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Water Resource Specialist

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Life As a Water Resource Specialist

Water Resource Specialist Job Description Design or implement programs and strategies related to water resource issues such as supply, quality, and regulatory compliance issues.

Life As a Water Resource Specialist: What Do They Do?

  • Analyze storm water systems to identify opportunities for water resource improvements.
  • Identify and characterize specific causes or sources of water pollution.
  • Conduct technical studies for water resources on topics such as pollutants and water treatment options.
  • Conduct cost-benefit studies for watershed improvement projects or water management alternatives.
  • Monitor water use, demand, or quality in a particular geographic area.
  • Compile and maintain documentation on the health of a body of water.

What Every Water Resource Specialist Should Know

When polled, Water Resource Specialists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Systems Analysis: Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Other Water Resource Specialist Job Titles

  • Resource Engineer
  • Environmental Resource Specialist
  • Senior Water Resources Engineer
  • Water Resource Agent
  • Watershed Manager

Job Demand for Water Resource Specialists

In the United States, there were 56,700 jobs for Water Resource Specialist in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 9.9% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 5,600 new jobs for Water Resource Specialist by 2026. The BLS estimates 5,200 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Water Resource Specialists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Water Resource Specialist are Utah, Arizona, and Missouri. Watch out if you plan on working in Alaska, Wyoming, or Vermont. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Water Resource Specialist Average Salary

The salary for Water Resource Specialists ranges between about $65,000 and $208,000 a year.

Salary Ranges for Water Resource Specialists

Water Resource Specialists who work in New Jersey, Massachusetts, or Connecticut, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Water Resource Specialists in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $112,140
Alaska $106,010
Arizona $101,790
Arkansas $109,910
California $168,790
Colorado $141,750
Connecticut $179,200
District of Columbia $132,310
Hawaii $115,240
Idaho $93,940
Illinois $118,480
Indiana $65,270
Iowa $127,440
Kansas $127,440
Kentucky $110,070
Louisiana $94,850
Maine $135,840
Maryland $148,310
Massachusetts $183,490
Michigan $113,840
Minnesota $125,780
Mississippi $101,240
Missouri $116,190
Montana $104,930
Nebraska $89,620
Nevada $115,150
New Jersey $184,640
New Mexico $104,030
New York $148,460
North Carolina $153,490
North Dakota $115,540
Ohio $131,680
Oklahoma $116,160
Oregon $109,610
Pennsylvania $147,810
Rhode Island $132,880
South Carolina $91,270
South Dakota $105,190
Tennessee $111,670
Texas $127,270
Utah $99,810
Vermont $97,340
Virginia $133,360
Washington $153,600
Wisconsin $106,110
Wyoming $95,120

What Tools do Water Resource Specialists Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Water Resource Specialists may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Word processing software
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Database software
  • Structured query language SQL
  • Geographic information system GIS software
  • ESRI ArcView
  • Customer relationship management CRM software
  • Global positioning system GPS software
  • Mapping software
  • ESRI ArcInfo
  • Laboratory information management system LIMS
  • ESRI ArcGIS software
  • ESRI ArcView 3D Analyst
  • ESRI ArcPad

Becoming a Water Resource Specialist

What education is needed to be a Water Resource Specialist?

Water Resource Specialist Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Water Resource Specialist?

Water Resource Specialist Work Experience

Where Water Resource Specialists Work

Water Resource Specialist Sectors

Below are examples of industries where Water Resource Specialists work:

Water Resource Specialist Industries


Image Credit: Janderk via public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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