Water Quality Analyst Career Path | Complete Career Guide


Are you interested to make a career in water quality testing and want to become a water quality analyst? (Or) just curious to know about the water quality analyst as a career path. This article explores you every single detail about the water quality career option. Which you should know; if you want to start a career in water quality testing and analysis.

Here’s how I am going to make it easy for you decide; Is water quality analyst career path is a right choice for me…..or not?

You will get to know! About these things…

  • How to become a water quality analyst?
  • What are the education and skills needed?
  • Career scope of water quality analyst?
  • Work Environment and where do they work
  • What does a water quality analyst do?

If you want to “make a world better place to live” by providing clean and safe drinking water to the people. Then it might be a good career option for you to choose.

Do you know? The human body contains an average 65% of the water in the body. So, clean and safe water is essential for the human body to survive.

No Water! No Life!

Therefore water quality analyst has an important role in this polluted world. If you would become a water quality analyst; you will also become a life savvy person.


What is meant by Water Quality?

As the name implies water quality, means testing the quality of sampled water to identify the water physical, chemical and biological characteristics.

As we are moving forward to the high-tech future. We are responsible to generate lots of waste materials and hazardous chemicals which affects the natural water resources.

The major factor behind the water pollution is manufacturing, mining, construction, transport.

Therefore we need a system and manpower to conduct the researches and analysis on the most valuable resource (water) on planet earth; to safeguard the water from the hazardous water pollutants.


What is water Quality Analysis?

Water quality analysis gives us the way to measure the water quality index (WQI). And based on this Water quality standards you can separate different quality of water to use for the different purposes.  Such as drinking, fisheries, swimming pool, water park, agriculture, industry, recreation, etc.

A water quality analyst is specialised in one of the following areas:

  • Drinking Water
  • Ground Water (Water wells)
  • Surface Water (Seashore, Rivers, Big and Small lakes)

Watch this video to know; why the world needs water quality analyst and scientist.


Water Quality Analyst Education Requirements

Education 1 (Mandate): You must have completed your high school [Subjects must have: Biology, Chemistry, Maths, computer science] to move further on water quality analyst career paths.


Education 2 (Mandate): For Entry-level Job (water quality technicians) Diploma or Associate Degree in any of the following programmes

However, you can apply for the water quality technician jobs after just passing your high school. If you are good in the above four mention subjects in Education 1.

But the better choice to go for water quality technician after completing your diploma, because you will have more opportunities.


Education 3 (Mandate/Optional): Certificate in water quality Analysis

Mandate: for those who want to become water quality analyst after completing a diploma or any sort of training in environmental science related subjects. Then you must be a certified water quality Analyst.

Optional (Not recommended): for those who want to study further and then go for the water quality analyst career path.


Education 4 (Mandate): Bachelor’s Degree

You can do your Bachelor’s in any of the below-given subjects (stream), based on your preference and interests

After completing bachelors you are eligible to become a water quality analyst.

Related: Learn more about Environmental Engineering as a career path


Education 5 (Optional): Master’s Degree

For the future designation (Manager) (Or) You want to get a high package in starting you can do your masters in any of the above Education 3 subjects.

However, your master’s degree benefits you in the salary growth and makes you more eligible for the senior positions.  

You can enrol in master’s degree program while doing your 9-t0-5 job.  


Water Quality Analyst Skills set

  • Microorganisms
  • Chemical contaminations
  • Water Characteristics
  • Analytical
  • Chemistry
  • Laboratory and Sampling
  • Government Law and regulations
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Driving
  • Passion for safeguarding the water quality


Tools and equipment used by Water Quality Analyst

  • Sterile bag and bottles
  • Water quality Multi-Meter
  • Onsite test kits
  • Microscope
  • Total Organic Carbon (TOC) analyzer
  • Electrical conductivity (EC) meter: Measures the dissolved solid elements (nutrients, salts, and other water impurities)
  • Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS): Used to identify and measures the quantity of, chemicals and other organic pollutants present in the water samples.
  • Rosette sampler: Used to collect water samples in deep water (Oceans, Rivers, Oceans, and Great Lakes)


How to become a Water Quality Analyst?  [Step-by-Step]

[Step 1] Work Experience

You can join any water treatment plant after passing your high school. This will give more understanding about what actually you are going to do in the future; if you selecting this career path. 

However, this step is not necessary but if you want to get an overview of the water quality testing you can do for few months.

[Step 2] Education

Complete the above mandatory Educations to enter into this domain.

[Step 3] Driving Licence

You must have a driving license. A water quality analyst has to travel different locations and from there, they collect the water samples for the laboratory. And drive back to the lab safely and fast.

[Step 4] Internships

Apply for the internship program. This will help you to boost your resume quality. So internship is going to help you to get the job easily after completing the education. And it could also possible you can get offer letter from that agency or company during the internship.

[Step 5] Built online job profile and Resume

Make your resume attractive and upload it to the online job portals. If you want to know; how to build an attractive resume? Click Here

While making a profile on the job websites you must have to follow few criteria to get calls. For more details, you can Click Here


Working Environment for a Water Quality Analyst

In the field

Collecting water samples in bottles for analysis.

After collecting the sample you have to analyse the samples as soon as possible.

Sometimes you have to go deep down in the water to measure water quality at different water level.

If, you are collecting the water samples for the laboratory. Then you must have to keep the samples cold until you have not reached the lab.

You need a cold place to store the samples because it slows the rate of chemical reactions and phase change.

In starting to be ready to spend your most of the time in the field work. It might also possible; you have to visit multiple sites (that causing water pollution) in a single day.

In the Office and lab

Preparing the tools to analyse the collecting sample

Calibrating the equipment to get the more stable and correct result.

In the laboratory, they test the water sample to measures the following parameters…

  • pH Value
  • Alkalinity
  • Temperature
  • Quantify the Dissolved oxygen (DO)
  • Hardness
  • Turbidity
  • Conductivity
  • Measures the presence of Ammonia and Nitrate
  • Total suspended solids (TSS) & Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
  • Colour, Appearance, Taste and Odor of the water
  • Presence of Microorganisms (Bacteria and Viruses)
  • Organic chemical impurities (Petroleum, Radiological contamination, Pesticides and Herbicides)
  • Quantity of the dissolved metals and salts [Sodium (Na), chloride (Cl-), Potassium (K), Calcium (Ca), Manganese (Mn), etc.]
  • Identify the metalloids [lead (Pb), Mercury (Hg), Silicon (Si), Arsenic (As)]


Where does a Water Quality Analysts work?

There are a number of places, where a water quality analyst can find employment. Organizations (Public + Private Sector) hires water quality analysts are following…

  • Environmental consulting firms and agencies
  • Municipal government departments
  • Wastewater treatment plants
  • City water parks and state parks
  • Domestic groundwater wells
  • Watersheds
  • Industries that generate waste and hazardous chemicals
  • Water Recycling and Reuse plants
  • Public and private water quality inspection agencies
  • Universities and colleges (Professor and Lecturer)


Water Quality Analyst Job Description

  • Performs analyses on raw (untreated water) and drinking water samples based on the newest methodology.


  • Resolve the complaints from the residential place about the appearance, taste and odor of water.


  • Ensure drinking supply water is up to the mark of drinking water quality standards defined values.


  • Industry visit to check the water quality compliance is satisfied the rules and regulations of water quality standards.


  • Develop the solutions and methodology to water quality related issues.


  • Calibrate and maintain the testing instruments and equipment used in office and laboratory.


  • Organize water sampling schedules to maintain the water quality.


  • They investigate and identify the causes of bad water quality. 


  • Regularly check-ups the drinking water, groundwater wells, wastewater and surface water and other water sources as per the standard parameter.


  • Perform routine maintenance on pumps and filters at different locations.


  • Participate in environmental remediation to remove and mitigate the pollution or contaminants from the environment.


  • Maintain the test result record and compiling the data of collected water samples from different sources. Saving the current testing data to analyse the improvement of water quality in the future.


  • They discuss and interpret the calculated data with other colleagues and water quality scientist. If any major issues are exposed then take immediate actions.


  • Communicate and work together with regulatory agencies and government authorities. A water quality analyst works under the government rules and regulations to check the water quality.


Career Scope

We know clean and safe drinking water extremely precious for the survival of the human body. As per the statistics says only one out of six people have access to the clean and safe drinking water. Therefore we need water specialist who can check the water quality issues and provide us safe drinking water.

The field of natural science and technologies is expanding every day, because of the increasing pollution and water pollutants in the environment.

From the future perspective, I would say world always need water quality analyst to test the quality of water. And ensure that water is clean and safe to drink.

There would be no life without water