How Do I Become a Water Treatment Engineer?

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  • Written By: Jessica F. Black
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 17 September 2019
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To become a water treatment engineer, you will need to have at least a bachelor's degree in an engineering discipline. There are several areas of engineering that may prepare you to enter this profession including civil, mechanical, or chemical engineering degree programs. Some of the most prominent places to seek employment in this field include government agencies and water treatment plants. Depending on the position, you may be required to have a designated amount of experience or a master's degree in engineering, and some jurisdictions may also require that you have specific licensing.

An engineering degree may take at least four years to complete and there are generally several courses that you are required to take to become a water treatment engineer. Some of these courses may include introduction to water and waste water treatment, waste water treatment plant operation, and water quality control. Many of your advanced courses will be accompanied by laboratory work that can prepare you to become a water treatment engineer. Due to the highly technical nature of this position, most internships in this field will usually request that you have completed certain high-level courses before applying.


Most of the internships in this field generally provide you with an opportunity to assist senior engineers with the designing, manufacturing, and repairing of machinery or equipment used to treat water. Some internships can prepare you to work in the chemical engineering aspect of water treatment. To become a water treatment engineer in your intended field, you should seek internships that provide you with training in several areas of interest. Participating in more than one internship may help enable you to focus your career on a specific area of this profession.

Aside from designing water treatment equipment and accessories, you might be required to perform various laboratory testing. There are many tests that need to be performed to analyze the quality of water; this duty is generally the water treatment engineer's responsibility. Future employers will usually be interested in your qualifications in the laboratory and you should request recommendations from internship supervisors and professors.

Once you become a water treatment engineer, you may want to check jurisdiction requirements to enter this profession because some locations can request that you are a licensed engineer. Various government agencies employ water treatment engineers and you should consider applying in person when possible. You can also check various water treatment plant employment sites for available positions.



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