Drainage Engineer

Plan and build sewer systems.
picture of Drainage Engineer

Quick Stats

Very Good

Salary Range
$51,000 – $119,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Drainage Engineers do?

Water is a necessary yet finicky part of life. Drainage Engineers are a type of Civil Engineer who design, install, and improve water-related systems throughout crowded cities and the serene countryside. When you’re a Drainage Engineer, your knowledge of math, science, and engineering principles lets you build drains to prevent flooding, and sewer systems to route contamination away from a city’s drinking water supply. You can’t work against nature, but you can work with it.

For most projects, the Drainage Engineer is the mastermind behind all stages of operation. Design claims most of your time.

Farmers need water to irrigate crops, but send too much and you’ve got a flood. Clean water and dirty water should never mix. Safety regulations mount while budgets shrink. Reducing all these requirements into a simple and unobtrusive design plan is nothing short of a magic act at times.

Once you’ve drawn up the blueprints using computer-aided design (CAD) software, you step into the Supervisor role to direct the Construction Workers in charge of your project. You want your vision to come to life accurately and in compliance with all laws and regulations.

When all is said and done, you perform a final inspection and move on. Don’t worry, though; you’ll be back. Years down the road, when a change in the climate or a new law causes problems with the current system, you’ll put on your thinking cap again to modify the system and ensure that everyone has reliable access to clean water.

Should I be a Drainage Engineer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.

  • Also known as: Drainage Design Coordinator

    How to become a Drainage Engineer

    Most Drainage Engineers have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaa9dh&chl=|||bachelor%27s+%2886%25%29|master%27s+%285%25%29|doctorate+%2810%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,86
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