Wastewater Engineer

Keep things clean by maintaining waste-transport and filtration systems.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$49,000 – $119,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Wastewater Engineers do?

Before fresh, drinkable water flows from that faucet in your kitchen, it first travels through a series of processes designed to remove impurities such as bacteria, pesticides, and other runoff by-products. Similarly, wastewater from industrial processes (such as making products) and raw sewage goes through an intense filtering process before being pumped back into our rivers and streams. That processing involves removing harsh pollutants that would otherwise damage flora and kill wildlife.

The process of receiving, cleaning, and transporting these fluids requires a plethora of systems, machines, and equipment. That’s where a Wastewater Engineer comes in. With their acute knowledge of environmental science, chemistry, and mechanics, Wastewater Engineers design, repair, maintain, and install pipes, transport systems, filtering machines, sewer lines, or chemical treatment plants.

As a Wastewater Engineer, you may design an entire water transportation system, or specialize in one area, such as the chemicals used in wastewater treatment plants, or the materials used for underground sewage tanks.

Regardless of your specialty you evaluate current systems, find ways to improve them, and design the equipment, process, or machine that will accomplish that goal. You supervise the construction or installation of new or updated equipment, test systems to make sure they are working correctly, answer questions, and make repairs as needed. Of course, along the way, you also complete detailed reports and ensure that all processes comply with state and federal regulations.

This work all goes towards making sure that humans and the environment receives fresh, healthy water that will not harm those that come in contact with it. Which, considering how many things that will be, is pretty darn important.

Should I be a Wastewater Engineer?

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

  • Also known as: Marine Engineer CPVEC, Public Health Engineer, Sewage Disposal Engineer, Soil Engineer, Solid Waste Engineer See More

    How to become a Wastewater Engineer

    We recommend at least a Bachelor's degree. Check out these schools offering Wastewater Engineer-related education!
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