Top 22 Best-Paying Jobs in Water Supply in 2024

Are you struggling for an intelligent career route to pursue that promises a handsome amount right at the beginning of your employment journey and the chance to provide an excellent service to society? Yes, a career in water supply offers you an opportunity to deliver clean, sustainable water.

Water is our world’s most essential resource on which the whole of humanity survives. As long as life exists, the water distribution industry will work. Without individuals who work in this sector, people would not have access to safe drinking water.

The water industry is an enriching career with competitive pay, fresh challenges, significant growth potential, and worthwhile goal. 

 In the water supply industry, various career paths need different education, training, and skills. High school graduates, PhDs, and veterans, no matter which education and background you are from, there is an opportunity for everyone to join the water workforce. This guide will help you browse your Career Paths to determine which role is best for you.

Without a doubt, Water and resource management careers pay well to all levels, including the entry level. However, you can search for various jobs within the water supply industry to explore, each requiring different skill sets and training.

In this article, you can direct your focus on the best-paying jobs to streamline your job role. 

Water Supply and Distribution Job Outlook

With an increasing population, global climatic and land changes are driving further demands on global fresh-water supply and many career opportunities for new water resource professionals.

Water is a fundamental necessity consumed by millions of people throughout the world. Water distribution is a critical system that requires trained people to run and operate it. As per a report, over 18 billion miles of water pipes are distributed and over 50,000 community water systems throughout the U.S. There are various employment opportunities requiring trained personnel across multiple job functions.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the job outlook for water treatment operators will grow by 12% over the next seven years. That’s excellent news.

By learning about the water treatment and distribution career, you are not a step ahead of most job applicants, but you can expect growth potential. Does this mean you can expect your first paycheck, isn’t it?

Is The Water Supply Industry A Good Career Path?

By choosing a career in water, you venture into a challenging, innovative, and rewarding journey that makes a long-lasting impact on the environment, the public, and a thriving economy.

A job career in the water industry promises training opportunities, greater pay, job security, significant benefits, and a platform to work with diverse teams and professionals toward sustaining the world’s most valuable resource.

The water industry works around innovative methods to maintain, store and distribute clean water to benefit every individual in a community and help shape a sustainable future for everyone.

These water supply industries recruit workers in the following categories with varieties of job roles, including 

  • management and supervision;
  • design and construction;
  • operations and maintenance; and
  • Office and administrative support.

Top 22 Best-Paying Jobs In The Water Supply Industry

The water supply industry is a large field that offers both challenges and rewards. Working in a water distribution and management firm would allow you to provide clean, usable water to people worldwide.

It is a more meaningful job that requires skilled, committed, and trained professionals. Below is the list of the most demanding career roles in the water supply sector, with their job description and salary information.

  • Water resource recovery (wastewater treatment) operator,
  • Water Distribution Operator
  • Environmental Compliance Specialist
  • Hydrologist
  • Drinking Water Treatment Operator
  • Wastewater collection operator
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Water Restoration Technician
  • Water maintenance technician
  • Green Infrastructure Worker
  • Inspection Manager
  • Engineer
  • Water Conservation Specialist
  • Watershed Coordinator
  • Water Tester
  • Utility manager/ supervisor
  • Industrial coordinator
  • Heavy Equipment Mechanic
  • Plant mechanic
  • Water Project Manager
  • Senior water operator
  • Senior Quantity Surveyor

1. Water Resource Recovery (Wastewater Treatment) Operator

Average Annual Salary: $45,000

These individuals are the backbone who work with various water resource recovery facilities to make sure the water facility operates effectively and smoothly. They are also mandated to manage a team of lower-level operators and perform any related job-related tasks.

Water resource recovery operators must know about water resource recovery equipment and facilities. They must learn about various treatment practices, principles, and methods to carry out operations. These individuals should be proficient in safety procedures, first aid, wastewater sampling, and process control tests.

2. Water Distribution Operator

Average Annual Salary: $39,543

These are individuals that coordinate the water distribution system. He is responsible for keeping all the water system components functioning, such as water source, treatment, distribution, and storage.

He also develops maintenance plans for the water treatment plant and distribution. He conducts frequent system inspections and creates standard operating procedures.

Water distribution operators must have a basic knowledge of using computerized electronic equipment to collect, interpret and store operational data on controlling and treating raw water.

3. Environmental Compliance Specialist

Average Annual Salary: $68,759

An environment compliance officer ensures each industry, business, organization, community, and agency is adhering to environmental laws and standards. Under his supervision, he conducts various ecological tests to analyze emissions, pollution, water disposal, permitting, and chemical usage. 

He is also responsible for investigating potential violations and collecting water samples for analysis. He works on developing and implementing environmental policies to ensure the company processes are within the legal and federal framework.

4. Hydrologist

Average Annual Salary: $84,773

Hydrologists are technical people who apply their scientific knowledge and mathematical skills to solve water-related issues, such as water availability, quantity, and quality. Hydrologists are people who direct the various phases of the hydrologic cycle. He monitor, protect and manage the water and its resources in commercial, academic, and environmental settings. They ensure the smooth flow of water channels through pipes for efficient water provision. 

To be a hydrologist, you need a bachelor’s degree in physical science or natural resources. Sometimes, Companies prefer to hire candidates who have a master’s degree. Hydrologists conducting research or postsecondary education typically need a Ph. D.

5. Drinking-Water Treatment Operator

Average Annual Salary: $44,241

Drinking water treatment operators do what their title suggests — operate machinery for water supply treatment. They are typically responsible for monitoring, maintaining, repairing, and supervising the equipment, plant, and machinery used in the water treatment stations.

These individuals should know water treatment plants, including safety regulations, water treatment, and equipment servicing. These people must have mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic knowledge and the ability to conduct standardized water quality tests.

6. Wastewater Collection Operator

Average Annual Salary: $46734

These professionals operate and maintain various electronic and power equipment and prevent sewage blockages and overflow to ensure public health.

They investigate, maintain, clean, construct and repair water waste collection systems such as pump stations, maintenance holes, catch basins, storm drains, sanitary sewers, and pipes. 

7. Laboratory Technician

Average Annual Salary: $37,000

Laboratory technicians are experts in various laboratory work aspects, such as recording data and maintaining equipment. They are responsible for designing and executing multiple laboratory tests. 

They conduct quality tests according to the standards required to protect public health. These scientists gather data to determine how the treatment processes are working and prevent elements of toxicity if found.

Laboratory technicians in water supply focus on compliance testing, meaning they adhere to the standard procedures. They monitor contaminants and provide all the required technical support for helping company staff to make any necessary decisions to improve water supply optimization or safety.

8. Water Restoration Technician

Average Annual Salary: $37,034 

A water restoration technician is knowledgeable about how excessive water can cause damage to buildings and belongings. They can help clean-up efforts following water disasters like floods. They can work for government agencies and specialized restoration organizations.

9. Water Maintenance Technician

Average Annual Salary: $50,521

A water maintenance technician maintains, removes, and replaces all damaged materials and machinery responsible for transporting and filtering water. They adjust the machines that test chemical levels in the water. They can also perform basic engineering and maintenance tasks.

Water maintenance technicians must have an excellent knowledge of working hand and power tools. Also, they required a high school diploma and certification in investigation, restoration, and cleaning.

10. Green Infrastructure Worker

Average Annual Salary: N/A

As there is a global shift to greener energy, the water supply industry has turned its route too. Individuals working as green infrastructure workers work with stormwater management practices that save, restore and protect the natural water cycle. 

The Responsibilities of a green infrastructure worker includes repairing maintenance and ensuring each aspect of the work function properly. Candidates looking for the same or related field must be familiar with sustainable infrastructure. These workers can work as maintainers, installers, construction inspectors, or maintenance heads, depending on their skills and experience.

11. Inspection Manager

Average Annual Salary: $74,006

An inspection manager in the water industry ensures organizations and treatment locations within the field adhere to regulations and pay necessary dues. They thoroughly understand federal and state standards and compliance measures and create reports detailing how different departments and organizations adhere to them. An inspection manager may write reports about facilities and their operations.

12. Engineer

Average Annual Salary: $86,000

In water supply, engineers are crucial. They are engineers who manage all water-based projects. They make water treatment and resource recovery possible. They are critical to supplying clean and safe water to society. These individuals can work individually or on a large or small scale with teams.

A water Engineers’ responsibilities may be distinct depending on their jobs. They may estimate costs, develop designs of large operations systems, or even be required to research topics like environmental impact to aid their projects.

13. Water Conservation Specialist

Average Annual Salary: $52, 068

Water conservationists’ primary role is to conserve water supply for all users and future generations. During the process, they also identify potential problems in environmental health and bring measures to mitigate them. 

The Water conservation specialists’ work consists of outdoor data collection related to preserving and protecting water quality from contaminants.

Water supply is essential for everyone; human animals, national forests, parks, farmland, swamps, and communities rely on water supply. Water conservationists may need to ensure no contamination in water supplies and that no one gets harmed.

14. Watershed Coordinator

Average Annual Salary: $94,000

Watershed coordinators work for the water system of a municipality. They direct their focus on the production of clean water and the treatment of wastewater. Their primary work duty is to analyze the current water systems and ensure safe practices and management.

Watershed coordinators are also responsible for planning and implementing new water treatment projects or programs. They keep a check on each area to deliver them clean and healthy water. They work closely with agriculture or environmental engineers to support the development of safe water practices.

15. Water Tester

Average Annual Salary: $59,000

A water tester is a water quality scientist who tests water quality targets and standards at waste treatment plans and freshwater systems. They ensure each process is under the guidelines of Environment Protection Agency standards. They play an essential role in protecting public health by providing drinking water for humans and animals that is safe from water contaminants. Water tests also monitor components that may cause a threat to public health through improper chemical mixing.

These individuals take water samples from a plant and test the water quality using specialized equipment and tools. The goal of water testers is to analyze various procedures involved in testing water quality.

16. Utility Manager/ Supervisor

Average Annual Salary: $53,714

A utility manager or a public work supervisor looks after various water treatment facilities’ operations, maintenance, and distribution. His duties include overseeing the controlling body of the utility he serves, water, sewer, and power systems. He also keeps an eye on the infrastructure, investigates facilities, and many other days- to day operations of the company’s utility services.

17. Industrial Coordinator

Average Annual Salary: $52, 979

An industrial coordinator is a specialized individual who works around inspecting and investigating industrial water streams and various other treatment facilities. The central part of his role is dealing with working processes, compliance with water regulations, and ensuring teams perform under the agreed regulatory framework. They also provide no hazardous or unauthorized material used during the water distribution project.

18. Heavy Equipment Mechanic

Average Annual Salary: $57,718

Heavy equipment mechanic specializes in dealing with heavy-duty machinery used in water treatment and distribution operations

They are operators to analyze and detect malfunctions and inconsistencies and rebuild and repair faulty or broken machine parts. They carry out preventive maintenance of all water mechanical devices. As a lead mechanic, he inspects the water supply engines and equipment. 

To land a job as a heavy equipment mechanic, a candidate must understand various computer testing technologies and a proven work experience and certification as a heavy machinery mechanic.

19. Plant Mechanic

Average Annual Salary: $56, 702

A plant mechanic performs multiple skilled and semi-skilled duties such as repair and maintenance, installation and service of water machinery, equipment, and other water facilities such as valves, pumps, engines, meters, reservoirs, compressors, and other storage systems. He participates in rebuilding motors, piping systems, pumps, and other specialized water treatment equipment.

A plant mechanic should be able to perform various repair, maintenance, and servicing functions. He must have a sound understanding of safe work methods and all safety regulations about work. He also must know to respond under pressure and execute good judgments. 

20. Water Project Manager

Average Annual Salary: $73,845

Water project managers are technical professionals who assess and monitor water quality, budget, time, and resources necessary to complete various water-related projects. They handle all administrative and organizational aspects during water projects like pipeline installation, designing water distribution systems, and water supply analysis. Water project managers communicate with clients about the deliverables, delegate tasks to team members, and perform project assurance within reported structures.

21. Senior Water Operator

Average annual salary: $44,343

The role of a senior water operator is to gather data from treatment plants, reservoirs, supply conduits, and different pumping stations.

They conduct periodic inspections and direct staff about different aspects of water treatment facilities. Their job duties also include doing complex tasks such as maintaining, operating and repairing surface and groundwater treatment plants.

22. Senior Quantity Surveyor

Average annual salary: $98,256

The role of the senior quantity surveyor is concerned with construction supervision, accepting and commissioning phases of the extension work of the water supply including treatment plants, storage facilities, equipment supply, and distribution pipes.


A career in the water supply might be a perfect fit for you if you are looking for well paid, stable job and job security.

Water supply companies work on various products and services, from service providers to testing laboratories to manufacturers of water treatment equipment. Choosing a career path in the water supply industry will depend on your strengths, skills, and experience. Whatever your career choice is, you work together in the same spectrum towards the same goal in the treatment and supply of water.