Sanitary Engineer

Create systems for treating wastewater and garbage.
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Quick Stats

Very Good

Salary Range
$51,000 – $119,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Sanitary Engineers do?

If given the option, most people would choose to live somewhere that’s clean instead of dirty. Garbage, sewage, and grease can cause serious health hazards, and they can stain and ruin a perfect pair of shoes. Luckily, waste can be kept under control through the efforts of Sanitary Engineers. As a Sanitary Engineer, you design systems that deal with contaminants.

Most cities already have systems in place to deal with sewage and water treatment. Many of these systems are old and out of date, however, and you develop plans to revitalize them and make them more efficient. Sanitary Engineers might design new watersheds to deal with runoff, for example, or they might create entirely new water treatment facilities.

Sanitation systems, including garbage incineration and recycling programs, also fall within your scope as a Sanitary Engineer. Sometimes, Sanitary Engineers will design new facilities to deal with contaminated materials; other times, they develop new plans for garbage dumps.

Industrial plants can sometimes generate grease or other toxins that must be dealt with. The systems you design vary depending on the waste that must be removed.

In most cases, you outline your ideas in a series of drawings and technical specifications. Contractors use these documents to build the items you’ve designed. A team of Drafters and Administrative Assistants help you put together the documents and release them to the Contractors.

When the projects are in construction, you visit the site periodically to make sure your instructions are being followed to the letter. If you spot a discrepancy between the documents you produced and the project’s progression, you point this out right away and ask the Contractor to amend the project to bring it into compliance.

Should I be a Sanitary Engineer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Supplier Quality Engineer

    How to become a Sanitary Engineer

    Most Sanitary 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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