Water, it’s absolutely essential to everyday life. And so too are the individuals who work behind the scenes to deliver clean, safe, affordable water supplies.
Have you ever considered a career in water? Here are five reasons that might serve to whet your appetite for a career in the water and wastewater industry:
Working in the water and wastewater field offers vast opportunities for growth and development as well as competitive pay, health benefits and flexibility. Paid holidays and vacations also make working in water enticing. Many positions allow you to work independently in the field, while having the support of a team to assist in day-to-day operations. Providing clean water 24/7, 365 days a year, maintaining the integrity of utility assets, complying with regulations and efficiently managing and delivering water through investments in infrastructure presents numerous challenges and, as such, requires an integrated approach. For that reason, strong teamwork, shared best practices and collaboration abounds in this industry.
The Chance to Learn New Skills
Technology in the water industry is constantly evolving so you are continually learning and mastering new skills and creative approaches. Many positions offer on-the-job training and talented personnel are encouraged to grow their technical skills with continuing education, additional licensing and certifications. This helps advance your career and positions you for opportunities for greater income potential. Since water and wastewater systems can be found across the country, numerous opportunities abound in this field for talented and qualified personnel. Opportunities such as internships and apprenticeships can often be found in the water and wastewater field as well as mentoring partnerships.
An Industry Where Professionals are in Demand…Everyone Needs Water!
The very nature of the water and wastewater industry makes workers essential. Think about how many times you use water in your everyday life. While every industry and job faced obstacles in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the water industry was not subject to as much volatility. Lab personnel continued to ensure drinking water quality, field personnel continued to repair water mains and customer service personnel remained responsive to customer needs. Working in the water and wastewater field generally offers more stability than in other sectors. But there is more. Aging infrastructure coupled with an aging workforce is creating more opportunity. Utilities will need to invest more capital to upgrade facilities to comply with emerging regulations and new legislation. This requires ongoing training and development of utility personnel. Many experienced professionals in these fields are expected to retire in the next decade. That’s a lot of institutional knowledge that will need to be captured by new and talented workers. As utilities work to continually upgrade and improve their water and wastewater systems, personnel will need to continually learn and expand their knowledge and skill set.
You’re Helping to Protect and Preserve one of Nature’s Most Precious Resources!
Water is a finite resource. Water professionals work to manage watersheds, preserve water resources and ensure water gets delivered safely and efficiently. This is a field with purpose that’s integral to environmental sustainability. When you work in water, you know your efforts are making an impact on your community and the environment. You are helping current and future generations of water consumers enjoy access to a safe drinking water supply that supports their quality of life. Reliable and resilient water and wastewater infrastructure also serves as a strong framework for economic development that’s essential to strong and sustainable communities. You know your efforts are protecting the public health and welfare of your community and supporting the environment. That’s a great feeling!
Diverse Skills Lead to a Strong Culture
No matter your background, skills or work environment preferences, there is a position for you. Some positions require college and advanced degrees, while others do not. Some positions enable you to work autonomously, remotely, work outdoors, or offer a hybrid approach. There is a full range of skills that are required in the delivery of safe drinking water –from engineering to customer service, information technology, operations and water quality and more. These varied skills result in a diverse work culture that offers teams the ability to work together effectively to address challenges.
So whether you are just starting your career or looking to switch careers, give the water and wastewater field some strong consideration. We’ve listed five reasons to consider the water industry, but professionals in the field can offer many more and many are quick to state with conviction — “come on in the water’s fine!”