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A drainage engineer is responsible for designing systems that move water or sewage from one place to another, as safely and efficiently as possible. This is a highly technical role involving use of advanced computer modelling tools.


Average salaries are in the region of £30,000.00 to £45,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location / employer

Career Profile

A drainage engineer is responsible for designing systems that move water or sewage from one place to another, as safely and efficiently as possible.

What they do

Working as a Drainage Engineer is a highly technical role involving use of advanced computer modelling tools.

Effective drainage is required across a whole range of environments, from towns and cities to roads and rivers, and the drainage engineer’s role is to develop solutions for the control and handling of water in its various ‘forms’.

This includes:

  • Wastewater
  • Rainwater
  • Sewage

This role could also involve helping to design flood management or defence systems. 

A drainage engineer’s role combines the need for in-depth understanding of physics and computer-based designs tools with a significant amount of site work from initial planning to overseeing the construction stage.

Costs, timing, sustainability issues and aesthetics are also key considerations of every project so the drainage engineer’s design plan will have to take all of these into account.

As a Drainage Engineer, you would be: 

  • Leading project meetings
  • Visiting site to gain an understanding of the project
  • Planning the drainage system using computer modelling software
  • Liaising with other teams and departments
  • Preparing costs and schedules
  • Working with clients to ensure that their requirements are fulfilled and expectations met
  • Assessing the environmental impact of proposed works
  • Keeping up to date with changing legislation and codes of practice to ensure compliance
  • Answering technical queries
  • Visiting the site during construction to make sure the works are completed to specification

Hours & Salary

  • Newly trained drainage engineers can earn in the region of £23,000-£30,000
  • Trained with experience drainage engineers can earn in the region of £30,000-£45,000
  • Senior, chartered or master drainage engineers can earn in the region of £45,000-£70,000

Salaries typically range depending on location and level of responsibility. Salaries and career options improve with chartered status.

A career as a drainage engineer will usually involve working standard office hours, Monday to Friday, but there are likely to be occasions when it is necessary to work late, particularly in more senior roles. 


 

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Qualifications & Training

What qualifications or subjects do I need for this role?

There are a variety of degree subjects that are accepted for entry into the profession, including: 

  • Geology
  • Geography
  • Geophysics
  • Geotechnology
  • Civil Engineering 
  • Physics
  • Engineering

Want to find out more?

Try our Matching Service for work experience opportunities in your local area, with new opportunities being added on a regular basis.  

Looking for a vacancy?

Here are some construction vacancy websites you may find useful: 

Indeed

Reed

The number of job vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary daily, as these are external websites. Check regularly to see new opportunities as they are posted.

Career trends and forecasts

1090 additional staff needed

The UK construction industry will need an additional 1090 civil engineers (which includes drainage engineers) to meet demand every year from 2017 until 2021, according to the latest Construction Skills Network research (LMI).

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