Water Resource Specialist

Helping others, earning a great salary, and enjoying a wide range of personal and professional benefits in the process is the very definition of having a great career. And there are numerous fields you can enter that will stand out as offering you the chance to enjoy your job. Improving public health and wellbeing is a perfect example, and something that you don’t have to do by entering the health field specifically. Instead, a job like that of a water resource specialist still allows you to help others and earn good pay.

This career is one that is a natural fit for some, but not that great for others. Learning more about it will help you understand whether or not it’s the right call for your future. Keep reading to do just that.

What Is a Water Resource Specialist?

A water resource specialist is an expert in the field of hydrology. They work to study specific issues related to the management of water in the community. While drinking water is the obvious area of concentration, things like water runoff, water tables, and even local freshwater conservation may be included in the realm of responsibility of a water resource specialist.

Job duties for a water resource specialist include the following, but could vary greatly and may include a number of other things.

  •                    Oversee and manage water outreach programs
  •                    Develop and introduce water resource education to those who need to understand it
  •                    Investigate causes of water quality problems
  •                    Monitor water levels to safeguard against potential shortages
  •                    Review plans related to water related issues and recommend any potential changes
  •                    Initiate water conservation steps and programs
  •                    Prepare press releases during times of water related health or safety issues
  •                    Monitor water safety throughout the area
  •                    Ensure that all federal and state regulations related to water resources are being followed closely

Obviously, the job involves assuming a leadership role in the local community and will require you to carefully work alongside numerous other professionals to safeguard local water supplies and promote good overall health and well-being in the community as it relates to water.

Characteristics

While your training and education will have the biggest impact on your ability to work in this position, there’s no question that some personal characteristics will help as well. The following areas will help you excel in the field, and being strong in them is important.

  •                    Good Critical Thinking Skills – You’ll need to be able to look at information and infer potential problems and solutions quickly. Strong critical thinking is important.
  •                    Good Communication – A major part of the job involves consulting with others and presenting information to colleagues, superiors, and the public. Strong communication skills are vital.
  •                    Good Organization – You’ll likely be involved in numerous things at any given time, and having strong organizational skills is important as well.

Nature of the Work

The job involves a variety of different things. An average day could involve field work spent gathering samples or conducting studies of water levels, work in the office drafting reports or reviewing data, or giving a public presentation about a sudden water emergency. Your specific responsibilities will vary depending on where you work, what position you hold, and what issues are going on in the community.

Usually, those in this field are employed by governments but may also find work for private research firms, environmental consulting firms, and utility companies.

Education and Training

In order to become a water resource specialist, you’ll need to possess at least a bachelor’s degree in an associated field such as geology, environmental science, hydrology, or engineering. Usually, employers will also require that you complete at least two to five years of experience of work in the field in order to better hone your skills. Some employers may actually require a master’s degree, though a bachelor’s is usually enough to gain entry into the profession.

Current salaries for those who work as water resource specialists are between $44,000 and $70,000 annually. Those who move into management roles can earn more than $100,000 each year. Pay will depend on your location, your level of experience, and your specific employer. The demand for these professionals is growing and will likely continue to increase over the future, making it a solid job option for anyone interested in the field.


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