Water Resource Specialists

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About the Job

Design or implement programs and strategies related to water resource issues such as supply, quality, and regulatory compliance issues.

It is also Called

  • Watershed Manager
  • Water Supply Engineer
  • Water Rights Specialist
  • Water Resources Program Director
  • Water Resources Business Segment Leader
  • Water Resource Specialist
  • Water Resource Project Manager
  • Water Resource Manager
  • Water Resource Engineering Specialist
  • Water Resource Engineer
View All

What They Do

  • Identify methods for distributing purified wastewater into rivers, streams, or oceans.
  • Supervise teams of workers who capture water from wells and rivers.
  • Compile and maintain documentation on the health of a body of water.
  • Negotiate for water rights with communities or water facilities to meet water supply demands.
  • Develop or implement standardized water monitoring and assessment methods.
  • Conduct cost-benefit studies for watershed improvement projects or water management alternatives.
  • Compile water resource data, using geographic information systems (GIS) or global position systems (GPS) software.
  • Provide technical expertise to assist communities in the development or implementation of storm water monitoring or other water programs.
  • Analyze storm water systems to identify opportunities for water resource improvements.
  • Monitor water use, demand, or quality in a particular geographic area.


People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IEC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Enterprising and Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Working Conditions and Independence in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • 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.
  • Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.


In 2017, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $133,090


avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 1,950 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 2,030 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 8 openings due to growth and about 42 replacement openings for approximately 50 total annual openings.

Education & Training

Pennsylvania Department of Education