Work for Water

Great Careers for a Great Cause


Water Quality Specialist

A water quality specialist has two areas of concern. The first concern is raw water, which is water in nature that is part of the water supply. The second concern is treated water, which is water that has been filtered and disinfected at the treatment plant. Water quality specialists study how water quality affects human health. They also consider the long-term “health” of the pipes in the distribution system. Their work often overlaps with that of the chemist and chemical engineer. Water quality specialists study:

  • how activities and structures around a water supply affect the water quality;
  • how runoff after a heavy rain washes small amounts of pollutants such as oil from roads, fertilizer from lawns, and animal waste from fields into the water;
  • how water changes because of this runoff; and
  • what happens to water quality in the distribution system after it leaves the treatment plant.

Education: Four-year degree in chemistry, earth science, biology, and or related science
Certificates, licenses: No
Entry-level opportunities: Yes
Desirable traits and skills: Good science skills; strong communication skills; good critical thinking skills

For more information:
American Water Works Association
6666 W. Quincy Avenue
Denver, CO 80235

Water Environment Federation
601 Wythe St.
Alexandria, VA 22314