Career Pathways


In this presentation Troy Pettiford tells the story of his progression from tools to COO, beginning as plumber years ago to today where he is Whitsunday Regional Council’s Chief Operating Officer. The steps that he took have involved many changes in outlook: from a task oriented on-the-tools operator, to being required to managing a small team, to now where his role requires a completely different strategic focus in order to operate effectively as a director, board member and chairperson of the qldwater TRG. Troy describes the key skills that he has developed over the years with the help of mentors along the way, including self-awareness, communication, delegation, and encourages participation in mentoring programs to develop the next generation of leaders.

The Water Industry Operators Association (WIOA) has a range of videos promoting various roles in the industry. 

See more at

Australian Industry Standards (AIS) produced this video about career options in the water industry.

Unitywater Resources

Unitywater has a range of excellent resources for water industry workers, including career pathways and work experience opportunities. Check out their website.

Sunwater Digital Open Day for Dams

In 2020, Sunwater used augmented reality to host its usual Dam Open Days online. Participants can learn more about Callide and Burdekin Falls dams including how our dams work, safety at storages, and how to prepare for weather events.

A web-based Virtual Reality (VR) version of the experience is available and can be viewed on desktop computer. Sunwater’s web-VR experience is available here. To access the features of the web-VR tool, use right mouse click to move direction, and scroll to zoom in and out.

Fact Sheets

What is your future role in the Queensland Water Industry?

Find your favourite job category from the list and refer to the Fact Sheet for further information about the role and how you can get started in the industry.

Fact Sheet 1: Trades

If you enjoy practical and manual work, want a hands on approach to work and like to be action orientated, then a role in Trades in the water industry could be for you.  Roles span across a variety of activities and include electricians, plumbers, fitters and welders.

Fact Sheet 2: Business Services

Do you have good communication skills and enjoy problem solving, planning and organising? Then a career in Business Services could interest you. Business Services roles include human resources, customer services, contract management, marketing and information and technology services. 

Fact Sheet 3: Treatment Operations

If you like mathematics and science, enjoy roles with a high level of responsibility and want a role that benefits your local community; then the water industry provides numerous opportunities to work at water and sewage treatment plants across the State.

Fact Sheet 4: Field Services

If you enjoy practical and manual work, have an interest in how things work and like to work as part of a team, then field services may be the area for you.  Field services are responsible for the construction and ongoing repair and maintenance of sewerage systems and water supply networks.

Fact Sheet 5: Environment

People with critical and enquiring minds and an interest in conservation would enjoy the opportunities presented in the water sector, where environmental roles help to better manage water resources, improve water quality and identify and manage new or existing impacts on the environment.

Fact Sheet 6: Engineering

Water engineers need good problem solving skills and need to enjoy working with computers. Engineers work in planning, designing, building or analysing the hardware for collecting, storing, purifying, delivering and managing water. There are a variety of Engineering fields employed in the Water industry including Chemical, Civil or Environmental Engineering.

Fact Sheet 7: Policy and Planning

If you enjoy problem solving, have a strong analytical mind and like processing complex information, then Policy and Planning could be of interest. Policy and planning professionals cover a broad area and are central to providing workable and innovative solutions to the problems faced in the water industry.