WWTP Operators Salary 2018: How Much Money Do They Make

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hourly pay for Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators
do Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators make a lot of money

Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators

Other names for this job might include Basin Tender, Biosolids Management Technician, Clarifying Plant Operator, Dispatcher, Disposal Operator, Disposal Plant Operator, Drinking Water Technician, Filter Tender, Filterer, Filtration Operator

  • $47930
  • 72%
    Job satisfaction
  • Medium
    Becoming one
  • Medium
    Job growth
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How Much Do WWTP Operators Make In 2018

In this salary guide, you will find out how much do Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators make.

After reading this, you will be able to make a decision if working as a Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operator will suit your financial goals (e.g: buying a home, BMW or just your target salary goal).

Average salary

Annual salary
$47930 per year

Hourly wage
$23.040 per hour

One of the most popular questions we get from our readers here at OwlGuru is how much do WWTP Operators make per year and what is their hourly wage.

According to BLS, the average annual salary of WWTP Operators is $47930. Their salary can also be as low as $27550 if you’re still a newbie with no experience to over $73120 if you have a ton of experience under your belt.

The typical hourly pay is $23.040 and can range from $13.250 to $35.150 which also depends if you’re a newbie or a professional.

Just like any other job, the salary of A WWTP Operator will vary based on your education and experience level.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.
Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of A WWTP Operator to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank.

This compares the salary of all careers and we give them a rank of A, B, C or D depending on how high or low is their average salary.

After comparing how much do WWTP Operators make with other careers, they have a salary rank of C.

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Salary range

Highest (Top 10%)$35.150$73120
Senior (Top 25%)$28.090$58420
Middle (Mid 50%)$22.000$45760
Junior (Bottom 25%)$16.960$35270
No experience (Bottom 10%)$13.250$27550

Entry-level WWTP Operators who starts out at $35270 can expect to make $45760 after 3-5 years of experience in the field.

The bottom 10% makes less than $13.250 per hour while the top 10% makes over $35.150 per hour.

While the median wage is $45760 per annum or $22.000 per hour.

Depending on who you work for, you might also get overtime pay.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.

Highest paying industries

Industry nameHourly wageAnnual salary
Natural Gas Distribution42.989240
Wholesale Electronic Markets and Agents and Brokers31.966350
Metal Ore Mining30.1662730
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution29.9162200
Mining (except Oil and Gas)29.8762130
Colleges, universities, and professional schools, Privately owned28.7859870
Steel Product Manufacturing from Purchased Steel28.2858820
Educational Services, Privately owned28.2758790
Engineering Services28.2558760
Wholesale Trade27.4457080
Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing26.9255990
Basic Chemical Manufacturing26.7655670
Federal Executive Branch26.4755050
Federal government, including the US Postal Service26.4755050
Facilities Support Services26.3854870
Chemical Manufacturing26.3454780
Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing26.1954460
Waste Treatment and Disposal25.9854040
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services25.8553760
Resin, Synthetic Rubber, and Artificial Synthetic Fibers and Filaments Manufacturing25.7953640
Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing25.7553570
Scientific Research and Development Services25.5853210
Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences25.5853210
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services24.9151820
State Government, excluding schools and hospitals24.951800
Waste Management and Remediation Services24.8951770
Transportation Equipment Manufacturing24.851580
Pulp, Paper, and Paperboard Mills24.3950720
Sector 56- Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services24.3750690
Other Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing24.1750280
Paper Manufacturing24.1750270
Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)24.0450000
State government, including schools and hospitals23.9649840
Management of Companies and Enterprises23.9549810
Oil and Gas Extraction23.3848630
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services23.348470
Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods23.2848420
Accommodation and Food Services23.1248090
Hospitals, Privately owned2347830
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Privately owned2347830
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)22.9547740
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools (including private, state, and local government schools)22.9247680
Transportation and Warehousing22.7447300
Educational Services (including private, state, and local government schools)22.6447090
Beverage and Tobacco Product Manufacturing22.5946990
Beverage Manufacturing22.5946990
All industries, private ownership only22.4646710
Primary Metal Manufacturing22.4546690
Administrative and Support Services22.4346650
Commercial and Service Industry Machinery Manufacturing22.3146410
Educational Services, Local government owned22.2246230
All industries22.1846140
Federal, State, and Local Government22.1145990
Federal, State, and Local Government, excluding state and local schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service22.1145990
Federal, state, and local government, including government owned schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service22.1145990
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals22.0645880
Local government, including schools and hospitals22.0645880
Computer and Electronic Product Manufacturing21.8945530
Educational Services, State government owned21.8945530
Colleges, universities, and professional schools, State government owned21.8745490
Traveler Accommodation21.8645480
Water, Sewage and Other Systems21.8645460
Semiconductor and Other Electronic Component Manufacturing21.8345400
Amusement, Gambling, and Recreation Industries21.6745080
Elementary and Secondary Schools (including private, state, and local government schools)21.5844890
Converted Paper Product Manufacturing21.544720
Specialty Trade Contractors21.4144530
Other Support Services21.444510
Elementary and Secondary Schools, Local government owned21.3944500
Machinery Manufacturing21.2944280
Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations21.2844270
Business, Professional, Labor, Political, and Similar Organizations21.2844270
Employment Services21.2544200
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation21.244100
Other Electrical Equipment and Component Manufacturing21.1343950
Alumina and Aluminum Production and Processing21.1143920
Building Equipment Contractors21.0543790
Plumbing, Heating, and Air-Conditioning Contractors21.0543790
Waste Collection21.0443750
Fruit and Vegetable Preserving and Specialty Food Manufacturing20.9943670
Remediation and Other Waste Management Services20.9943670
Dairy Product Manufacturing20.9743630
Hardware, and Plumbing and Heating Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers20.9343540
Other Food Manufacturing20.9243520
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)20.8243290
Support Activities for Mining20.7843230
Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing20.4642550
Other Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction20.3542340
Household Appliance Manufacturing19.7541070
Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing19.6340830
Electrical Equipment, Appliance, and Component Manufacturing19.2840100
Personal and Laundry Services19.1739870
Drycleaning and Laundry Services19.0839690
Nonferrous Metal (except Aluminum) Production and Processing18.9739450
Food Manufacturing18.8639240
Testing Laboratories18.6838850
Health Care and Social Assistance (including private, state, and local government hospitals)18.0837600
Coating, Engraving, Heat Treating, and Allied Activities18.0537540
Agriculture, Construction, and Mining Machinery Manufacturing17.9137250
Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction17.5936580
Textile Mills17.3936180
Textile and Fabric Finishing and Fabric Coating Mills1735360
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing16.7134760
Real Estate16.7134760
Utility System Construction16.734730
Animal Slaughtering and Processing16.6134540

Not all industries pay the same for Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators.

One of the easiest way to increase your salary is to change industries and find a higher paying one.

Highest paying states


Another simple way to boost your pay as A WWTP Operator is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like CA doesn’t mean you will make more overall. This is because the expenses at CA may be 2x higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to the BLS, the highest paid / most successful WWTP Operators are in the states of CA, WA, NV, CT and AK. The average salary in CA is $65680.

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