Wastewater Analyst

Test water to make sure it is clean enough for drinking.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$27,000 – $68,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Wastewater Analysts do?

Water is our most valuable resource. We use it to clean and cook our food, and drink it to keep our bodies hydrated and healthy. We literally need it to survive. But not just any water will do. The water flowing from our faucets starts out as rain. It then travels through a network of mountains, rivers, streams, farmlands, and roads before we collect it. Along the way, it picks up chemicals, pesticides, and bacteria, which we filter out before using. In addition, industrial waste and raw sewage must be cleaned before it is allowed back into the environment.

Wastewater Analysts work in a lab and in the field to test the water at various stages along this whole journey, making sure that it will be up to federal standards when it is released into a faucet, river, or wherever else it is intended to go. To do this, Wastewater Analysts identify and eliminate causes of water pollution.

Your day as a Wastewater Analyst involves performing lab and field tests on gases, soil, and water. This information helps you identify whether water contains pesticides from a nearby farm, chemicals from a road’s surface, or bacteria from underground sewage. You use specialized tools, equipment, and additives to analyze the water samples and then write up detailed reports on your findings. Most of your work is done in a lab, but you also perform tests in the field.

Following a hazardous spill, or outbreak of disease or food poisoning, you may be called in to help identify the source. For this position, you need good vision, good written and oral communication skills, and a desire to provide accurate work.

Should I be a Wastewater Analyst?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.

  • Also known as: Hazardous Materials Analyst, Smoke Tester, Solid Waste Analyst, Waste/Materials Exchange Specialist

    How to become a Wastewater Analyst

    Most Wastewater Analysts have a Master's degree or a Bachelor's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:pqs9ca&chl=no+college+%2811%25%29|certificate+%2812%25%29|associate%27s+%2813%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2844%25%29|master%27s+%2820%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,11,44
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