Water covers over 70% of the Earth’s surface, but only 0.3% of that water is usable for humans, and only 1% of the 0.3% is attainable. The water and wastewater workforce members oversee the management and distribution of water to ensure this retarget is sustainable well into the future. This means that the water sector is an industry that is vital to everyday life.
Since this sector is essential to providing affordable clean water to the public, those who work in the industry are also essential. Without the multiple individuals working in this sector, accessing this invaluable retarget would be complex for many people. Pursuing a career in the water sector offers you a role that makes you an integral part of your community’s livelihood.
Today, there are multiple online courses for water operators to equip you with the knowledge and certification you would need to seek a career in this sector. Here are a few tips that will help you excel in your career in the water sector.
What Tips Are Essential to a Career in the Water Sector
1. Understanding Your Interests and Skill Set
There are several roles you can play when working in the water industry. Whether it’s fixing water mains in the middle of the street, working in the lab, as a backhoe operator, an engineer, a traffic control adviser, or a treatment plant operator.
The water sector is a vast industry where you can find a position that matches your passion and skills. Understanding your interests and talents puts you in a better position of building a career that you love.
2. Actively Building Relationships
Most people frown upon the idea of being considered basic for working laborer jobs but taking a plant tour, volunteering, and being an intern is the best place to start. Although starting out can be a little tough, and the pay might not be sufficient, it gets your foot in the door and enables you to familiarize yourself with the industry and your role in it. Creating relationships and networking are essential for building your career from the ground up.
3. Working Hard and Being Patient
At the beginning of your career, it is possible that you won’t be assigned to a highly ranked position; however, promotions will eventually come your way if you work hard and be patient. For instance, you can start out in ditches full of water, putting pipe clamps on broken pipes but eventually become a treatment plant operator who runs a treatment plant that serves different cities. It is important to see challenges as positive learning experiences, and with time, your efforts will benefit you.
4. Being Open to Learning More
There is a lot you can learn on the job in addition to your knowledge of the water and wastewater industry. You can even go out on a limb and do further studies on water technology since this knowledge can help you apply for jobs in the water sector. You might not have a background in plumbing or construction but taking the initiative to learn more about the industry shows that you are interested and trying to invest in your career even before getting a paycheck.
5. Learning From Your Team and Exercising What You Learn
If you are capable of handling more in addition to the duties you were assigned to when you were hired, it is essential to show senior staff and management that you are both willing and able to go above and beyond. When senior staff members retire, they leave a massive gap of information and skill set in their wake. Sometimes management will try to hold onto them as long as possible to pick their brains and carry that over to the new employees that come on board.
This is why you will often find teams of over 20 professionals where only a few have more than 10years of experience while the rest have only a year or less worth of experience. This makes it extremely vital to learn from more experienced members of your team to be fully equipped to step in their place and work at a higher level when the time comes.
Pursue a Career in the Water Sector Today
Like most public sectors, the water sector is maintained by a large percentage of people who are closing in on their retirement age. Over 3 million workers who make up 33% percent of the workforce will need to be replaced in the next decade.
This aging workforce paired with an aging infrastructure that needs substantial repairs nationwide will create a problem accessing water. There has never been a better time for young, strong, motivated, and qualified workers to step up to the plate.