How to Become a Wastewater Treatment Engineer

How to Become a Wastewater Treatment Engineer: Career Path Guide

If you want to become a wastewater treatment engineer, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for you. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as a wastewater treatment engineer:


Those who become wastewater treatment engineers are strong in academics and are emotionally stable, as this is required to complete short and long-term tasks.


They have a keen interest in the environment, and are passionate about their work. Wastewater treatment engineers must be comfortable interacting with a broad range of professionals, and sharing their opinions and ideas with them.


Below we've outlined what you'll need to begin a career as a wastewater treatment engineer. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!



Education Needed to Become a Wastewater Treatment Engineer

To get a job as a wastewater treatment engineer, you typically need at least a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) degree from an accredited university in one of the following fields.


• Mechanical Engineering

• Civil Engineering

• Environmental Engineering

• Chemical Engineering


In order to work as a wastewater treatment engineer, you must be registered as a Professional Engineer with your provincial or state association. Requirements for professional status vary among provinces and states.




Wastewater Treatment Engineer Job Description

Wastewater engineers are responsible for planning and designing all processes, structures and facilities involved in the treatment, distribution, and collection of wastewater. Waste treatment engineers work with government agencies and private industry on projects of all sizes and scales, including designing small package plants as well as large municipal and industrial treatment facilities, pumping stations, reservoirs, distribution systems, and sewers. 



Wastewater Treatment Engineer Job Duties

• Design lift stations, water wells and pump stations

• Oversee the pre-design and construction of new equipment

• Analyze the amount of power consumed during the storage and treatment of wastewater

• Build and maintain relationships with government officials

• Identify opportunities for winning new contracts

• Work with modeling software to document the wastewater treatment process



Where Do Wastewater Treatment Engineers Work?

Wastewater treatment engineers may be hired on a part-time, full-time or consultancy basis by any organization that is involved in the design and construction of facilities and processes for the treatment, distribution, and collection of wastewater, these organizations typically include:


• Municipal government

• Regional wastewater boards

• Federal government agencies (for example, the armed forces)

• Private utility companies

• Large industrial plants

• Provincial/state parks

• Engineering consulting firms

• Wastewater operator training organizations/services

• Self-employment (typically as a consultant)




Wastewater Treatment Engineer Salary

The salary level of wastewater treatment engineers can vary depending on factors such as where they work, their level of education, their level of experience, their area of specialty, their specific job responsibilities, and much more.


Wastewater Treatment Engineer Salary Alberta: According to the 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working as part of the Civil Engineers occupational group earn an average wage of between $32.07 and $90.33 per hour. The mean wage for this occupational group is $44.58 per hour.


Wastewater Treatment Engineer Salary Canada: According to ECO Canada, the average salary level for entry-level wastewater engineers in Canada is $40,275 per year. ECO Canada also reports that with years of experience, wastewater engineers can make between $50,500 and $85,000 per year.


Wastewater Treatment Engineer Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of workers in the Environmental Engineers occupational group is $78,740 per year. 



Careers Related to Wastewater Treatment Engineer

Listed below are jobs that are similar in nature to Wastewater Treatment Engineer, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.


Environmental Engineer

Hazardous Waste Manager

Sanitation Engineer

Wastewater Operator

Water Quality Control Manager



References: Wastewater Treatment Engineer Career

Please use the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a wastewater treatment engineer.



Occupations in Alberta:Environmental Engineer.” (March 31, 2018). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved January 15, 2020.

Architecture & Engineering:Environmental Engineers.” (December 11, 2018). Bureau of Labor Statistics - United States Government website. Retrieved January 15, 2020.

Career Profiles:Water & Wastewater Plant Engineer.” (n.d.). ECO Canada website. Retrieved January 15, 2020.



Get Your Degree!

Find schools and get information on the program that’s right for you.

Powered by Campus Explorer


Scholarships for Becoming a Wastewater Treatment Engineer

Scholarships in Canada and the United States listed for majors that apply to becoming a Wastewater Treatment Engineer can be found on the following pages:


Biology Scholarships

Chemistry Scholarships

Environmental Engineering Scholarships

Environmental Science Scholarships


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Becoming a Wastewater Treatment Engineer Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming a wastewater treatment engineer. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


Top Banner Image: