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Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators

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What is a Water Treatment Plant & System Operator?

Example of a Water Treatment Plant & System Operator Job Operate or control an entire process or system of machines, often through the use of control boards, to transfer or treat water or wastewater.

Daily Life Of a Water Treatment Plant & System Operator

  • Add chemicals, such as ammonia, chlorine, or lime, to disinfect and deodorize water and other liquids.
  • Collect and test water and sewage samples, using test equipment and color analysis standards.
  • Direct and coordinate plant workers engaged in routine operations and maintenance activities.
  • Inspect equipment or monitor operating conditions, meters, and gauges to determine load requirements and detect malfunctions.
  • Clean and maintain tanks, filter beds, and other work areas, using hand tools and power tools.
  • Maintain, repair, and lubricate equipment, using hand tools and power tools.

What Every Water Treatment Plant & System Operator Should Know

When polled, Water Treatment Plant and System Operators say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Quality Control Analysis: Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Types of Water Treatment Plant & System Operator Jobs

  • Wastewater Technician
  • Filter Tender
  • Water Purifier Operator
  • Disposal Operator
  • Water Treatment Plant Operator

Water Treatment Plant & System Operator Job Outlook

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 119,200 jobs in the United States for Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators.

Water Treatment Plant and System Operator jobs are decreasing by a rate of -3.2%. This means the total job opportunities are shrinking. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a loss of -3,800 jobs for Water Treatment Plant and System Operators by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 9,200 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Water Treatment Plant and System Operators in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators are Texas, Colorado, and Washington.

Watch out if you plan on working in California, Ohio, or Pennsylvania. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for Water Treatment Plant and System Operators

The salary for Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators ranges between about $28,300 and $76,200 a year. The median salary for this occupation is $46,780.

Salary Ranges for Water Treatment Plant and System Operators

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for jobs of this type in different U.S. states.

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

California

$72,650

Connecticut

$66,560

Washington

$63,520

Alaska

$63,160

Nevada

$63,110

New Jersey

$59,590

New York

$59,190

Massachusetts

$57,320

Illinois

$57,310

Colorado

$55,890

Oregon

$55,780

Minnesota

$53,930

Hawaii

$53,530

Wyoming

$52,710

Wisconsin

$51,540

Rhode Island

$51,390

New Hampshire

$50,960

Pennsylvania

$49,810

Ohio

$49,060

Florida

$48,710

Maryland

$48,080

Vermont

$47,930

Michigan

$47,540

Arizona

$46,780

Utah

$46,480

Virginia

$46,310

Maine

$46,140

Delaware

$45,960

South Carolina

$45,240

Nebraska

$45,180

Iowa

$45,060

Idaho

$44,970

Alabama

$43,890

Missouri

$43,400

Montana

$43,270

Indiana

$42,750

North Carolina

$42,730

South Dakota

$42,580

New Mexico

$42,370

Tennessee

$41,910

Kansas

$40,210

Texas

$39,360

Georgia

$39,280

North Dakota

$38,950

Kentucky

$38,540

Louisiana

$36,910

Mississippi

$36,760

West Virginia

$36,480

Arkansas

$35,380

Oklahoma

$35,130

Tools & Technologies Used by Water Treatment Plant and System Operators

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Water Treatment Plant and System Operators:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Office

How to Become a Water Treatment Plant & System Operator

Are there Water Treatment Plant and System Operator education requirements?

Water Treatment Plant & System Operator Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Water Treatment Plant & System Operator?

Water Treatment Plant & System Operator Work Experience

Where Water Treatment Plant and System Operators Are Employed

Water Treatment Plant & System Operator Sectors

Those thinking about becoming Water Treatment Plant and System Operators might also be interested in the following careers:

  • Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators, and Gaugers
  • Mechanical Door Repairers
  • Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay

Career changers with experience as a Water Treatment Plant and System Operator sometimes find work in one of the following fields:

  • Forest and Conservation Workers

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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