Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators and Technicians

Wastewater treatment plant operators control, monitor, and maintain the equipment and treatment processes in wastewater (sewage) treatment plants. They remove or neutralize the chemicals, solid materials, and organisms in wastewater so that the water is not polluted when it is returned to the environment. There are approximately 110,230 water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators currently working in the United States.

Wastewater treatment plant technicians work under the supervision of wastewater treatment plant operators. Technicians take samples and monitor treatment to ensure treated water is safe for its intended use. Depending on the level of treatment, water is used for human consumption or for nonconsumptive purposes, such as field irrigation or discharge into natural water sources. Some technicians also work in labs, where they collect and analyze water samples and maintain lab equipment.

Quick Facts
Duties Control, monitor, and maintain the equipment and treatment processes in wastewater treatment plants
Alternate Title(s) None
Salary Range $25,000 to $75,000
Employment Prospects Excellent
Advancement Prospects Good
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country
Education and Training
  • High School Diploma
  • Some Postsecondary Training
Related School Subjects
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
Experience Internship or part-time experience recommended
  • Math
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
  • Scientific
Personality Traits
  • Hands On
  • Problem-Solving
  • Technical
Licensure/Certification Required
Special Requirements None
Career Ladder
  • Plant Supervisor or Superintendent
  • Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator
  • Wastewater Treatment Plant Technician
  • Wastewater Treatment Attendant or Operator-in-Training

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