Water Resource Specialists
Design or implement programs and strategies related to water resource issues such as supply, quality, and regulatory compliance issues.
Sample of reported job titles: Water Resources Planner
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Perform hydrologic, hydraulic, or water quality modeling.
- Analyze storm water systems to identify opportunities for water resource improvements.
- Conduct, or oversee the conduct of, investigations on matters such as water storage, wastewater discharge, pollutants, permits, or other compliance and regulatory issues.
- Develop strategies for watershed operations to meet water supply and conservation goals or to ensure regulatory compliance with clean water laws or regulations.
- Conduct technical studies for water resources on topics such as pollutants and water treatment options.
- Review or evaluate designs for water detention facilities, storm drains, flood control facilities, or other hydraulic structures.
- Present water resource proposals to government, public interest groups, or community groups.
- Develop plans to protect watershed health or rehabilitate watersheds.
- Write proposals, project reports, informational brochures, or other documents on wastewater purification, water supply and demand, or other water resource subjects.
- Conduct cost-benefit studies for watershed improvement projects or water management alternatives.
- Provide technical expertise to assist communities in the development or implementation of storm water monitoring or other water programs.
- Compile and maintain documentation on the health of a body of water.
- Identify and characterize specific causes or sources of water pollution.
- Conduct, or oversee the conduct of, chemical, physical, and biological water quality monitoring or sampling to ensure compliance with water quality standards.
- Compile water resource data, using geographic information systems (GIS) or global position systems (GPS) software.
- Recommend new or revised policies, procedures, or regulations to support water resource or conservation goals.
- Develop or implement standardized water monitoring and assessment methods.
- Supervise teams of workers who capture water from wells and rivers.
- Negotiate for water rights with communities or water facilities to meet water supply demands.
- Monitor water use, demand, or quality in a particular geographic area.
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- Analytical or scientific software — HEC-RAS; Laboratory information management system LIMS; MWH Soft H2ONET MSX; Wallingford Software InfoWater (see all 13 examples)
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD
- Customer relationship management CRM software
- Data base user interface and query software — Database software ; RIVERMorph; Structured query language SQL
- Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook
- Geographic information system — ESRI ArcGIS software ; ESRI ArcView; Geographic information system GIS software ; Google Earth Pro (see all 8 examples)
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Map creation software — Mapping software
- Mobile location based services software — Global positioning system GPS software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- 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.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- 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.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Geography — Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
- Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
- Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
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- 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.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- 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.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
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- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
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- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment — Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Test green technologies or processes.
- Identify opportunities for green initiatives.
- Evaluate green operations or programs for compliance with standards or regulations.
- Develop environmental remediation or protection plans.
- Evaluate environmental or sustainability projects.
- Prepare proposals or grant applications to obtain project funding.
- Analyze data to determine project feasibility.
- Present sustainable products or services information to the public.
- Advise others on green energy or related technologies.
- Compile operational data.
- Maintain operational records.
- Identify environmental concerns.
- Evaluate quality of materials or products.
- Monitor organizational compliance with regulations.
- Develop sustainable organizational policies or practices.
- Develop procedures to evaluate organizational activities.
- Implement organizational process or policy changes.
- Monitor resources.
- Negotiate contracts for environmental remediation, green energy, or renewable resources.
- Supervise workers performing environmentally sustainable activities.
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- Electronic Mail — 91% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 80% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 70% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 71% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 53% responded “Very important.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 41% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 59% responded “Some freedom.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 55% responded “More than half the time.”
- Contact With Others — 55% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 41% responded “Very important.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 59% responded “40 hours.”
- Letters and Memos — 45% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 48% responded “High responsibility.”
- Deal With External Customers — 36% responded “Very important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 50% responded “Important results.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 57% responded “Very important.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 29% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Time Pressure — 55% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 41% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Level of Competition — 53% responded “Moderately competitive.”
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|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor’s degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
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Interest code: IEC Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
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- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
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- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
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Wages & Employment Trends
Median wage data for Natural Sciences Managers.
Employment data for Natural Sciences Managers.
Industry data for Natural Sciences Managers.
|Median wages (2020)||$66.32 hourly, $137,940 annual|
|Employment (2020)||79,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Average (5% to 10%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||6,000|
|Top industries (2020)||
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Academy of Water Resources Engineers
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
- American Public Works Association
- American Society of Civil Engineers
- American Water Resources Association
- American Water Works Association
- Association of State Floodplain Managers
- Environmental and Water Resources Institute
- International Water Association
- National Ground Water Association
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Natural sciences managers
- Professional Science Master’s
- Water Environment Federation
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