Job profile

Water Engineer

Nature Conservation Officer

Water Engineer Job Profile

What is a Water Engineer?

Water Engineers are responsible for the reliable supply of potable water and the efficient disposal or recycling of wastewater used for agriculture and human use.

People who work in the field of Water Engineering typically have experience in the water sector and a broad understanding of environmental concerns. In this field, you can choose from a wide range of professional paths, and your daily tasks will likely change from one project to the next. Water Engineers are trained to deal with a wide variety of issues related to water and wastewater, including their treatment and disposal. They’ll know how their choices in the water sector affect the environment, businesses, economies, and communities.

Engineers specialising in water systems are vital to Earth’s continued viability. The UN has warned that rising temperatures could make it hard for Water Engineers to do their jobs. As climate change continues to worsen, it is predicted to have an even greater impact on the distribution and quantity of water sources such as rain, snowmelt, river flows, and groundwater. The number of people in danger of flooding is expected to rise from the current 1.2 billion to 1.6 billion by 2050 as water supplies decrease and droughts become more common. The fact remains, however, that with difficulty comes possibility. We need the help of innovative and skilled Water Engineers to design and implement long-term systems that mitigate the effects of climate change on all forms of life.


Some of the responsibilities that you may have as a Water Engineer include:

  • Planning and designing pumping stations, pipes, and earthworks for flood protection and sewage improvement projects (the scale may range from an initial outline to a full, detailed design)
  • Procuring bid paperwork for building
  • Evaluating technical proposals
  • Coordinating with other companies
  • Communicating with a wide range of stakeholders, including local authorities, government agencies, clients, contractors, residents, suppliers, technical experts, and consultants.
  • Keeping up with environmental problems
  • Being aware of policies and changes
  • Supporting other project managers and directors within the business and in the market
  • Presenting technical and non-technical data or project outcomes
  • Monitoring and controlling the development of projects from inception through completion, including the phases of feasibility, design, construction, and handover (or handling just one section of a large project)
  • Managing project budgets; ensuring work is completed on time
  • Supervising the operation and maintenance of water and sewage infrastructure
  • Using computer simulations to analyse, for example, potential dam failure
  • Developing flood defence strategies; monitoring flood levels during times of high risk
  • Supervising a team of engineers, technicians, and site workers
  • Maintaining and growing clientele through the cultivation of professional relationships.


The salary for a Water Engineer is influenced by their employer, experience and geographic location. The average UK salary for a Water Engineer is £32,103 per year, ranging from £22,000 to £47,000. The estimated average London salary for a Water Engineer is £34,927 per year, Salaries range from £23,000 to £53,000.

Working hours and work location 

Privately held water corporations, regulatory organisations, the environment agency, local authority environmental health departments, private consultants or contractors, and charities are typical employers of Water Engineers. Water Engineers spend most of their time at an office reviewing data and designing new water resource management systems. However, they may spend part of their day on building sites, supervising the construction of their plans. They may also be required to work in more industrial settings while supervising the maintenance on modern e quipment. Most Water Engineers work full-time, often more than 40 hours per week, to monitor projects and ensure that everything runs well.

What to expect

Because the science of water management is so complicated, most Water Engineers must be able to undertake multi-objective planning assignments. Jobs in Water Engineering sometimes demand years of experience as well as a college degree, which might be a bachelor’s, master’s, or PhD, depending on the employer’s requirements. In general, an individual works in entry-level employment to get work experience in the sector of Water Engineering that piques his or her interest.

A Water Engineer’s job description is somewhat lengthy. To prevent flooding, they provide, manage, and maintain services for both clean water and wastewater. They are responsible for drafting environmental paperwork for fieldwork, data analysis, management, and regulatory programme compliance. They also supervise various technical workers, such as entry-level engineers, CAD technicians, and others. When it comes to flood protection, sewage system upgrades, and wastewater disposal, Water Engineers can do it all, from designing and implementing new systems to supervising the maintenance of existing ones. They will write down every building process step, talk to other project managers to solve problems and plan the next steps, and give customers and coworkers technical briefings. They will also stay in touch with local officials, contractors, and suppliers to find out about changes in policy. For bigger projects, Water Engineers may only be in charge of monitoring one part of the project, but most of the time they monitor the whole project, from the beginning to the end. They will be in charge of making sure contracts are handled properly and that all work is done on time. Jobs in public Water Engineering range from those dealing with wastewater processing to those dealing with water treatment to those dealing with water distribution. Degrees in chemistry or microbiology, as well as water resources or water science, are also useful for careers as Water Engineers. It’s important for a candidate to understand what level of education is required of the Water Engineer by a potential company. Companies sometimes need their Water Engineers to function as managers of both employees and vendors, as well as to give occasional interviews to the press. A Water Engineer may be trained by their employer to speak at public events, promote the business through the media, and even testify at public or governmental hearings.


A bachelor's degree in geology, geography, mechanical or civil engineering, geophysics, or environmental sciences is required.

Postgraduate credentials are typically advantageous and may assist in job advancement. The majority of Water Engineers come from a civil engineering background, which might be an asset in some positions. But if you have a bachelor’s degree in environmental or physical sciences and then complete an approved master’s degree programme in engineering, you can become a chartered engineer (CEng).  In order to advance to CEng status, an engineering degree must be recognised by a relevant engineering organisation like the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), for example. You can contact the Engineering Council to obtain a list of recognised credentials.

An additional option is to pursue certification as a chartered scientist (CSci) or chartered environmentalist (CEnvSci). The Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management  (CIWEM) has information about these certifications. Entry-level technician positions are available to those with an HND or foundation degree in an engineering or science field. An individual can achieve the integrated engineer (IEng) designation by providing proof of further education and work experience. To become a registered CEng, you typically need a Master’s degree. A master’s degree may be earned by working part-time, and some companies will even pay for it. Pursuing advanced degrees like a Master of Science in Water Engineering, hydrology, or hydrogeology, or a Master of Engineering in Environmental Engineering, might set you apart from the competition in your chosen field.


must have skills:

These are just some of the skills that you will have to possess or acquire in order to become a Water Engineer:

  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Team-working skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Good time management
  • IT skills
  • Communication skills

Work experience

Becoming a Water Engineer may be challenging. Preparing for it by working in a related field over a summer break or taking a year off to gain experience can help.

Show your dedication to the field of Water Engineering, environmental concerns, or public health through the coursework you’ve completed as part of your degree or post-graduate programme. Student membership in professional groups like the ICE or CIWEM is beneficial for learning, staying current on industry news and changes, networking, and making connections.

Career prospects

There’s a lot of room for advancement in the water sector. Job titles for Water Engineers differ. One employer may refer to the position as a water treatment engineering professional, while another may refer to it as a civil engineer.

Other job titles include water resource engineering director and waste Water Engineer. As people seek relaxation in water resorts, the number of employment in Water Engineering in these resorts is growing, and they are commonly designated as water resort engineers.

An experienced Water Engineer with a degree and published articles may choose to explore a career as a water science professor. Aquifer storage, water transportation, and waste/stormwater recovery are further examples of tasks that engineers in this field may be tasked with. Typically, officials in smaller localities do both of these functions; however, bigger governments may have dedicated Water Engineering departments. A senior Water Engineer position is ideal for a qualified engineer with years of experience and a strong academic background. This individual controls engineers and technicians, carries out government laws and is in charge of major projects like building expansions.


Water and sewerage service businesses are the largest employers for Water Engineers. Water UK has further information about them.

Related Courses

  • Chemical/process engineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Geology
  • Environmental engineering
  • Environmental science 
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Civil engineering
  • Geotechnology
  • Geophysics
  • Physical geography.
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