Career Advice

CWEA gives you access to an inclusive, collaborative community of professionals that spans roles, career stages, and regions. In this section we’ve gathered some of the best career advice from across our membership.

Water careers can seem intimidating. Spend some time in the profession and we think you’ll find water pros are welcoming and we want to help you succeed. Just keep working at it, studying and striving. You will get there!

This section is generously supported by

WaterTALENT


You may also like: CA Water Jobs   |    Career Resources   |   Career Paths

  • NEWS

       California’s water utilities are hiring now. They’ll hire thousands of highly-skilled professionals for water jobs this year. Your skills as a veteran could be exactly what water utilities are looking for. Dive into the California water profession. We can show you how. This one hour webinar features four veterans who work on the frontlines...

    • NEWS

         Calling all women (and women supporters) who want to feel empowered in the water, wastewater and power industries! Join us if you are interested in pursuing these amazing careers. This very special one hour webinar discussion features four woman who work on the frontlines of California water. We’re also celebrating these amazing water professionals...

      • NEWS

           The CWEA Students and Young Professionals Committee presents a skills building webinar The resume is a marketing tool which acts as a door opener and allows an employer to assess your qualifications quickly in the pre-screening process before interviews. Resumes should be succinct, commanding and truthful while emphasizing skills, strengths and accomplishments. Most resumes...

        • NEWS

            CWEA Students and Young Professionals Committee Personal Skills Builder Webinar The presentation will briefly cover the application process, with pointers on how to write an application that will get you past the Human Resources screening process and onto a supervisors desk for consideration of an interview. In addition, the presentation will explore how to make...

          • NEWS

              As environmental professionals work to address the most pressing challenges of the 21st century, is time dedicated to the California Water Environment Association (AAEES) well spent? The answer from an active volunteer, Wendy Wert, P.E., BCEE, is a resounding yes and a compelling story. Wendy is registered civil engineer with the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts....

            • NEWS

                Read the original profile from Comstock magazine. Cindy Messer was sworn in as chief deputy director of the California Department of Water Resources the day after the Oroville Dam crisis began in February 2017, when damage to both the main and emergency spillways forced the evacuation of more than 180,000 residents. Find more info on...

              • NEWS

                  CWEA’s Kirt Brooks Memorial Scholarship was named after Kirtland “Kirt” Brooks, Association Manager and Bulletin editor for several years in the 1980’s. Kirt had joined the Association in the mid-60’s and become active in the San Francisco bay section and several other northern California sections. Kirt believed that by improving the technical qualification of operators...

                • NEWS

                    Coverage of water workforce topics is supported by waterTALENT Garry Parker, Associate Professor Water Supply Technology, San Bernardino Valley College & Mt San Jacinto College, CWEA Past President 2016 Tenure and certifications held: Plant Maintenance Technologist Grade 4, Electrical Instrumentation Technologist Grade 3 Branch/years of service: US Navy 9 years What is your role? I...

                  • NEWS

                      Rhondi Emmanuel, Administrative Services Manager, Vallecitos Water District Tenure and certifications held: 7 years; IPMA-SCP Branch/years of service: USMC/9 years What is your role? As Administrative Services Manager, I’m responsible for multiple departments including human resources, public information/conservation, information technology, and risk management. What / who inspired you to work in water? To be honest, I never really thought about working in the water industry.  Since my...

                    • NEWS

                        Dale Austin, Senior Pump and Motor Technician Tenure and certifications held: 20 Years D3, T2, Mech Tech 2 Name of agency: Vallecitos Water District Branch/years of service: Army 82/85 Navy 85/90   What is your role? As a Senior pump tech, I’m responsible for all water pump and pressure stations. Sewer lift stations, Emergency generators,...

                      • NEWS

                          Support for our coverage of Women in Water is provided by DN Tanks. The Professional Development Committee and the Students and Young Professionals Committee of the San Francisco Bay Section of the CWEA held a Supporting Women in Wastewater Workshop and networking dinner on May 9, 2019. The event had almost 90 attendees and kicked...

                        • NEWS

                            Meet Cari Dale, Water Utilities Director, City of Oceanside, a recipient of the Kirt Brooks Memorial Water Environment Scholarship in 2004. Cari graduated from Cal State San Bernardino with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with an emphasis on Water Resources in 2005. Her Master’s project focused on Achieving Effective Asset Management for Water and Wastewater...

                          • NEWS

                              Coverage of water workforce topics supported by waterTALENT Debi Lewis Past President 2017-2018 Professional Engineer Stantec Debi Lewis’ career began in business administration working for an ad agency. She started as a secretary in the Pasadena office of James M. Montgomery, which later became MWH and is now Stantec. Eventually she became an office manager...

                            • NEWS

                                Theodore Higgins has moved steadily taking on roles of greater responsibility in his 16 years at the Industrial Waste Management Division at the city of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation. Now he’s helping create advancement opportunities for his inspections colleagues through the creation of the Professional Development and Work Exposure Program. The program encourages the...

                              • NEWS

                                  Support for our coverage of Women in Water is provided by DN Tanks. We’re hiring! Water and wastewater utilities across California need talented, hard working professionals to help keep our water clean and healthy. This interview is with: Elizabeth Meyerhoff Environmental Specialist Coachella Valley Water District The interviewer is CWEA leader: Judith Marquez Innovare Environmental...

                                • NEWS

                                    There is no doubt that CWEA has played a huge role in my career and continues to open doors and present opportunities for my future growth in our exciting industry. It feels like yesterday I was attending my first workshop and studying for my first certification. Little did I know that one day I would...

                                  • NEWS

                                      In keeping with the October Wastewater Professional theme of “Women in Water,” the CWEA History Committee has produced a brief profile of a woman who was a pioneer in the history of CWEA’s governance. Background Historically, the wastewater collection and treatment field in California was dominated by men through most of the 20th century.  And,...

                                    • NEWS

                                        California’s water and wastewater agencies need approximately 6,000 new workers every year and that number continues to grow as more and more water professionals retire. Water careers provide an incredible opportunity for individuals who enjoy working with their hands, working outdoors and working as part of a larger team. Water careers offer great salaries and...

                                      • NEWS

                                          Director of Wastewater at EBMUD treatment plant, Eileen White, discusses her career in the industry. #womenimpactingwater

                                        • NEWS

                                            Support for our coverage of Women in Water is provided by DN Tanks. Video produced by the Water Career Pathways program at West Valley College. #womenimpactingwater

                                          • NEWS

                                              About this series:  Each month CWEA is interviewing an innovative thinker in the water profession. We’re asking each person “The future of the water profession is …” Juan Guerreiro Deputy Director City of San Diego, Public Utilities Department Grade V Wastewater Treatment Operator, SWRCB Dual-Associate Degrees, Water and Wastewater, Cuyamaca College Bachelors Degree, San Diego State University...

                                            • NEWS

                                                About this series:  Each month CWEA is interviewing an innovative thinker in the water profession. We’re asking each person “The future of the water profession is …” Prior to becoming a water professional, Richard Salas worked for McDonald Douglas as a structural mechanic. “Working at McDonald Douglas gave me an appreciation of attention to detail,” Richard...

                                              • NEWS

                                                  According to the Workforce Survey from Baywork, Bay Area utilities will need aboutt 828 new workers over the next three years in the electrical, mechanics and instrumentation categories. Electrical Instrumentation techs is one of the most in demand practice areas in our profession . Every agency is looking for one it seems. The water sector...

                                                • NEWS

                                                    Support for our coverage of Women in Water is provided by DN Tanks. CWEA had the fortunate opportunity to conduct a round table discussion with four inspiring California water leaders. Debi Lewis, Kathy Suter, Tracy Stigers and Heather Collins shared personal experiences of being a woman working in water. Our conversation included the narrowing gender...

                                                  • NEWS

                                                        State SJWP Competition Entry Deadline: April 15, 2018| ENTER COMPETITION To be eligible for the state competition, students must complete the online entry form and electronically submit their research paper. There are no specific paper guidelines at the state level, however the file cannot be larger than 2MB. Teams of one or two students may enter....

                                                    • NEWS

                                                        For Lisa Arroyo, wastewater systems manager for the City of Santa Barbara, the hardest part of being a women in the clean water profession is balancing family with a job. “I have two small children,” she explains. “Sometimes it is hard to turn off work and concentrate on being a mom. Changing your focus is...

                                                      • NEWS

                                                           Years ago, Amber Baylor read Marc Reisner’s Cadillac Desert, packed up her car, and headed for California. She’s never looked back. “California represented the most complex water system in the world,” she says, “and I wanted to be part of it.” She got her wish and after 10 years managing a water quality laboratory, she...

                                                        • NEWS

                                                            Only one in seven engineers in the United States is a woman, according to the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress. And in wastewater, only one in 20 treatment plant operators across the country is a woman (The Institute for Women’s Policy Research). So, is the gender ration any more balanced in California? Yes...

                                                          • NEWS

                                                              Michelle Tarantino is one of only two women in the group of 20 operators at the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District in Martinez. Yet she sees no particular barriers keeping women from the field, as long as they are determined to succeed and willing to put in the time. “The sky is the limit for...

                                                            • NEWS

                                                                Find water jobs at CAWaterJobs.org Emmanuel Sarpong Operations Technician Foreman Desert Water Agency Emmanuel served 4 years in the US Marine Corps.

                                                              • NEWS

                                                                  When the “One Water” plant of the future finally arrives, Amanda Bird will feel right at home. A Grade V Operator at the Santa Cruz wastewater treatment plant, she’s excited about the future of the profession. She foresees the day when wastewater, drinking water, water recycle, biosolids management and energy generation will be combined into a single, efficient public...

                                                                • NEWS

                                                                    The Bay Area Consortium for Clean Water Education is offering community college classes and scholarships for students seeking a career in the water and wastewater industry. Registration is now open for continuing or new students. The first class begins Wednesday evening, August 30th in Redwood City at 1400 Radio Road, from 6 to 9 p.m....