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Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators

Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators
Quick Facts : Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators*
2010 Median Pay$40,770
Entry Level EducationHigh school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 2012110,700
Job Outlook12% (About as fast as average)
Employment Change12,900


Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators manage a system of machines, often through the use of control boards, to transfer or treat water or wastewater. Operators record data from meter and gauge readings.

What Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators Do

  • Add chemicals, such as ammonia, chlorine, or lime, to disinfect water or other liquids
  • Inspect equipment on a regular basis
  • Operate equipment to purify and clarify water or to process or dispose of sewage
  • Clean and maintain equipment, tanks, filter beds, and other work areas
  • Stay current on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations

Work Environment

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators have a higher-than-average occupational injury rate. Most operators work full time.
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Job Outlook

Employment of water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators is projected to grow 12 percent from 2010 to 2020 driven by a growing population and increased demand for water and wastewater-treatment services.
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Pay

In May 2010 the average salary of water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators was $40,770.
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Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators

40770

Installation & Production Occupations

39887.3333

All Jobs in the U.S.

52312.5223
Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators*
Percent Change in Employment

Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators

11.6531

Installation & Production Occupations

10.336959024270376

All Jobs in the U.S.

15.767561808929724

Becoming a Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators need long-term on-the-job training to become fully qualified. Trainees usually start as attendants or operators-in-training and learn their skills on the job under the direction of an experienced operator.
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