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Water/Wastewater Engineer Careers

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a water/wastewater engineer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $39.62 an hour? That's $82,420 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 5% and produce 2,900 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Water/Wastewater Engineer Do

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a water/wastewater engineer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 18.1% of water/wastewater engineers included autocad, while 12.2% of resumes included project management, and 9.8% of resumes included cost estimates. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the water/wastewater engineer job title. But what industry to start with? Most water/wastewater engineers actually find jobs in the professional and construction industries.

How To Become a Water/Wastewater Engineer

If you're interested in becoming a water/wastewater engineer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 42.5% of water/wastewater engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 30.0% of water/wastewater engineers have master's degrees. Even though most water/wastewater engineers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a water/wastewater engineer. When we researched the most common majors for a water/wastewater engineer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on water/wastewater engineer resumes include high school diploma degrees or doctoral degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a water/wastewater engineer. In fact, many water/wastewater engineer jobs require experience in a role such as civil engineer. Meanwhile, many water/wastewater engineers also have previous career experience in roles such as teaching assistant or project manager.

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Average Salary
$82,420
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
5%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
10,125
Job Openings

Average Salary for a Water/Wastewater Engineer

Water/Wastewater Engineers in America make an average salary of $82,420 per year or $40 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $115,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $58,000 per year.
Average Salary
$82,420

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range82k - 141k$108k$108,245
Portland, OR
Salary Range74k - 126k$97k$97,053
Bellevue, WA
Salary Range73k - 124k$96k$95,790
Baton Rouge, LA
Salary Range69k - 115k$90k$89,807
Omaha, NE
Salary Range67k - 112k$87k$87,311
Washington, DC
Salary Range67k - 110k$86k$86,223
$49k
$141k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Maintenance Supv III-Water, Wastewater Class C Ground Water, Class C Wastewater
Maintenance Supv III-Water, Wastewater Class C Ground Water, Class C Wastewater
Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Texas Department of Criminal Justice
01/21/2021
01/21/2021
$42,52201/21/2021
$42,522
Water-Wastewater Engineer
Water-Wastewater Engineer
City of Durham
City of Durham
12/11/2020
12/11/2020
$64,91612/11/2020
$64,916
Maintenance Supv III-Water, Wastewater Class C Ground Water, Class B Wastewater
Maintenance Supv III-Water, Wastewater Class C Ground Water, Class B Wastewater
Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Texas Department of Criminal Justice
11/10/2020
11/10/2020
$42,52211/10/2020
$42,522
SR. Water/Wastewater Engineer
SR. Water/Wastewater Engineer
Talentrust
Talentrust
11/05/2020
11/05/2020
$200,00011/05/2020
$200,000
Water/Wastewater Engineer
Water/Wastewater Engineer
Aerotek
Aerotek
09/25/2020
09/25/2020
$73,04509/25/2020
$73,045
See More Recent Salaries

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Water/Wastewater Engineer Demographics

Gender

male

72.7 %

female

16.4 %

unknown

10.9 %

Ethnicity

White

63.3 %

Asian

16.2 %

Hispanic or Latino

10.5 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0 %

German

25.0 %

Polish

25.0 %
See More Demographics

Water/Wastewater Engineer Education

Degrees

Bachelors

42.5 %

Masters

30.0 %

High School Diploma

10.0 %

Top Colleges for Water/Wastewater Engineers

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,832
Enrollment
4,550

2. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Public

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

3. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

4. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

5. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

6. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

7. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,184
Enrollment
30,845

8. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

9. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483

10. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Water/Wastewater Engineer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 18.1% of water/wastewater engineers listed autocad on their resume, but soft skills such as problem-solving skills and writing skills are important as well.

Best States For a Water/Wastewater Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a water/wastewater engineer. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, California, Oregon, and Washington. Water/wastewater engineers make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $109,394. Whereas in California and Oregon, they would average $98,002 and $97,002, respectively. While water/wastewater engineers would only make an average of $94,490 in Washington, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Oregon

Total Water/Wastewater Engineer Jobs:
221
Highest 10% Earn:
$158,000
Location Quotient:
1.52
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Washington

Total Water/Wastewater Engineer Jobs:
357
Highest 10% Earn:
$154,000
Location Quotient:
1.4
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. California

Total Water/Wastewater Engineer Jobs:
1,544
Highest 10% Earn:
$161,000
Location Quotient:
1.51
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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How Do Water/Wastewater Engineer Rate Their Jobs?

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4.0

OperatorDecember 2019

4.0

Zippia Official LogoOperatorDecember 2019

What do you like the most about working as Water/Wastewater Engineer?

It’s been interesting learning how to manage and repair the various parts and pieces of these systems, and I like that I’m not always at a desk . Show More

What do you NOT like?

Frozen stuff and broken things Show More

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Top Water/Wastewater Engineer Employers

1. HDR Engineering
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$78,827
Water/Wastewater Engineers Hired: 
32+
2. AECOM
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$69,964
Water/Wastewater Engineers Hired: 
28+
3. Carollo Engineers
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$98,982
Water/Wastewater Engineers Hired: 
14+
4. Kennedy/Jenks Consultants
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$75,088
Water/Wastewater Engineers Hired: 
5+
5. EBA Engineering
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$100,869
Water/Wastewater Engineers Hired: 
4+
6. Hatch Mott MacDonald
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$76,590
Water/Wastewater Engineers Hired: 
2+
Updated October 2, 2020