Water Resources Engineer

Find good ways to get fresh water into a city and funnel waste water out.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$49,000 – $119,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Water Resources Engineers do?

“Water, water everywhere…” and it’s your job to figure out what to do with it! As a Water Resources Engineer, you handle all the different aspects of how humans interact with water: getting clean, fresh water into communities and homes for drinking and cleaning, then getting rid of the wastewater when they’re done with it. You also handle drainage and other issues related to excess water, such as flooding. These duties all fall under the general heading of “civil engineering,” but as a Water Resources Engineer, you have a vested interest in all things wet.

Water resources engineering is actually an ancient pursuit. The dawn of agriculture necessitated bringing fresh water in from distant sources to irrigate crops. As communities grew larger from the increased food produced by farming, early Water Resource Engineers needed to provide drinking water for these people and dispose of their waste.

In modern times, these needs are still important, but there are new challenges and advancements to contend with. Studies have shown that the availability of clean, fresh water for humans is shrinking across the world, which has created an industry of people hard at work creating systems to use water more efficiently, social programs to decrease use of water, and technology for reclaiming and purifying water.

The health and survival of future generations around the world relies on proper administration of water resources. As a Water Resources Engineer, you work in the lab, in the classroom, and in the field, finding ways to get water from where it is to where it needs to be, and help keep what water supplies we still have from being contaminated. Advances like green roofs and water reclamation systems are just a few of the tools you use to get your job done.

Should I be a Water Resources 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.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Hazardous Substances Engineer

    How to become a Water Resources Engineer

    We recommend at least a Bachelor's degree. Check out these schools offering Water Resources Engineer-related education!
    Schools close to

    Careers Similar to Water Resources Engineer