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The Office of Career Services
Library Building, Room 429 & 430
222-05 56th Avenue
Bayside, NY 11364
Phone: (718) 631-6297

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Occupation Info

Water Pollution Control Inspector

Overview: Water pollution inspectors study sites where runoff water is discharged in state controlled streams, rivers, coastlines and reservoirs. They test for contaminants in sewage treatment sites, farm runoff, mobile parks, etc. and order offenders to correct contamination sources.
Duties: They conduct studies and analyze the run-off and drainage patterns for water that contain chemicals, toxic substances, or bacteria that are harmful to plant and animal life.

They use aerial photographic methods to identify the sources of contaminated or polluted waters. May place dyes in waters of suspected sources.

They conduct chemical analyses to isolate different types of water contaminants and their potential sources such as animal farms, residential septic systems and factory wastes discharges.

Recommend to government agencies what steps must be taken to reduce water contamination in specified areas. They may focus on specific regions such as lowlands lakes, rivers, reservoirs, etc.

Degree(s): A.S. Environmental Science 
Job Outlook: Employment of water pollution control inspectors is expected to grow much faster than average through 2018 spurred by a growing population and increase in number of people in the suburbs.
Starting Salary: Average annual starting salary in government positions is somewhat higher than in private consulting firms.
Salary Range (National Average): $30,000 to $35,000
Education Level: Typically, a Bachelor’s Degree from a 4-year college (some are 5 years) is required to be considered for this occupation.
Additional Training/Education: An associate or bachelor's degree in environmental sciences, hydrology, biology, or geology is the usual background required for this occupation. Courses in chemistry, aquatic biology and computer applications are essential. Most private environmental engineering consulting firms prefer applicants with a master's degree.
Recommended Skills:
  • Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Paying attention to what other people are saying, and taking time to understand the points being made.
  • Allocating and budgeting your time for different tasks so that things get done when needed.
  • The ability to understand complex written paragraphs, instructions, or reports.
  • Using logic to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Using scientific methods to investigate and conduct experiments.
  • Talking, giving speeches, or speaking in a group to convey information, explain ideas, or give instructions.
  • Composing and communicating your ideas in written form.
Recommended Values:
  • Having a job where you can spend a significant amount of time outside.
  • Having a routine job where the duties are very predictable and not likely to change over a long period of time.

* National data collected by the Department of Labor in 2014 with projections through 2024. For New York green job information please click here.
* For New York salary data information please click here
* For New York green job information please click here.

Understanding acquiring positions in this field may be enhanced through continuing academic study (i.e. earning a baccalaureate or a master's degree) and/or work experience in the field, Queensborough Community College has established transfer agreements with other institutions for students who wish to further pursue their educational goals. Students are highly encouraged to meet with one of our Career Services to fully understand the opportunities available through study in their degree program.