Geographic Information System (GIS) Specialist: Manages spatial data to map and analyze the water distribution network.
- Water Conservation Specialist: Develops and implements programs to promote water conservation among consumers.
- Operations Manager: Oversees the day-to-day operations of the water utility, including staff management, budgeting, and strategic planning.
- Safety Coordinator: Ensures compliance with safety regulations and develops safety protocols for water utility operations.
Working in water means pursuing a fulfilling career with a direct impact on public health and well-being. Water, after all, is our most precious resource; we need it to drink, bathe, play, and manufacture. From maintenance, operations, and laboratory analysis to management, customer service, and public relations, when you work for water, you play a critical role in providing something that is absolutely essential to our communities: clean, safe water.