Summary Report for:
11-9121.02 - 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: Hydrogeologist; National Stormwater Leader; Owner, Consulting Engineer; Owner, Professional Engineer; Research Hydraulic Engineer; Senior Group Manager; Senior Hydrogeologist; Senior Water Resources Engineer; VP-Senior Principal Water Resources Engineer; Water Resources Business Segment Leader
Tasks | Tools & Technology | 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.
- Conduct, or oversee the conduct of, investigations on matters such as water storage, wastewater discharge, pollutants, permits, or other compliance and regulatory issues.
- Develop plans to protect watershed health or rehabilitate watersheds.
- Develop strategies for watershed operations to meet water supply and conservation goals or to ensure regulatory compliance with clean water laws or regulations.
- Identify and characterize specific causes or sources of water pollution.
- Write proposals, project reports, informational brochures, or other documents on wastewater purification, water supply and demand, or other water resource subjects.
- Present water resource proposals to government, public interest groups, or community groups.
- Review or evaluate designs for water detention facilities, storm drains, flood control facilities, or other hydraulic structures.
- Conduct, or oversee the conduct of, chemical, physical, and biological water quality monitoring or sampling to ensure compliance with water quality standards.
- Conduct technical studies for water resources on topics such as pollutants and water treatment options.
- Recommend new or revised policies, procedures, or regulations to support water resource or conservation goals.
- Monitor water use, demand, or quality in a particular geographic area.
- Analyze storm water systems to identify opportunities for water resource improvements.
- Provide technical expertise to assist communities in the development or implementation of storm water monitoring or other water programs.
- Compile water resource data, using geographic information systems (GIS) or global position systems (GPS) software.
- Conduct cost-benefit studies for watershed improvement projects or water management alternatives.
- Develop or implement standardized water monitoring and assessment methods.
- Negotiate for water rights with communities or water facilities to meet water supply demands.
- Compile and maintain documentation on the health of a body of water.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Binocular light compound microscopes
- Commercial fishing nets — Plankton nets; Seines
- Conductivity meters — Water conductivity testers
- Desktop computers
- Dissolved oxygen meters — Dissolved oxygen indicators
- Flow sensors — Water flow meters
- Global positioning system GPS receiver — Global positioning system GPS receivers
- Gravimeters — Gravitational field indicators
- Laser fax machine — Laser facsimile machines
- Nitrogen or nitrate or nitrite analyzer — Nitrate meters; Nitrite meters
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Open stream current meters — Stream flow gauges
- Personal computers
- pH meters — Digital pH meters
- Rainfall recorders — Rain gauges
- Single gas monitors — Chlorine testers
- Soil core sampling apparatus — Grab samplers
- Special purpose telephones — Multi-line telephone systems
- Temperature gauge — Temperature gauges
- Theodolites — Total stations
- Titration equipment — Titrators
- Two way radios — Mobile radios
- Water analyzers — Multiparameter water probes; Water quality test kits
- Water samplers — Automated water sampling equipment; Total dissolved solids TDS meters
Technology used in this occupation:
- Analytical or scientific software — ESRI ArcGIS Spatial Analyst; Laboratory information management system LIMS; MWH Soft H2ONET MSX; Wallingford Software InfoWater (see all 14 examples)
- Computer aided design CAD software — ESRI ArcView 3D Analyst
- Data base user interface and query software — Database software; Scientific Software Group RIVERMorph; Structured query language SQL
- Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Map creation software — ESRI ArcGIS software ; ESRI ArcPad; ESRI ArcView; Google Earth Pro (see all 5 examples)
- 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.
- 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.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- 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.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- 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.
- 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.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- 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.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- 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 there is a problem.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking 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.
- 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.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- 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.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- 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.
- 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.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Communicating with Persons Outside 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.
- 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.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- 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.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- 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.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- 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.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
- 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.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Detailed Work Activities
- Test green technologies or processes.
- Evaluate green operations or programs for compliance with standards or regulations.
- Develop environmental remediation or protection plans.
- Prepare proposals or grant applications to obtain project funding.
- Identify environmental concerns.
- Present sustainable products or services information to the public.
- Evaluate environmental or sustainability projects.
- Develop sustainable organizational policies or practices.
- Evaluate quality of materials or products.
- Monitor organizational compliance with regulations.
- Identify opportunities for green initiatives.
- Monitor resources.
- Advise others on green energy or related technologies.
- Compile operational data.
- Analyze data to determine project feasibility.
- Develop procedures to evaluate organizational activities.
- Implement organizational process or policy changes.
- Negotiate contracts for environmental remediation, green energy, or renewable resources.
- Maintain operational records.
- Supervise workers performing environmentally sustainable activities.
- Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 79% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 66% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 41% responded “Extremely important.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 55% responded “Some freedom.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 52% responded “Very important.”
- Letters and Memos — 52% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 55% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 66% responded “More than half the time.”
- Contact With Others — 48% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 41% responded “Important results.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 48% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 45% responded “Some freedom.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 31% responded “Every day.”
- Time Pressure — 45% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 45% responded “Very important.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 41% responded “Very important.”
- Level of Competition — 55% responded “Moderately competitive.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 41% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 38% responded “Limited responsibility.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 59% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
|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 accountants, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:
Interest code: IEC
- 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.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- 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.
- 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.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- 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.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- 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.
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wages data collected from Natural Sciences Managers.
Employment data collected from Natural Sciences Managers.
Industry data collected from Natural Sciences Managers.
|Median wages (2015)||$57.77 hourly, $120,160 annual|
|Employment (2014)||55,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Slower than average (2% to 4%)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||13,300|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
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.
- Natural sciences managers . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.