What Do Water And Wastewater Treatment Plant And System Operators Do

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Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Water And Wastewater Treatment Plant And System Operators

Water And Wastewater Treatment Plant And System Operators operate or control an entire process or system of machines, often through the use of control boards, to transfer or treat water or wastewater.

Salary
$51890
Becoming One
Medium
Education
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Water And Wastewater Treatment Plant And System Operators operate or control an entire process or system of machines, often through the use of control boards, to transfer or treat water or wastewater.

  • 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.
  • Record operational data, personnel attendance, or meter and gauge readings on specified forms.
  • Operate and adjust controls on equipment to purify and clarify water, process or dispose of sewage, and generate power.

Typical day

On a daily basis, WWTP Operators maintain, repair, and lubricate equipment, using hand tools and power tools. They inspect equipment or monitor operating conditions, meters, and gauges to determine load requirements and detect malfunctions.

A typical day for a Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operator will also include:

  • Direct and coordinate plant workers engaged in routine operations and maintenance activities.
  • Collect and test water and sewage samples, using test equipment and color analysis standards.
  • Operate and adjust controls on equipment to purify and clarify water, process or dispose of sewage, and generate power.
  • Add chemicals, such as ammonia, chlorine, or lime, to disinfect and deodorize water and other liquids.
  • Record operational data, personnel attendance, or meter and gauge readings on specified forms.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, WWTP Operators also clean and maintain tanks, filter beds, and other work areas, using hand tools and power tools. They may also maintain, repair, and lubricate equipment, using hand tools and power tools.

On a weekly to monthly basis, WWTP Operators direct and coordinate plant workers engaged in routine operations and maintenance activities. They might also inspect equipment or monitor operating conditions, meters, and gauges to determine load requirements and detect malfunctions.

In addition, they operate and adjust controls on equipment to purify and clarify water, process or dispose of sewage, and generate power.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them collect and test water and sewage samples, using test equipment and color analysis standards.

To some WWTP Operators, it is also their responsibility to record operational data, personnel attendance, or meter and gauge readings on specified forms.

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What is the job like

Job satisfaction

High

Is this job meaningful

Very High

72% said they were satisfied with their job and 87% said they found their job meaningful.


Pros

Suitable for people who like practical and hands-on work.

Suitable for people who want to work in a supportive work environment.

This career is perfect for people who love to work outdoors.

It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to help and teach others.

Salary is below average.

How much do they make

Average salary

$51890 per year

Average hourly wage

$25 per hour

Entry-level Water And Wastewater Treatment Plant And System Operators with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $29,730 to $37,830 per year or $14 to $18 per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $79,620 $38
Senior (Top 25%) $62,890 $30
Median $49,090 $24
Junior (Bottom 25%) $37,830 $18
No experience (Bottom 10%) $29,730 $14

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Water And Wastewater Treatment Plant And System Operators based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Scientific Research and Development Services $78300 $37.65
Management of Companies and Enterprises $78120 $37.56
Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing $75130 $36.12
State Government $62860 $30.22
Metal Ore Mining $62430 $30.02
Federal Executive Branch $62420 $30.01
Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing $60980 $29.32
Machinery, Equipment, and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers $60180 $28.93
Chemical Manufacturing $59550 $28.63
Chemical Manufacturing $59150 $28.44

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Water And Wastewater Treatment Plant And System Operators work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Water And Wastewater Treatment Plant And System Operators including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
Local Government 89280 $52050 $25.02
Water, Sewage and Other Systems 14900 $50210 $24.14
Waste Treatment and Disposal 1880 $56950 $27.38
Animal Slaughtering and Processing 1120 $44260 $21.28
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services 960 $51480 $24.75
State Government 830 $62860 $30.22
Elementary and Secondary Schools 780 $32390 $15.57
Remediation and Other Waste Management Services 720 $56510 $27.17
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution 700 $57930 $27.85
Employment Services 570 $53450 $25.70

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
0%

40 hours
74%

More than 40 hours
26%

Working schedule

78%

22%

0%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
65%

Every day
25%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
39%

Every day
59%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
12%

Every day
81%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
53%

Once a year
35%

Once a month
11%

Once a week
2%

Every day
0%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
18%

Slightly competitive
11%

Moderately competitive
40%

Highly competitive
21%

Extremely competitive
11%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
11%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
7%

Once a week or more
10%

Every day
72%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
2%

Once a year or more
11%

Once a month or more
1%

Once a week or more
39%

Every day
47%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
11%

Once a year or more
2%

Once a month or more
11%

Once a week or more
30%

Every day
46%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
21%

Once a year or more
11%

Once a month or more
16%

Once a week or more
30%

Every day
22%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Medium
You will need previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Most careers in this difficulty category require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an Associate’s degree, and one or two years of on-the-job training. Similar careers include Travel Agents, Agricultural Technicians, Court Reports, and Medical Assistants.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
0%

High School Diploma or equivalent
42%

Post-Secondary Certificate
25%

Some College Courses
21%

Associate’s Degree or similar
13%

Bachelor’s Degree
1%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
0%

Master’s Degree
0%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant majors

Water Quality and Wastewater Treatment Management and Recycling Technology

A program that prepares individuals to apply basic engineering principles and technical skills in support of engineers and other professionals engaged in developing and using water storage, waterpower, and wastewater treatment systems. Includes instruction in water storage, power and/or treatment systems and equipment; testing and inspection procedures; system maintenance procedures; and report preparation.

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
11%

1 month
1%

1 to 3 months
0%

3 to 6 months
0%

6 months to 1 year
32%

1 to 2 years
26%

2 to 4 years
2%

4 to 6 years
21%

6 to 8 years
1%

8 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
5%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
0%

1 month
10%

1 to 3 months
13%

3 to 6 months
23%

6 months to 1 year
28%

1 to 2 years
21%

2 to 4 years
0%

4 to 10 years
5%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Builder

People with this personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

The Builder
90%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
33%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
19%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
14%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
29%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
52%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
43%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
40%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
33%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
33%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
81%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
67%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ


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