Waterblogged.info’s first job fair!

According to this article in the unfortunately named Water & Wastes Digest (a journal, maybe the journal, for water and waste-water treatment professionals) the industry is on a collision course with a staffing crisis. The current cadre of largely baby-boomer water delivery technicians are quickly reaching retirement age and there is a dearth of young trained professionals ready to step up to whatever it is you would step up to at a treatment facility. From the article:

According to the recent Water & Wastes Digest State of the Industry Report, the average water/wastewater professional has been working in the industry for 22 years. Almost one-third (30%) of 10,000 randomly surveyed subscribers to Water & Wastes Digest have been in the industry for 30 years or more. Additionally, 41.5% of respondents said they are between the ages of 50 and 59.

It doesn’t take much to see that Baby Boomers currently hold many critical positions and as they reach retirement, there won’t be young professionals galore waiting to enter the water and wastewater field. This problem is even more severe in rural areas and remote locations where it is especially challenging to find, train and keep skilled employees.

What’s more alarming is that many utilities could find themselves in such desperate need to fill vacancies that they may end up hiring people lacking the technical know-how and experience necessary for the job.

Hey kids, want Waterblogged.info’s advice? Of course you do! Head on over to Water & Wastes Digests web site and nose around through their content, particularly the Zone link. If your eyes don’t glaze over reading about filtration, membrane technology, and ultraviolet disinfection, and that indie band or hip hop career isn’t taking off as planned, check out your local community college or university for the relevant training. We’re talkin’ recession-proof employment here. (At social gatherings, you might just want to say that you’re in the water management field and skip the wastewater part. Just sayin’. . . .)

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One Response

  1. These comments are right on. The problem is finding people who want the career in water. Case in point – close to a third of the USGS hydrology field staff today – will be ready to be retire within the next few years. Only a couple of colleges provide the basic hydrotech training that leads to an entry level position.

    Recruitment is a problem. Consider some of the most challenging jobs may be situated in locations that are not desirable. Looking for a good job? Yeah, we have job and the challenge. Are you willing to step up to the plate and invest the time and effort?

    By the way – the job is becoming more interesting due to the need and the newest technologies employed. School gave you the basics – the field gives you the education…

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