Water Quality Specialist I (Grade 19)
Montgomery County Government
Department of Environmental Protection
2425 Reedie Drive, Wheaton, Maryland 20902

Salary Range: $58,578 to $92,646

The mission of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is to enhance the quality of life in our community by protecting and improving Montgomery County’s air, water, and land in a sustainable, innovative, inclusive, and industry-leading way while fostering smart growth, a thriving more sustainable economy and healthy communities.  DEP is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals and values diverse perspectives, lived experiences, and cultures. DEP encourages BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color), immigrants, women, LGBTQIA+, individuals with disabilities and veterans to apply.

DEP is seeking to fill a Water Quality Specialist I within the Planning and Monitoring Section of the Watershed Restoration Division.  The position will be part of the Stream Monitoring group and will work under the supervision of the Senior Water Quality Specialist who is responsible for managing the Stream Monitoring program.  The Stream Monitoring team is responsible for monitoring water quality across the County with a focus on Municipal Separate Stormwater and Sewer System (MS4) monitoring, Special Protection Area (SPA) monitoring, and restoration monitoring.

Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Conducting various field laboratory data collection activities including benthic macroinvertebrate monitoring; fish monitoring; geomorphic monitoring; and temperature, conductivity, and other water quality monitoring.
  • Entering, analyzing and managing data collected during field and laboratory work.
  • Performing analyses on water quality, biological, geomorphic, and other environmental data.
  • Developing and creating basic maps and graphics for the effective communication of data.
  • Assisting staff with producing reports and summaries of monitoring activities for use in MS4 Annual Reports, SPA Annual Reports, web maps, websites, blogs and outreach/education materials.
  • Providing support to team members, internal, and external stakeholders to ensure the effective use of water quality monitoring data.

The work is primarily performed out-of-doors, along stream banks and in streams and ponds, during all weather conditions, and may involve deep or swiftly moving water or human or animal wastes from sanitary sewer leaks. There is occasionally some risk in the work involving slipping in deep or swiftly moving water, snakes and other harmful animals, exposure to chemicals used in fixing collected samples, and electric shock from a fish shocking device. Proper precautions must be taken including proper attire, boots, hand protection and proper grounding for the fish-shocking device. The work requires light physical effort such as walking over rough, uneven, slippery or rocky surfaces; bending, crouching, stooping, stretching or reaching; or occasional lifting of objects up to 50 pounds.

The incumbent for this position must attend the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Biological Stream Survey (MBSS) spring and summer training within the first 12 months and must earn certification for benthic macroinvertebrate sampling and benthic macroinvertebrate processing and subsampling. The incumbent to the position must maintain the certifications.

This position requires possession and maintenance of a valid driver’s license and the ability to drive a County vehicle to visit sites for field sampling, transport equipment, conduct surveys, and/or observe or inspect construction sites, and perform other work at locations throughout Montgomery County.

Occasional evening or weekend work outside of normal business hours may be required.

To ensure a positive workplace and to comply with federal, state and County laws, the incumbent is responsible for completing mandatory trainings within the first three to six months or within the specified timeframe.

For information about Montgomery County Government’s comprehensive benefits package, please visit the MCG Total Rewards webpage and check out our competitive benefits!


Experience:  One (1) year of professional experience in stream water sampling and data analysis, bio-assessment protocols for streams and rivers (particularly fish and macro-invertebrates) and the assessment of stream habitat conditions.

Education:  Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, Aquatic Ecology, Limnology, Natural Resource Management, Environmental Science or a related field from an accredited college or university.

Equivalency: An equivalent combination of education and experience may be substituted.

License:  Possession and maintenance of a valid Class “C” (or equivalent) driver’s license from the applicant’s state of residence.


There are NO Preferred Criteria Assessments. All Applicants will be reviewed by the Office of Human Resources (OHR) for minimum qualifications.  Those applicants who meet minimum qualifications will be rated “Qualified”, placed on the eligible list, and may be considered for an interview.  Employees meeting minimum qualifications of the same grade or higher will be placed on the Eligible List as a “Transfer” candidate and may be considered for an interview.

Preference for interviews will be given to applicants with experience in the following.  Please address this information in a separate section of the resume.

  • Experience with field sampling and assessment activities including monitoring surface water quality, hydrology, channel morphology, habitat assessment and other activities in support of monitoring.
  • Experience completing reports and presenting summaries on monitoring results and trends within established timelines and suitable for diverse audiences and regulatory decision making.
  • Experience with stream ecological concepts and identifying benthic macroinvertebrate taxa and freshwater fish species common to the mid-Atlantic region.
  • Experience evaluating effectiveness of stormwater best management practices using local, state, and federal agency standards.
  • Experience performing laboratory functions including benthic macroinvertebrate subsampling, equipment maintenance and calibration, and following established procedures and protocols.
  • Experience using basic analytical applications, database, and GIS tools. This includes ArcGIS, R Studio, and SQL Server Studio.

If selected for consideration for this position, you may be required to provide evidence that you possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities indicated on your resume.

Montgomery County Government offers competitive salaries and excellent benefits.

To view the complete job announcement and to apply, please visit our website at https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/HR/Recruitment/MCGCareers.html  
and click on the “Search Jobs and Apply” tab. Read the full job description under the “General Professional” Job Category. Interested candidates must create an online account in order to apply.

The requisition number is IRC61505.

This Recruitment Closes February 14, 2024.

All resume submissions must address the preferred criteria for the position, which are listed in the full advertisement, preferably in a separate section of the resume.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Resume Preparation Tips listed under the “Career Resources” tab on the Office of Human Resource’s WORK4MCG webpage.