Water Treatment Plant Operator

The water flowing from faucets in the United States and in other developed countries is safe and free of pollutants. After water is used it is pumped back to a waste water treatment plant. In these types of plants water is filtered and sterilized using special equipment that delivers chemicals to purify it. Water-treatment-plant operators test water samples and use gauges to make sure that before the water leaves the plant it has been treated sufficiently to ensure that it is potable. They are responsible for maintaining and repairing pumps or other equipment in the plant. This career can require work during the evenings on weekends and on holidays and in emergency situations such as storms. Water-treatment-plant operators may be exposed to hazards such as dangerous or foul smelling gases. Most water-treatment-plant operators are employed by local governments. They must have a high school diploma but those that earn an associate’s degree or a certificate in a field related to environmental studies have an edge in both finding jobs and advancing to higher levels. The website www.collegeboard.com says that water-treatment-plant operators must pass an exam in order to get certification by the state in which they are employed. Jobs in this field should be readily available mainly because many operators are scheduled to retire within the next few years and will have to be replaced. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics water-treatment-plant operators earn an average annual salary of approximately $41600. In addition the benefits associated with most jobs include life and health insurance retirement plans and in some cases tuition for further education that is related to the job.

Education Required: High School Diploma
Avg Salary: $41580
High Salary: $51580
Low Salary: $31580
Tasks: Treats water so that it can be re-used.
Adds appropriate levels of chemicals to treat water.
Ensures that plant equipment is working properly.
Runs tests to ensure the safety of treated water.
Also Called: Sewage Treatment Plant Operator
Waste Water Plant Operator
Liquid Waste Treatment Operator
Water Treatment Plant Technician
Additional Resources: http://www.collegeboard.com/csearch/majors_careers/profiles/careers/104723.html
http://www.iseek.org/careers/careerDetail?id=8&oc=100225
http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos229.htm