Water resource specialists are responsible for creating and implementing initiatives related to water resource issues. These might include water supply, water quality or regulatory compliance. Because water resource specialist is a general term, those in this field may have job titles such as hydrologist, water resources engineer, stormwater leader or other related names.
Water resource specialists are professionals tasked with a range of responsibilities. They might perform water quality modeling, oversee compliance and regulation issues related to water storage and pollutants or review designs for water-carrying spaces such as storm drains or flood control facilities. Those in this field might also help to rehabilitate watersheds, fight for water rights within communities, recommend and build policies and procedures related to water treatment or find causes of water pollution.
Individuals who work as water resource specialists must have a solid understanding of technology, mathematics, design and physics. Additionally, they must be critical thinkers and able to analyze issues on a systems level. Water resource specialists must be comfortable using a variety of software, particularly of analytical or scientific nature. Furthermore, they must be good at analyzing data and solving problems effectively and thoroughly.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, water resource specialists make a median annual salary of $71,130. Those who work in the federal government tend to make more, averaging $103,440 per year. Fortunately for those considering this field, the demand for water resource specialists is growing. By 2026, openings in the field are projected to grow 11%, a rate faster than average.
Although a bachelor’s degree is required, a master’s degree is often preferred, especially if it is in a field such as water resource management, biology or geosciences. Additionally, water resource specialists should have previous work experience in the field. Sometimes, certain jobs will require or prefer certifications related to water management. These might include certified professional in stormwater quality, certified water specialist, hydrologic technician and more.
Build Your Sustainability Career
Designed for those who want to influence the future of water, the Master of Science in Water Resource Policy and Management program from East Central University Online can help you build your credentials and become a leader in the field. With an interdisciplinary curriculum, the program is designed to cover a range of topics, helping you become comprehensively knowledgeable in the field. Because the program is offered fully online, you’ll have the flexibility you need to earn your degree on a schedule that’s right for you. The M.S. in Water Resource Policy and Management can be completed in one year.