Water Management – GNO, Inc. Career Guide

Water Management

With billions of dollars already spent on coastal restoration and hurricane protection and with billions more to be spent over the next 50 years, an abundance of water related work will continue to drive and diversify the regional economy. Water management work encompasses coastal restoration, coastal protection and urban water management. This is work that occurs both on the coast and inside the levee system. Among the industries targeted by economic development groups in the region, the water management sector is second only to energy when it comes to overall employment. Additionally, no other sector has grown faster in Southeast Louisiana since 2010.

In addition to being the strongest two sectors, water and energy utilize many of the same occupations meaning that there will be particularly high demand for these workers. The nature of work in water management largely follows work similar to that of large civil construction projects. Projects go through two primary phases – planning and engineering and construction and maintenance. Jobs in water management are relatively high paying and offer a spectrum of pathways for a variety of skill levels. The bulk of lower and middle skilled jobs are in the construction phase of a project. Higher skilled positions are needed in the planning, engineering and design phases of a project with the bulk of that need being for scientists and engineers.

At a Glance

  • EMPLOYS 30,350 IN THE GREATER NEW ORLEANS REGION
  • 23% NEW JOB GROWTH OVER THE NEXT DECADE
  • 52% OF JOBS REQUIRE MIDDLE SKILLS
  • 3,250 HIGH SKILL JOB OPENINGS OVER THE NEXT 10 YEARS
  • MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY FOR HIGH SKILL JOBS $73,000
  • 13,632 PROJECTED JOB OPENINGS OVER THE NEXT 10 YEARS

Career Map

Demographics

Over the last several decades, Louisiana (and the U.S. more broadly) has focused on encouraging youth to pursue 4-year degrees at the expense of middle skill career pathways.

As a result, there are relatively fewer younger and mid-career workers in these occupations. This affects all industries that rely on skilled craft workers. Over 20 percent of water management workers are over 55 years old, meaning they will soon retire.

Although a number of these occupations require minimal amounts of preparation for entry-level work, the loss of an experienced workforce will create challenges as employers seek to replace experienced workers exiting the labor force while also hiring to meet new demand.

  • Approximately 1 out of 5 Water Management Workers are 55 Years or Older

Distribution of Skills

The water management sector, which includes both construction products & services and business  services, such as surveying, planning, engineering and design, requires slightly more middle and high skilled workers than other sectors in the overall GNO economy.

What is a middle skill job?

We define middle skill jobs as those that generally require some education and training beyond high school but less than a bachelor’s degree. These postsecondary education and training requirements can include associate’s degrees, industry-based credentials, on-the-job training, previous work experience, or generally ‘some college’ less than a bachelor’s degree. High skill jobs require a bachelor’s degree or higher.

  • Approximately 9 out of 10 Water Management Workers are Middle or High Skilled

Water Management Top High-Skill Jobs

DescriptionEmployed in Industry Group (2015)Change (2015-2025)% of Total Jobs in Industry Group (2015)Median Hourly EarningsTypical Entry Level Education
Civil Engineers1,0626993.40%$43.27Bachelor's degree
Accountants and Auditors6774952.20%$28.25Bachelor's degree
General and Operations Managers9964223.20%$40.48Bachelor's degree
Management Analysts9044002.90%$32.56Bachelor's degree
Mechanical Engineers3722721.20%$46.09Bachelor's degree
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists2841960.90%$23.19Bachelor's degree
Architectural and Engineering Managers3341901.10%$65.53Bachelor's degree
Electrical Engineers3291841.10%$46.75Bachelor's degree
Lawyers2051810.70%$51.41Doctoral or professional degree
Construction Managers4321791.40%$31.74Bachelor's degree

Water Management Top Middle-Skill Jobs

DescriptionEmployed in Industry Group (2015)Change (2015-2025)% of Total Jobs in Industry Group (2015)Median Hourly EarningsTypical Entry Level Education
Sales Representatives, Services, All Other5182811.70%$18.93High school diploma or equivalent
Carpenters5142281.60%$16.22High school diploma or equivalent
Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers5232031.70%$26.80High school diploma or equivalent
Business Operations Specialists5141881.60%$26.11High school diploma or equivalent
Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers4291861.40%$21.75High school diploma or equivalent
Operating Engineers and Construction Equipment Operators4501781.40%$17.38High school diploma or equivalent
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers3721471.20%$20.04High school diploma or equivalent
Computer User Support Specialists3081291.00%$21.84Some college, no degree
Civil Engineering Technicians2781190.90%$21.46Associate's degree
Maintenance and Repair Workers, Genera2721140.90%$15.90High school diploma or equivalent

Training