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Becoming a Sanitary Engineer: What To Know

The engineering world is rife with a diverse range of career paths. From electrical and chemical to civil and mechanical engineering, the possibilities of this field are limitless. One path—sanitary engineering—is perhaps less known than its counterparts.

However, it’s still an intriguing and important sector of the engineering world. Those who have an interest in the industry should consider it. Explore this brief guide to learn about becoming a sanitary engineer. You never know; it might just be your perfect career path.

Sanitary Engineering Defined  

Before diving into the specifics of sanitary engineering, we must first understand the job description. Essentially, a sanitary engineer is a civil engineering professional specializing in sewage and wastewater management applications. Sanitary engineers might use their skills to perfect equipment like backflow preventers to enhance public health and safety.

Generally speaking, sanitary engineering work involves:

  • Assuring a healthy supply of drinking water.
  • Healthy management of sewage and wastewater.
  • Removal or treatment of garbage in populated areas.

These are just a few general examples of what sanitary engineers do. But this important industry is constantly evolving.

Education and Credentials

A solid education and other credentials are required to become a qualified sanitary engineer. Most engineers need at least a four-year bachelor’s degree in their specific vocation before their adequately prepared for the field. Sanitary engineering professionals are no exception to this rule.

The best sanitary engineers go above and beyond the standard bachelor’s degree by pursuing further credentials. For instance, many engineers in this industry obtain an ASSE certification. They might also earn:

  • OSHA Safety Certificate
  • Certified Environmental Safety Manager Certificate 

Doing so ensures that they’re the very best at their jobs. It makes staying ahead of the competition much easier. Finally, some of these other certificates are required, depending on the work you want to specialize in.

A Day in the Life

By now, we should understand what sanitary engineers are and the basics of how to become one. But we still need some clarification on what they do daily. Like most professionals in this field, the duties of a sanitary engineer can vary.

But typically, they’re directing and contributing to the design of hygienic projects, such as:

  • Waterwork plants
  • Sewage or garbage plants
  • Trash disposal plants 

Sanitary engineers are responsible for overseeing the design and construction of these projects. They are also there to ensure that these projects meet all the proper standards and regulations.

Sanitary engineering is a fascinating field filled with opportunity for those who choose it.

Hopefully, we were able to shed some light on this lesser-known engineering sector so that you can decide if it’s the right path for you.

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Written by Logan Voss

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