The water industry is essential to providing clean and affordable water, making those who work in the industry also essential – especially in times of crisis. Without the many individuals who work behind the scenes, people wouldn’t be able to access this precious resource.
Whereas water covers over 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, only 0.3 percent of all water is attainable and useable for humans, and only about one percent of that is attainable. The management and distribution of this water are paramount to make sure this resource is sustainable well into the future. Think about it – the water we have today is the only water we have ever had, and the only water we will ever have. This is why the talented and hardworking members of the water and wastewater industry workforce are vital to everyday life.
A question many ask when weighing their career path options is, “will I see the results of my work?” We instinctively want to see the outcome of our hard work, but that isn’t always a possibility. For those who work within the water industry, their efforts and the immediate impact they make on communities is measurable and obvious, which can be quite fulfilling for many.
Many areas in the United States have problems with their water infrastructure due to the age of the system, lack of financial planning or poor management due to a shortage of certified operators. Some quality of life problems people face due to poor water treatment are:
Professional water and wastewater operators help communities develop cost-effective solutions for these problems through research and implementation. These jobs allow you to take a hands-on approach to help solve a problem.
Technological innovation is a key component of facing environmental challenges in today’s water industry. A career in this field means you get access to the most up-to-date technology in order to help communities solve problems conserve and reduce wasteful water use practices. Advanced metering, leak reduction and system updates are ways certified professional water operators help utilities show environmental responsibility.
In 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report on the state of water and wastewater industry jobs. This report said that employment in this industry could offer occupations with higher pay and better job prospects due to the projected increase in jobs available. Reputable water and wastewater operations and management companies can empower their workers by giving them excellent on-the-job training with an emphasis on safety and opportunities for career advancement.
Due to the universal need for water, jobs in the industry are available across the country. If you are looking to work in a new city or state, the likelihood of a job opportunity with a water resource or utility company is high. With the availability of jobs, water and wastewater operations and management companies also offer attractive starting pay and benefits, like health insurance and 401ks, to entice great candidates.
Like many other public sectors, the water and wastewater industry is maintained by a large percentage of individuals who are getting close to retirement age. Up to 3 million workers will need to be replaced in the next decade, making up around 33 percent of the workforce.
The aging workforce, combined with an aging infrastructure, which will need substantial repairs nationwide, creates a problem for our access to water. The nation needs qualified, motivated workers to step up to the plate.