How to Become a Water Purification Chemist

How to Become a Water Purification Chemist: Career Path Guide

If you want to become a water purification chemist, 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 water purification chemist:


Those who become water quality analysts have a keen interest in the environment, the health and well being of others, as well as a concern for the sustainability and quality of our water supply.


They must have an education in science, an aptitude for mathematics and an objective approach to scientific activities. Water purification chemists must also be manually dexterous in order to utilize specialized equipment and conduct experiments.


Water purification chemists must be comfortable working in a laboratory setting as well as in the field, and they must be comfortable communicating their findings and opinions to others.


Below we've outlined what you'll need to begin a career as a water purification chemist. 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 Water Purification Chemist

To become a water purification chemist, you need to begin by earning a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry or a closely related field such as biochemistry. Completing coursework in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, environmental science, mathematics and statistics is a great way to build an educational foundation for your prospective career as a water purification chemist.


Although having a bachelor’s degree may help you gain access to entry-level jobs in water purification chemistry, such as lab assistant, it will be necessary to obtain a graduate degree in order to work as a chemist, a consultant or a researcher.


Graduate programs, such as a Master of Science program or a Ph.D. program, are extremely beneficial for future careers in water purification chemistry, as they place additional emphasis on laboratory work, as well as original research.


Success Tip: Take advantage of summer fellowships, internships, or practicum programs to get relevant and advantageous experience for a career as a water purification chemist. 




Water Purification Chemist Job Description

Water purification chemists are responsible for ensuring that water is suitable for human use and consumption. They must collect and analyze samples of municipal water and apply specific knowledge in chemical properties and processes to correct any shortfalls in quality.



Water Purification Chemist Job Duties

• Assess the taste and clarity of drinking water

• Use chemical processes to purify water

• Conduct further testing to ensure water is suitable for human use and consumption

• Oversee the work of laboratory and chemical technicians

• Record detailed notes during testing and purification processes

• Liaise with other staff, such as water purification technicians 

• Contribute to the improvement of water purification processes

• May make recommendations for regulations and government policy



Who Hires Water Purification Chemists?

There are many organizations (both public and private) that are involved in testing water and in the remediation of any shortfalls in its quality. Many of these organizations employ water purification chemists. Water purification chemists may also find career opportunities with academic and regulatory organizations.


Organizations that hire Water Purification Chemists include:


• Municipal governments

• Public inspection agencies

• Private utility companies

• Environmental and engineering consulting firms

• Regional water or wastewater boards

• The federal government (for example, in the armed forces)

• Private utility companies

• Provincial/state parks

• Colleges and universities



Water Purification Chemist Salary

The salary level of water purification chemists can vary depending on factors such as their level of experience, their level of education, where they work, the specific responsibilities of their job and many others.


Water Purification Chemist Salary Alberta: According to the 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working in the Chemists occupational group earn an average of between $28.03 and $45.00 per hour.


Water Purification Chemist Salary Canada: According to Service Canada, the average salary level of workers in the Chemists occupational group is $63,190 per year.


Water Purification Chemist Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of workers in the Chemists and Materials Scientists occupational group is $69,790 per year.




Working Conditions for Water Purification Chemists

Some water purification chemists conduct their work and research activities indoors in offices, classrooms and laboratories. These chemists tend to work regular working hours that may be extended to weekends and evenings.


Some water purification chemists may conduct their work and research activities primarily in the field, which involves working outdoors. These chemists typically perform such tasks such as collecting and testing water samples, as well as surveying and documenting water sources. These water purification chemists may work irregular or extended hours, and are often required to travel.



Skills and Traits Needed to Become a Water Purification Chemist

In order to become effective in a career as a water purification chemist, you need to posses certain skills and personality traits. These skills and traits will not only allow you to conduct your job duties with competence and skill, they will also allow you to keep a positive attitude towards your work, and ultimately, towards your career.


• A commitment to the environment that extends beyond scientific work

• A keen interest in the health and well being of others

• Able to follow procedures without taking shortcuts

• Excellent communication skills

• Able to evaluate new technologies to improve quality and reduce processing time

• Manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination

• Attention to detail

• Able to take direction from others, and direct the work of others

• Able to organize, implement and evaluate projects



Careers Similar to Water Purification Chemist

Listed below are jobs that are similar in nature to Water Purification Chemist, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.



Food Chemist

Wastewater Treatment Engineer

Water Quality Analyst

Water Quality Control Manager



References: How to Become a Water Purification Chemist

Please use the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a water purification chemist.


Occupations in Alberta:Chemist.” (March 5, 2018). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved January 16, 2020.

Life, Physical, and Social Science:Chemists and Materials Scientists.” (December 11, 2019). Bureau of Labor Statistics - United States Government website. Retrieved January 16, 2020.

College to Career:Water Chemistry.” (n.d.). American Chemical Society website. Retrieved January 16, 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 Water Purification Chemist

Scholarships listed for majors that apply to becoming a Water Purification Chemist can be found on our Chemistry Scholarships and Biochemistry Scholarships pages.


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 Water Purification Chemist: Applicable Majors

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


Top Banner Image: