Career Advice on How to Become A Water and Liquid Waste Treatment Plant and System Operator

General Career Information

Water has become much like air in much of the industrialized world.  We simply take it for granted as we turn on the sprinklers to keep a patch of useless, unnatural, chemically laden grass alive on a 104-degree day in a gated community.  In short, few of us think about water, but you certainly think about it if it’s gone.  It is no coincidence that most civilizations were founded and built up around water and supplies of fresh water.  

How we get water, often toxic and poisonous water, from our many polluted rivers, lakes and streams and into our homes is nothing short of a modern miracle.  While we don’t notice water, we certainly notice it when something goes wrong or the tap stops working.  It is the job of the liquid waste treatment plant and system operator to make sure that all the scary stuff is taken out of the water, or at least enough that it doesn’t kill us instantly.

Career Facts:

The liquid waste treatment plant and systems operator works to assure that the massive and complex water system moves and cleans the water necessary for civilization from point a to point b.  It may not be amazingly sexy, but it is amazing vital to civilization.  In this capacity, liquid waste treatment plant and systems operators work to make sure that enough disinfecting chemicals are added to water to ensure its safety.  Similarly they work to make sure that the sewer systems are also properly functioning, for just like water coming out of the tap, you generally don’t think about the sewer system until something goes wrong.  But if something does go wrong, you really think about it, and a lot!


Career Opportunities and Job Outlook- Excellent:

More people means more demand for water and more sewage.  Consequently, the liquid waste treatment plant and systems operator can expect to see a robust twenty percent increase in job growth floating in his or her direction between 2008 and 2018.  Expanding communities and efforts to repair semi-ancient water and sewer systems will help fuel this growth.
Job Outlook is Excellent

A Day in The Life:

So should you add this job to your career planning agenda?  What does a typical day look like?  Working in the water and sewer system may not be at the top of everyone’s list, but the work is valuable in nature and no doubt contributes to civilization in a significant fashion.  The liquid waste treatment plant and systems operator will often spend a good time outdoors performing physically demanding jobs.  Often the work can be unsafe as workers are exposed to all sorts of waste materials.  Thus the work can be tough and dirty.

Average Salary:

The average salary of a liquid waste treatment plant and systems operator is about $38,000 per year, with the top ten percent earning about $60,000.

$38k - $60k


Career Training and Qualifications:

A high-school diploma is usually required, and many liquid waste treatment plant and systems operators have associate degrees related to water technology.  States also require certification.
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