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Water/Wastewater Engineer

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Bachelor's degree

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What They Do

Water/Wastewater Engineers Career Video

About This Career

Designs or oversees projects involving provision of potable water, disposal of wastewater and sewage, or prevention of flood-related damage. Prepares environmental documentation for water resources, regulatory program compliance, data management and analysis, and field work. Performs hydraulic modeling and pipeline design.

This career is part of the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources cluster Environmental Service Systems pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Provides technical direction or supervision to junior engineers, engineering or computer-aided design (CAD) technicians, or other technical personnel.
  • Reviews and critiques proposals, plans, or designs related to water or wastewater treatment systems.
  • Designs 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.
  • Evaluates the operation and maintenance of water or wastewater systems to identify ways to improve their efficiency.
  • Designs pumping systems, pumping stations, pipelines, force mains, or sewers for the collection of wastewater.
  • Designs or selects equipment for use in wastewater processing to ensure compliance with government standards.
  • Designs water distribution systems for potable or non-potable water.
  • Conducts water quality studies to identify and characterize water pollutant sources.
  • Analyzes and recommends chemical, biological, or other wastewater treatment methods to prepare water for industrial or domestic use.
  • Identifies design alternatives for the development of new water resources.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Project Development Engineer
  • Engineer
  • County Engineer
  • Consulting Engineer


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  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900
  • North Dakota Career Resource Network
    ndcrn@nd.gov | (701) 328-9733