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It takes a long line of specialized jobs and people to get fresh water from the natural source to the faucet. See a preview of some of the careers needed to access and protect groundwater here. For more information and resources on groundwater careers, visit the link below.  

Image of person operating a drilling rig.

Groundwater Professional

A driller has different responsibilities depending on what you are trying to access. A groundwater driller needs to know not only how to operate a drilling rig, but also the geology of the area, a working knowledge of drilling fluids, state and local construction codes and permitting requirements, among many other various details. These drillers are like superheroes of the underground, needing special training to make sure our drinking water is reached safely. They're not just digging holes; they're skilled professionals ensuring we have access to clean and safe water.

Image of a geoscientists looking through a microscope at a rock thin section.


Hydrogeologists, groundwater hydrologists, and engineers are people who study and assess everything about groundwater. They look at how much water there is, its quality, how reliable it is, and if it can be used sustainably. These experts usually have degrees in geoscience, which is the study of the Earth. These professionals are like detectives who investigate and understand everything about the water beneath our feet, making sure we know how much we have, how clean it is, and how we can use it wisely.

Image of drilling rig with three people working on or near the rig.

Field Technician

A field sampling technician gathers essential data to explore and understand geological conditions, environmental quality, and natural resources. They use a variety of advanced tools, both electronic and manual, to collect soil and groundwater samples. They're on a mission to provide valuable information that helps us appreciate and manage our environment wisely.

Two professionals looking at documents with a river in the background.


A regulator is like a guardian making sure the water we drink is safe for everyone. These regulators work for the government at different levels (local, state, or federal) and their job is to make sure that people, businesses, and government bodies stick to the rules and guidelines related to providing clean drinking water.

Their main focus is on public health and safety, making sure that what comes out of our taps won't harm us. They have tasks like checking applications, plans, and reports related to water safety, making sure everything is in order. They also help create and interpret the rules about water safety. In a nutshell, they're the watchful eyes making sure we all have access to safe and clean drinking water.

A person working on a large municipal pump.

Pump Installer

These folks need to know a lot about the various types of pumps that make water flow in homes, businesses, and cities. It's not just about putting them in place - they should be able to take them apart, fix them up, and put them back together.

They're like the maestros of water systems, knowing how to handle water tanks, pipes, and sometimes even water treatment gadgets.

And guess what? They're the problem solvers too! If anything goes wonky with any part of the water system, these installers are the ones who figure out what's wrong and make everything flow perfectly again. They're the behind-the-scenes heroes making sure our water systems run like a well-tuned orchestra.

A man crouched down at a river in the woods taking water quality measurements.

Water Quality

A water treatment specialist go around collecting samples and checking the water to make sure it's good to drink. If there's an issue, like the water being too hard or having weird smells or tastes, they're the ones who figure out what's going on.

These specialists can work for companies that dig wells or specifically focus on treating water. But here's the cool part: they not only fix the water quality problems but can also tell if there's something wrong with the well itself. It's like being a doctor for both the water and the well it comes from!

A map of groundwater career pathways that looks like a game board.

Start Your Career

Careers within the groundwater industry range from entry-level positions with no experience or education needed to professional careers requiring extensive experience or scientific degrees. The online courses built through NGWA University can provide the skills and information needed to get started in a groundwater career, no matter where you are starting your journey. With options for certificates, licenses, undergraduate and graduate degrees, you can start or stop your career path when you have reached your desired goal. 

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