Water Purification Chemist

Determine and test what chemicals are best to sterilize water.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$27,000 – $68,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Water Purification Chemists do?

Sometimes, people crave liquids that are strange-smelling and opaque. Orange juice, milk, and coffee are all examples. Smelly, opaque water is rarely desirable, however, especially when it’s pouring from the kitchen tap.

That’s why a Water Purification Chemist’s work is so important. Water Purification Chemists make sure water is clean and ready for drinking.

Ideally, water will have no chemicals or solids when it leaves the water treatment plant. In reality, however, this is rarely the case. In fact, when you’re a Water Purification Chemist, you’ll probably be given a sheet detailing what substances should be in the water when you’re done with your work, and you adhere to these guidelines to the letter.

Using sterilized equipment, you pull a sample of water out of the treatment plant and test it. If you find high concentrations of a substance, you determine what chemicals can be used to remove it. Once those chemicals have been applied, you test the water again.

If you find a serious contamination, you run to your boss’s office and report what you’ve found. Then, you call your spouse and report that you won’t be home for dinner. Using your sterilized equipment, you pull samples from multiple places along the water supply line, looking for the spot the contamination is coming from. On these days, you’ll be hard at work driving down the supply line and taking samples in the hot sun, making sure not to contaminate the samples with your sweat.

Keeping your materials impeccably clean is a big part of your job, as dirty equipment can give faulty results. So you may spend much of the day washing, rinsing, and heating your equipment to keep it sterile.

Should I be a Water Purification Chemist?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Chemist, Wastewater-Treatment Plant, Chemist, Water Purification, Wastewater Treatment Plant Chemist

    How to Become a
    Water Purification Chemist

    Most Water Purification Chemists 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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