National Water Industry


The Water Industry provides essential services to communities and businesses across Australia. The main function of the Water Industry is to provide drinking water and wastewater services. However, the Water Industry also supplies irrigation water to farmers and manages ground water for the Mining Industry.

What does this industry cover?

  • Water treatment
  • Water supply
  • Water distribution
  • Wastewater collection, treatment and recycling
  • Water quality management

Industry Information

There are 340 employers in the water industry, with only 20% employing more than 20 people.

A total of 30,700 people work in the water industry. This number is expected to increase by 1.7% to 31,200 by 2020.

Australian Apprenticeships often start with a Certificate II or III in Water Operations. Apprenticeship and traineeship commencements in this industry are moderate.

Employment and wage data for this industry

Apprenticeships Employment Size

This is a small industry for Australian Apprenticeship commencements. In the year to September 2019, commencements were: 356

Source: VOCSTATS, extracted on 14/04/2020. AATIS analysis.

Commencements Change

Commencements in the year to September 2019 in this industry have remained stable, compared with the previous year.

Source: VOCSTATS, extracted on 14/04/2020. AATIS analysis.

Apprentice Employment Outcomes

For Australian Apprentice graduates from this industry, employment outcomes are high.

Source: NCVER National Student Outcomes Survey, 2017, unpublished. AATIS analysis.

Industry Employment Size

This is a small to medium sized industry compared with other Australian industries.

Source: Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2019. AATIS analysis.

Industry Employment Change

Over the past 5 years, change in employment in this industry has remained stable.

Source: Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2019. AATIS analysis.

Industry Wage

The average wage of all employees in this industry is medium.

Source: Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2019. AATIS analysis.

Key Occupations

Water & Wastewater Treatment Operators

Networks Maintenance Workers


Environmental Advisers

Water Quality Officers

Trade Waste Operators

Dam Safety Operators

This industry is positioned in the following groups


Electrical, Electronics & Utilities

Work Type

Practical & Manual

Analytic & Scientific

Ready to see where the Water Industry can take you?

Career Pathways

The National Water Industry has career pathways from Certificate II through to Diploma. Look at the Job Pathways Chart to see what is of interest.

Job Pathway Chart

Practice Aptitude Quiz

This resource illustrates the maths and literacy needed to complete the entry level training in this sector.

Download The Quiz

Support Services

Further Research


Industry information is published by peak level associations, government and major employers.  Accessing industry association sites, including member lists, is a good way of building up an understanding of an industry.  Visiting employer websites and looking for careers or employment menus helps identify how employers recruit and the skills they are recruiting.

Use Google to search for the associations and organisations listed below. 


  • Australian Industry Standards
  • Water Industry Operators Association of Australia
  • Australian Water Association
  • Water Services Association of Australia

Other useful Links

  • Department of the Environment and Energy
  • National Atlas of Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems
  • Land & Water Australia

State and Territories Water Agencies

  • Icon Water - ACT
  • Sydney Water - NSW
  • NSW Water providers
  • Power and Water Corporation NT
  • Queensland Water
  • SA Water
  • TAS Water
  • Victorian Water Corporation
  • Water Corporation of WA

Careers Sites