What is a Drinking and Groundwater Protection Specialist?

What Does a Groundwater Protection Specialist Do?

Groundwater Protection Specialists inspect and analyze the health of local groundwater resources. They then devise innovative strategies and implement solutions to help prevent, reduce, or eliminate pollutants that may be contaminating the groundwater supply. It is important for a Groundwater Protection Specialist to be well-acquainted with the local, state, and federal environment laws and regulations relevant to groundwater resources.

Where Does a Groundwater Protection Specialist Work?

Groundwater Protection Specialists spend a great deal of time working in both laboratories and the field. Fieldwork often requires the specialist to be highly versatile, as they may find themselves in many different kinds of environments ranging from industrial sites to more natural outdoor areas.

Groundwater Protection Specialists must be prepared to endure adverse weather conditions and encounters with dangerous chemicals that come from runoff, industrial waste, and other sources. The top employers of Groundwater Protection Specialists are consulting firms, private labs, or local governments. Generally they work full-time schedules, though some are hired seasonally. Occasionally fieldwork will require travel, night hours, or overtime.

What Is the Average Groundwater Protection Specialist's Salary?

The average salary for a Groundwater Protection Specialist hovers around $41,240. The low-end wage for this position average around $26,330, while the high-end wage averages around $68,620. Pay is largely influenced by education level, the employer you are working for, and the kinds of hours you are required to work.

StateTotal EmploymentBottom 25%Median SalaryTop 75%
Alabama660$32,300$39,800$52,090
Alaska220$29,610$39,610$49,570
Arizona700$38,550$44,590$53,290
Arkansas190$30,190$36,680$49,740
California3,690$34,760$46,110$62,920
Colorado1,050$35,730$45,190$56,870
Connecticut350$35,580$46,070$67,320
Delaware190$28,850$34,750$40,090
District of Columbia330$22,670$27,000$51,700
Florida1,780$31,330$34,520$39,640
Georgia540$34,190$41,050$54,820
Hawaii220$29,940$40,410$50,450
Idaho190$40,840$49,180$68,140
Illinois1,170$32,190$42,730$56,790
Indiana570$30,780$36,980$47,120
Iowa320$32,220$38,820$47,220
Kansas190$33,970$44,450$58,680
Kentucky450$36,910$42,610$55,460
Louisiana390$25,090$35,970$47,680
Maine160$30,630$36,470$42,520
Maryland530$40,220$51,580$61,440
Massachusetts1,110$30,330$36,380$45,610
Michigan920$33,480$42,260$51,470
Minnesota440$35,540$42,880$51,900
Mississippi160$33,500$37,870$46,750
Missouri300$30,470$42,410$52,400
Montana130$33,570$39,870$45,320
Nebraska170$36,030$50,140$62,870
Nevada390$39,580$62,630$76,460
New Hampshire240$32,530$37,590$45,550
New Jersey1,050$31,790$39,580$50,610
New Mexico230$37,150$45,640$56,250
New York2,470$33,410$43,810$56,090
North Carolina1,170$29,910$38,000$47,380
North Dakota180$29,250$37,320$47,110
Ohio1,140$32,500$40,120$48,880
Oklahoma480$23,110$34,600$54,360
Oregon310$41,370$51,080$58,470
Pennsylvania1,620$32,880$39,540$50,960
Puerto Rico120$20,750$25,790$43,670
Rhode Island40$46,430$56,620$61,090
South Carolina790$40,730$63,650$69,790
South Dakota100$24,850$26,900$28,940
Tennessee910$38,250$45,990$57,940
Texas2,820$30,840$39,540$49,280
Utah420$37,140$46,050$59,760
Vermont70$37,090$43,710$50,280
Virginia610$34,810$43,230$56,480
Washington1,160$38,600$53,420$72,290
West Virginia380$28,690$36,210$45,430
Wisconsin670$32,810$39,960$52,800
Wyoming140$33,270$39,210$50,940

Table data taken from BLS (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes194091.htm)

Groundwater Protection Specialist Jobs & Job Description

Recent Groundwater Protection Specialist Job Listings

Use the search box below to find all the groundwater specialist job listings in our job board.

Groundwater protection specialists work toward the protection and conservation of groundwater, recognizing that it is a critical part of the ecosystem. Specialist roles do vary from organization to organization, but most roles will have the following tasks as part of their scope:

  • Monitor wastewater treatment plant process equipment
  • Ensure that water meets all regulatory requirements by deploying pumps, motors, membrane filtration equipment, clarification systems, chemical feeds, sludge equipment, filter presses
  • Coordinate activities with maintenance staff to ensure preventive and corrective maintenance of treatment equipment
  • Undertake general upkeep, cleaning, maintenance and repair of facilities and grounds to assure a safe and clean
  • Possess necessary treatment plant operator certification
  • Safely operate necessary equipment and vehicles including dump trucks, roll off and pick up trucks
  • Possess experience or certification for operating a front end loader, scissor lift, motor grader, backhoe and/ or skid steer
  • Promote safety practices for colleagues and processes throughout the facility
  • Mechanical aptitude or willingness to learn in a hands-on environment

Senior groundwater protection specialists have broadened their professional experience by undergoing or showcasing management skills or training. In addition to the standard role, groundwater protection specialist managers may be called to perform the following as part of their expanded scope of duties:

  • Ensure that laboratory instruments and processes are in line with regulation
  • Inspect treatment plant processes to ensure effluent quality meets or exceeds permitting requirements
  • Review laboratory results and readings and make adjustments to processes as necessary
  • Manage records, forms, and reports in various automated systems, formats, and software to ensure accuracy
  • Ensure data integrity, compliance, and adherence to internal controls policies and practices
  • Assist maintenance staff as required to ensure timely repair and upgrade to systems and equipment
  • Provide the appropriate level of response to inquiries, issues of concern, and requests for information, or explanation, regarding various services, processes, policies, and/or procedures with internal or external stakeholders
  • Provide recommendations to assist in the development and implementation of procedures for improved plant operations;
  • Collect samples for analysis and reporting using prescribed methods and techniques to make appropriate adjustments as necessary

What Is the Job Demand for Groundwater Protection Specialists?

The Groundwater Protection Specialist profession is expected to grow 19% in the next ten years, which is faster than average for most other jobs. This growth is partly due to growing pressures placed on the environment, as well as increased public interest in protecting our natural resources.

What Groundwater Protection Specialist Degree Options Exist?

At minimum, Groundwater Protection Specialists are expected to possess an associate's degree in environmental science, public health, geology, hydrology, or other related field. Positions that require the most in-depth interaction with the groundwater data will prefer a Bachelor's Degree. Coursework should focus on natural sciences, such as chemistry and biology. Physical sciences like geology will also come in handy. For analyzing data, familiarize yourself with the scientific method and be familiar with statistics and computer sciences.

Some states require special licensing in environmental health to assure that their assessments of an area will be compatible with local law. The licensing process varies, but is typically short and simple.

What Kind of Societies and Professional Organizations Do Groundwater Protection Specialists Have?

Groundwater Protection Specialists and those who wish to become Groundwater Protection Specialists can browse through these organizations and websites for valuable resources:

  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): http://water.epa.gov - This department of the federal government provides information on the current thoughts and policies relevant to environmental issues. The link above is specific to water, one of the country's most important natural resources.
  • National Ground Water Association (NGWA): http://www.ngwa.org - A nonprofit organization that brings together groundwater professionals across the planet, though the group's main emphasis still remains in the U.S. They attempt to provide a pool of references and resources for these professionals. They also want to facilitate communication between experts and spread awareness about the importance of the Groundwater Protection industry.

Keep in mind that many state governments also have their own individual Groundwater Associations that can be searched out online depending on your location.