Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators

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About the Job

Operate or control an entire process or system of machines, often through the use of control boards, to transfer or treat water or wastewater.

It is also Called

  • Waterworks Pump Station Operator
  • Waterworks Operator
  • Waterworks Employee
  • Watershed Tender
  • Water Treatment Technician
  • Water Treatment Specialist
  • Water Treatment Plant Operator
  • Water Treatment Operator
  • Water Technician
  • Water System Operator
View All

What They Do

  • Direct and coordinate plant workers engaged in routine operations and maintenance activities.
  • Clean and maintain tanks, filter beds, and other work areas, using hand tools and power tools.
  • Maintain, repair, and lubricate equipment, using hand tools and power tools.
  • Operate and adjust controls on equipment to purify and clarify water, process or dispose of sewage, and generate power.
  • Record operational data, personnel attendance, or meter and gauge readings on specified forms.
  • Collect and test water and sewage samples, using test equipment and color analysis standards.
  • Inspect equipment or monitor operating conditions, meters, and gauges to determine load requirements and detect malfunctions.
  • Add chemicals, such as ammonia, chlorine, or lime, to disinfect and deodorize water and other liquids.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: RC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Independence and Achievement in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

Education Required

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $48,990 with most people making between $28,740 and $68,380

Outlook

0.13%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 6,030 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 6,110 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 8 openings due to growth and about 152 replacement openings for approximately 160 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education