The South Australian water industry employs 1,200 people, which is around 0.2% of the State’s workforce.

The growth of interest in environmental management, water recycling and implementation of major projects such as desalination plants is expected to contribute to increasing demand for workers in this industry.

Most people working in this industry work in water utility companies and local government.

More than half the workforce is employed in regional South Australia.


Job openings for skilled workers


Quick facts about this industry

  • Science and maths are important to train and work in this industry.
  • Over 80% of the workforce are employed full-time.
  • Two fifths of the workforce have a university degree or higher qualification.
  • The majority of workers are men.
  • People are younger than the average age of the South Australian workforce.
  • You need to be able to work independently and systematically and be willing to work outdoors in variable weather.
  • Full-time workers in this industry earn between $1,000 and $1,200 per week. Environmental scientists (water quality analysts) earn between $1,250 and $1,500 per week.

Vocational qualifications include:

  • Certificate II – Diploma in Water Industry Operations
  • Certificates III and IV in Water Industry Treatment
  • Certificate II – Advanced Diploma in Conservation and Land Management
  • Certificates II – IV in Irrigation

See courses related to this industry

University disciplines include:

  • Civil and environmental engineering
  • Environmental science
  • Hydrology
  • Marine science
  • Water resource management engineering

Explore university courses offered in South Australia, including courses from:

For more information about university courses visit South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC) or for information about student satisfaction visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT).

Apply to study

For application information for South Australian universities and some TAFE SA courses, visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

For enrolment in WorkReady vocational courses see how to enrol for training.

For more information, call the Skills and Employment Infoline on
1800 506 266.

Occupations in this industry

The water industry includes both traditional operations and emerging environmental technologies and practices. Traditional operations include treating water to make it suitable to drink, treating sewerage to make it suitable for other purposes, and maintaining the network of pipes.

An emerging sector is the ‘purple pipe’ industry, which harvests stormwater and treated output from sewerage plants, stores it in underground aquifers and cleans it by flowing it through wetlands.

Hydrologists measure, analyse and maintain the quantity and quality of water in rivers, lakes, stormwater and sewage. They use this information to plan and develop strategies for water conservation and the improvement of water quality.

Key occupations

Other occupations in this industry include:

Biologist, civil engineer, environmental adviser, environmental health and safety officer, occupational health and safety officer, reservoir and catchment operator, science field officer, science technician, systems designer and manager, water and wastewater plant operator, water inspector, water quality officer, water services officer or water treatment plant operation.

Related industries for these occupations

Useful links

Career information has been sourced from government publications. See data sources for more information.

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