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Accountant
Administrative Assistant
Chemist
Civil Engineer
Construction Manager
Customer Service Representative
Electrician
Engineering Technician
Environmental Specialist
GIS Specialist
Government Relations Specialist
Heavy Equipment Operator
Human Resource Specialist
Information System Programmer
Laboratory Analyst
Machinist
Meter Reader
Microbiologist
Public Affairs Specialist
Pump Station Operator
Reservoir Manager
Surveyor
Water Conservation Specialist
Water or Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator
Water Resource Planner
Welder

 



Accountant

Accountants manage and "account" for the money moving into, through, and out of all organizations. The work of an accountant involves:


• examining, correcting, and interpreting accounting records and documents;
• recording costs and other data and checking for correctness;
• preparing financial reports;
• keeping up with changes in tax laws and accounting procedures;
• using computer spreadsheet software.

Many accountants do not have a certificate beyond the college diploma, but others get a Certified Public Accountant (C.P.A.) to open up more opportunities. A CPA must have several years of experience and pass a special state exam. 

Education: A four-year degree in accounting 

Certificates, licenses: Preferred: C.P.A. (Certified Public Accountant), P.A. (Public Accountant), R.P.A. (Registered Public Accountant) or A.P. (Accounting Practitioner) 

Desirable traits and skills: Focused; written and oral communication skills; attention to detail; able to understand complex financial information; mathematical reasoning 

For more information:


American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Harborside Financial Center
201 Plaza III
Jersey City, NJ 07311-3881
http://www.aicpa.org

National Society of Accountants and the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation
1010 North Fairfax St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
http://www.nsacct.org


Administrative Assistant

Administrative assistants help almost every other job in an industry. They can be found in such departments as finance, accounting, human resources, public affairs, planning, engineering, legal, library, science labs, treatment plants, and repair shops. Some of their duties include: 

Education: High school diploma or two-year degree in secretarial sciences. 

Certificates, licenses: No 

Desirable traits and skills: Attention to detail; good oral and written communication skills; ability to type, use computers, adding machines, copiers, and other office equipment; good team worker. 

For more information: 

Professional Secretaries International 
P.O. Box 20404 
Kansas City, MO 64195-0404 
http://www.main.org/psi/ 

Association of Executive and Administrative Professionals (AEAP) 
900 South Washington St., Suite G-13 
Fall Church, VA 22046 
http://www.theaeap.com


Chemist

Chemists study the properties of matter and understand the behavior and interactions of molecules, electrons, and ions. A water chemist has a complicated subject of study, because water can dissolve almost every other substance on earth. Water also behaves differently in different conditions. Water's chemistry can cause pipes to corrode or to become so full of scale that they clog shut. Water agencies employ chemists to: 

Education: Four-year or graduate degree in chemistry 

Certificates, licenses: No 

Desirable traits and skills: Excellent science and laboratory skills; attention to detail; strong critical thinking skills. 

For more information: 

American Chemical Society
1155 16th St. NW.
Washington, DC 20036
http://www.chemistry.org

Association of Consulting Chemists and Chemical Engineers
P.O. Box 297
Sparta, New Jersey 07871
http://www.chemconsult.org


Civil Engineer

Civil engineers in the water industry plan, design, and build water delivery and water supply systems and wastewater collection and treatment systems. In addition to designing and building structures, they help society decide what and where to build. Civil engineers use their knowledge of math and physical science to do complex analyses. They work on project teams and often manage the work of other team members. Some of their duties include: 

Education: Four- to five-year civil engineering degree from an accredited engineering school 

Certificates, licenses: Professional Engineer (P.E.); Engineering-In-Training certificate 

Desirable traits and skills: Strong in science and math; excellent analytical skills; well organized; able to interpret complex information; able to communicate technical material in reports and presentations 

For more information: 

Georgia Association of Water Professionals
2121 New Market Pkwy. Suite 144
Marietta, GA 30067
http://www.gawp.org

American Society of Civil Engineers
1801 Alexander Bell Drive
Reston, VA 20191-4400
http://www.asce.org

Water Environment Federation
601 Wythe St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
http://www.wef.org

American Water Works Association
6666 W. Quincy Avenue
Denver, CO 60235
http://www.awwa.org



Construction Manager


Every construction project needs a general contractor to oversee the entire process. A water agency's construction manager works as its general contractor for projects such as a new office building or a pipeline or reservoir. The construction manager must: 

Education: On-the-job training; two- or four-year degree in the building trades 

Certificates, licenses: No 

Desirable traits and skills: Able to manage complex and multiple tasks; enjoy working outdoor; able to manage people; good with math and budgets. 

For more information: 

Associated Builders and Contractors
1300 North 17th St.
Rosslyn, VA 22209
http://www.abc.org

Construction Management Association of America
7918 Jones Branch Dr., Suite 540
McLean, VA 22102
http://www.cmaanet.org/


Customer Service Representative


In almost any business, customer service representatives help people order and use a product. They resolve problems about pricing and payment. In a water agency, a customer service representative: 


Education: High school diploma; on-the-job training 

Certificates, licenses: No 

Desirable traits and skills: Good "people" skills, such as good listening and communication skills (both oral and written); attention to detail 

For more information: 

Georgia Association of Water Professionals
2121 New Market Pkwy. Suite 144
Marietta, GA 30067
http://www.gawp.org

International Customer Service Association
401 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611
800.360.4272
http://www.icsa.com



Electrician


Electricians install, repair, operate, and maintain electrical equipment. Often, they work with electrical engineers who design the systems. In the water industry, electricians may install, operate, and maintain: 


Education: High school diploma and apprenticeship; two-year degree is a plus.

Certificates, licenses: State Electrician’s License 

Desirable traits and skills: Good problem solver; logical thinker; enjoys working with hands 

For more information: 

National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA)
3 Metro Center, Suite 1100
Bethesda, MD 20814
http://www.necanet.org

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
1125 15th St. NW.
Washington, DC 20005
http://www.ibew.org


Engineering Technician


Engineering technicians may work in any engineering field and apply engineering skills to specific projects. They have less training than a Licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.). Engineering technicians might: 

Education: High school diploma with specialized classes in engineering and engineering technology 

Certificates, licenses: No 

Desirable traits and skills: Strong in science and math; analytical; well organized; attention to detail; able to interpret complex information 

For more information: 

Georgia Association of Water Professionals
2121 New Market Pkwy. Suite 144
Marietta, GA 30067
http://www.gawp.org

American Society of Certified Engineering Technicians
P.O. Box 1348
Flowery Branch, GA 30542
http://www.ascet.org 


Environmental Specialist

Environmental specialists help organizations understand and follow environmental regulations that protect the environment and wildlife. Regulations are a very complicated body of law at the federal, state, and local levels. Environmental specialists work with the organization's engineers and scientists, outside contractors, and government regulators. Their responsibilities include: 

Education: Four year degree in environmental science, geography, environmental engineering, urban planning, or related fields 

Certificates, licenses: No 

Desirable traits and skills: Love for nature and the outdoors; problem solver; attention to detail; strong communication skills 

For more information: 

Georgia Association of Water Professionals
2121 New Market Pkwy. Suite 144
Marietta, GA 30067
http://www.gawp.org

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Water (4101M)
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 2
http://www.epa.gov/OW/0460


GIS Specialist

"GIS" stands for "Geographic Information Systems." It uses the power of computers to analyze geographic information and to display the data in maps, graphs, and tables. The water industry needs GIS specialists to provide detailed maps of the locations affected by the water supply and delivery system and wastewater collection and treatment system. The GIS specialist's work includes: 

Education: Four-year degree with a major in land survey, geography, civil engineering, urban planning, or information systems. 

Certificates, licenses: No 

Desirable traits and skills: Strong in math, analytical, organizational, computer, and visual skills. Must have a good sense of two-dimensional and three-dimensional space 

For more information: 

Georgia URISA
Box 317
3780 Old Norcross Road, Suite 103
Duluth, GA 30096
(404) 556-0238
http://www.gaurisa.org/

American Congress on Surveying and Mapping
5410 Grosvenor Lane, Suite 100
Bethesda, MD 20814-2122
http://www.survmap.org


Government Relations Specialist

Federal and state government agencies regulate many aspects of the water industry. Government relations specialists maintain two-way communication between water agencies and government bodies. On the one hand, they serve as "lobbyists" for the water agency. They inform government officials about the unique needs or concerns of the water industry. On the other hand, they "translate" the legal material from the government so the water agency understands how regulations affect them. The government affairs specialists may become involved in: 

Education: Bachelor's degree in political science, government relations, public administration. 

Certificates, licenses: No 

Desirable traits and skills: Ability to understand complex issues from several points of view; a friendly and articulate people person; strong research skills 

For more information: 

Georgia Association of Water Professionals
2121 New Market Pkwy. Suite 144
Marietta, GA 30067
http://www.gawp.org

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Water (4101M)
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 2
http://www.epa.gov/OW/0460


Heavy Equipment Operator

Water agencies use heavy equipment for many day-to-day operations. This equipment includes forklifts, back hoes, cranes, drills, shovels, augurs (for drilling), lifts, pumps, and more. Every piece of equipment needs a specially trained operator. Heavy equipment operators use this machinery to: 

Education: On-the-job training. 

Certificates, licenses: Operator's license 

Desirable traits and skills: Enjoy working outdoors; enjoy driving; attention to detail; enjoys equipment and machinery. 

For more information: 

Georgia Association of Water Professionals
2121 New Market Pkwy. Suite 144
Marietta, GA 30067
http://www.gawp.org

EDriver, Inc.
6165 Greenwich Drive
Suite 150
San Diego, CA 92122
http://www.dmv.org/ga-georgia/commercial-license.php


Human Resource Specialist

Water agencies may have hundreds or even thousands of employees. Those employees need a number of services, such as compensation (salary and raises), benefits, training, counseling, and employee relations. Human resource specialists are expert in one or more of these areas. They are the behind-the-scenes players who help employees stay focused on their work by: 
Education: Four year degree in psychology, education, sociology, or business with a specialty in human resource management. 

Certificates, licenses: No 

Desirable traits and skills: Good people skills; strong verbal skills; strong writing and communication skills.

For more information: 

Georgia Association of Water Professionals
2121 New Market Pkwy. Suite 144
Marietta, GA 30067
http://www.gawp.org

American Society for Training and Development
1640 King St., Box 1443
Alexandria, VA 22313
http://www.astd.org

Society for Human Resources Management
1800 Duke Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
http://www.shrm.org


Information System Programmer

Programmers write the instructions used by the computers. Programmers can customize standard computer functions for a specific industry. A programmer in the water industry may develop programs for:

Education: Two-year or four-year degree in computer science or information technology. 

Certificates, licenses: No 

Desirable traits and skills: Attention to detail; mathematical problem solver; able to work alone or in a team.

For more information: 

Georgia Association of Water Professionals
2121 New Market Pkwy. Suite 144
Marietta, GA 30067
http://www.gawp.org

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036
http://www.acm.org

IEEE Computer Society, Headquarters Office
1730 Massachusetts Ave., NW.
Washington, DC 20036
http://www.ieee.org


Laboratory Analyst

Laboratory analysts are trained in using in chemical and biological tests and procedures. In the water quality industry, lab analysts help the chemist, microbiologist, water quality specialists, and treatment plant operators. They are responsible for:
Education: Two- or four-year degree in a lab science. 

Certificates, licenses: No 

Desirable traits and skills: Interested in science; skilled at using laboratory equipment; organized; able to follow procedures accurately; some outdoor work.

For more information: 

Georgia Association of Water Professionals
2121 New Market Pkwy. Suite 144
Marietta, GA 30067
http://www.gawp.org

Water Environment Federation
601 Wythe St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
http://www.wef.org

American Water Works Association
6666 W. Quincy Avenue
Denver, CO 60235
http://www.awwa.org


Machinist

Machinists make and repair material made out of metals such as steel and brass. They work with computerized equipment, milling machines, and lathes. The water industry uses many specialized machines and machine parts, so the machinists may:

Education: Experience in a machine shop; on the job training; post-secondary educational training in a machine shop. 

Certificates, licenses: No 

Desirable traits and skills: Enjoys working with hands, equipment, and machinery; good attention to detail.

For more information: 

Georgia Association of Water Professionals
2121 New Market Pkwy. Suite 144
Marietta, GA 30067
http://www.gawp.org

The National Tooling and Machining Association
9300 Livingston Rd.
Fort Washington, MD 20744
http://www.ntma.org

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
9000 Machinists Place
Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772
http://www.goiam.org


Meter Reader

Every home, office building, municipal building, and industrial plant has a water meter. This meter measures how much water is used in that location. Most water agencies send an employee - a meter reader - to each location to read the meter. The meter reader records the information so the agency can bill the customer correctly.

Today, many water meters are being replaced by computerized meters. These new meters can be read with a special receiving device from a car. Instead of walking from house to house, meter readers can drive through neighborhoods to record the meter readings. In the near future, water meters may have telecommunications equipment. If so, they can send the meter reading to a central site which processes it for billing. For now, meter readers: 

Education: On-the-job training. 

Certificates, licenses: No 

Desirable traits and skills: Must travel locally for the job, be courteous and accurate.

For more information: 

Georgia Association of Water Professionals
2121 New Market Pkwy. Suite 144
Marietta, GA 30067
http://www.gawp.org

American Water Works Association
6666 W. Quincy Avenue
Denver, CO 80235
http://www.awwa.org

Water Environment Federation
601 Wythe St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
http://www.wef.org


Microbiologist

Microbiologists study the life (biology) of organisms that are too small to see without a microscope. Some of these microscopic organisms can cause serious or deadly diseases in people. Keeping these organisms out of the water supply is a major concern for water agencies. Microbiologists use microscopes, chemical tests, and other diagnostic techniques to screen the water for dangerous microorganisms. Their duties include: 

Education: A four-year or graduate degree in microbiology, biology, or related field 

Certificates, licenses: No 

Desirable traits and skills: Problem solver; attention to detail; good communicator, excellent science and research skills.

For more information: 

Georgia Association of Water Professionals
2121 New Market Pkwy. Suite 144
Marietta, GA 30067
http://www.gawp.org

American Society for Microbiology
Office of Education and Training-Career Information
1325 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20005
http://www.asmusa.org


Public Affairs Specialist

A public affairs specialist acts as a spokesperson for a company. In the water industry, public affairs representatives interact with residential and business customers, public officials, and government regulators. The give tours, speaking engagements, and school presentations, and they provide information to the media. The responsibilities of the public affairs office include: 

Education: Four-year degree in public relations, public administration, communications, telecommunications, journalism, or related field. 

Certificates, licenses: No 

Desirable traits and skills: Strong speaking and writing skills; ability to analyze complex information and "think on your feet."

For more information: 

Georgia Association of Water Professionals
2121 New Market Pkwy. Suite 144
Marietta, GA 30067
http://www.gawp.org

Public Relations Society of America, Inc.
33 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003-2376
http://www.prsa.org


Pump Station Operator

Because water agencies move huge volumes of water, they try to place storage towers and treatment plants at a high location. That way, gravity creates the pressure to move the water downhill to most of the customers. But sometimes the water must be moved uphill, so the water agency has pumping stations that lift the water. The pumping station uses a pump, which is a huge motor with a blade that pushes the water to a higher level. The operator of a pumping station must:
Education: On-the-job-training 

Certificates, licenses: No 

Desirable traits and skills: Enjoys working with heavy equipment; may operate several pumping stations, so must be willing to travel from place to place during the shift.

For more information: 

Georgia Association of Water Professionals
2121 New Market Pkwy. Suite 144
Marietta, GA 30067
http://www.gawp.org

Water Environment Federation
601 Wythe St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
http://www.wef.org

American Water Works Association
6666 W. Quincy Avenue
Denver, CO 80235
http://www.awwa.org


Reservoir Manager

Reservoirs are human-made lakes for storing water that will be treated for drinking. A reservoir is a very complex system. Its water is affected by everything that goes on in the surrounding area - known as the "watershed" - such as industries, highways, farms, golf courses, flocks of birds, wildlife and farm animals, recreational fishing and boating, etc. Temperature, rainfall, and water usage also affect the health of a reservoir. A reservoir manager must:
Education: Four-year degree in land management, forestry, or water resource management. On the job training.

Certificates, licenses: No 

Desirable traits and skills: Enjoy the outdoors; understanding of natural habitats and water science; attention to detail.


Surveyor

 

Water Conservation Specialist 

 

In many parts of the world, water has seemed like an unlimited resource. As populations grow, however, society needs more water to meet basic needs. Many communities are facing water shortages. Fortunately, there is an excellent short-term solution: using water efficiently. Water conservation specialists are experts in the efficient use of water who can make significant contributions to protecting our planet. They:
Education: Four-year college degree in natural or physical science, environmental or civil engineering, economics, natural resource management, urban or regional planning, or public administration. 

Certificates, licenses: No 

Desirable traits and skills: Good people skills; good math skills, good writing and communication skills; comfortable with technology; concern about the environment and natural resources.

For more information: 

Georgia Water Wise Council
Georgia Association of Water Professionals
2121 New Market Pkwy. Suite 144
Marietta, GA 30067
http://gawp.org/gwwc/

American Water Works Association
6666 W. Quincy Avenue
Denver, CO 80235
http://www.awwa.org

Water Environment Federation
601 Wythe St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
http://www.wef.org



Water or Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator


Water treatment plants take source water and treat it so that it is safe to drink. This process includes filtering, disinfecting, balancing the chemistry, taste and odor, and testing for microorganisms. Some treatment plants also operate hydroelectric generating units. Because these functions occur 24 hours a day, a plant operator must sometimes work night shifts. Some of the duties include:

Education: High School graduate or equivalent. Specialized training in preparation for certification. On-the-job-training 

Certificates, licenses: Water or Wastewater Treatment Certificate or License; consult with state certification agency regarding requirements 

Desirable traits and skills: Attention to details, water quality science, chemistry, instrumentation; good management skills; willing to work shifts.

For more information: 

Georgia Association of Water Professionals
2121 New Market Pkwy. Suite 144
Marietta, GA 30067
http://www.gawp.org

American Water Works Association
6666 W. Quincy Avenue
Denver, CO 80235
http://www.awwa.org

Water Environment Federation
601 Wythe St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
http://www.wef.org


 
Water Resource Planner


Water resource planners help an agency meet the water needs of its population and its economy. When the agency needs to increase the water supply, these specialists ask such questions as: Should we dig a new well into an underground aquifer? Dam a river to create a water supply reservoir? Buy from neighboring regions? Treat sea water to remove the salt in a process called desalination? Many of these options require years of planning, permitting, buying land, and construction. Thus, water needs must be planned for years in advance. The water resource planner:

 


Education: Four-year or graduate degree in environmental or civil engineering, urban planning, public policy, public administration, economics physical or natural sciences -- with special training or experience in natural resource management and water issues.

Certificates, licenses: No 

Desirable traits and skills: Good math, computer, writing, and communication skills; comfortable with technology and financial/economic statistics

For more information: 

Georgia Association of Water Professionals
2121 New Market Pkwy. Suite 144
Marietta, GA 30067
http://www.gawp.org

American Water Works Association
6666 W. Quincy Avenue
Denver, CO 80235
http://www.awwa.org

Water Environment Federation
601 Wythe St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
http://www.wef.org


Welder

 

Welders join metal parts or components together. This trade is particularly important in the water industry because of the number of steel pipes in the distribution system. These pipes operate under difficult conditions, and they are under pressure. The pipes must be properly welded or they will leak and break apart. In the water industry, welders may:

 



Education: High school diploma; vocational training in welding and soldering

Certificates, licenses: Specialized certificates in different aspects from trade schools, vocational schools, or metal fabrication shops. 

Desirable traits and skills: Enjoys working with hands; pays attention to detail; takes pride in work.

For more information: 

Georgia Association of Water Professionals
2121 New Market Pkwy. Suite 144
Marietta, GA 30067
http://www.gawp.org

American Welding Society
550 N.W. Lejeune Road
Miami, FL 33126-5699
http://www.amweld.org