Careers in Water Conservation & Resources

Individuals who are interested in pursuing a career that involves water conservation and water resources have a number of options available to them, particularly in science and engineering fields. Learn more about some of these job options, including their education requirements and career outlook.

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Career Options in Water Conservation & Resources

There are a number of careers that individuals who are interested in water conservation can consider pursuing. Many of these careers are in the engineering and science fields and have specific educational requirements. We will discuss these requirements, as well as other details about five of these possibilities below.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Civil Engineer $83,540 11%
Environmental Engineer $84,890 8%
Hydrologist $80,480 10%
Environmental Scientist/Specialist $68,910 11%
Conservation Scientist $61,810 7%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Information About Careers in Water Conservation & Resources

Civil Engineer

Civil engineers cab be involved in water conservation by building structures like dams or designing water and sewer systems for a city. Your responsibilities could include planning and overseeing the construction of the dam or these systems, making estimates regarding the overall cost of the project, and remaining involved in the maintenance of these projects. Some civil engineers who have an interested in conservation and preserving water resources may be interested in developing 'green' and eco-friendly ways of constructing dams and other water systems. To become a civil engineer, you generally need a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and, if you will be working with the public, a professional engineering license.

Environmental Engineer

As an environmental engineer, you are responsible for creating solutions to various environmental problems, which could include issues related to water resources and conservation. You typically incorporate the governing principles of biology, chemistry and other life sciences into the solutions you develop, which could include developing plans to create industrial water treatment facilities or cleaning up a polluted body of water using environmentally friendly methods. To become an environmental engineer, you typically need a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering or a related engineering field.


Hydrologists studyi the characteristics and properties of various forms of water that are found on Earth. Some hydrologists focus on groundwater, which exists underneath the surface of the Earth, and offer their expertise regarding cleaning up the groundwater and building water conservation and storage facilities. Other hydrologists may focus on surface water, like that in lakes, ponds, and rivers, and develop plans and strategies for how to best manage and conserve this water. To become a hydrologist, you typically need a bachelor's degree in hydrology or in the related fields of geosciences, engineering, or earth sciences.

Environmental Scientist/Specialist

As an environmental scientist or specialist, you may work in a wide variety of different roles related to water conservation, pollution, and resources. Some scientists may specialize in environmental cleanup after some sort of natural or man-made disaster, such as an oil spill in the ocean, and develop solutions to restore the water's quality. Environmental scientists may also consult with the government in order to provide them with information regarding the environmental impact of industries or new construction projects on water quality and supply to help them develop regulations and policies. To become an environmental scientist, you typically need a bachelor's degree in a field like environmental science, or in biology, chemistry, or another natural science; a graduate degree may be needed for advanced positions.

Conservation Scientist

Conservation scientists could choose to specialize in water resources by becoming water conservationists. In this role, you may be hired by private individuals, large companies, or the government to share your expertise regarding water conservation and identify potential or existing problems related to water, like ground-water contamination, by taking and testing water samples. You may help in the process of developing plans and strategies to combat these problems and develop water conservation systems. To become a conservation scientist, you usually need a bachelor's degree in a field like environmental science or forestry.

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