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Irrigation Engineer

Design and assemble systems for watering crops.

What does an Irrigation Engineer do?

Some areas are fertile grounds for planting crops. They receive the perfect amount of rain and have soil that holds moisture but drains just the right amount. If a farmer grows crops in one of these areas, Mother Nature is in charge of the watering. But for the rest of the world, the person in charge is the irrigation engineer.

As an irrigation engineer, you create watering systems for challenging projects. Typically your focus is agricultural crops, but you also work on other major projects such as dams, canals, or drainage systems. Projects vary in terms of duration and construction requirements. While a local farmer’s field might take several days, a dam will most likely keep you hopping for a few years. The task of damming a river, watering a thousand acres of corn, or building a canal across a piece of land is no easy feat, but you’re up to the challenge.

With your computer-aided design (CAD) software, you analyze every segment of the project and transform your ideas into a visual blueprint. This requires more than just plugging in a few numbers. You consider the slope of the ground, consistency of the soil, types of pumps required, number of sprinkler heads that will cover the area, availability of existing water supply, strength of materials, and necessity of filters.

Once the project is approved and underway, you monitor the entire process, make sure it stays on budget and within timeline constraints, constantly update designs as problems arise, and test the system upon completion.