Water & Wastewater Treatment Plant & System Operators

Operate or control an entire process or system of machines, often through the use of control boards, to transfer or treat water or wastewater.
Also called: Process Operator (Process Op), Wastewater Operator (WW Operator), Water Plant Operator, Water Treatment Plant Operator


    Math and Science
  • chemistry
  • biology
    Engineering and Technology
  • mechanical
  • product and service development
    Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
  • manufacture and distribution of products
    Safety and Government
  • public safety and security


    Basic Skills
  • keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
  • listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
    People and Technology Systems
  • thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
  • measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it
    Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it


  • communicate by speaking
  • listen and understand what people say
    Ideas and Logic
  • use rules to solve problems
  • notice when problems happen


Description: People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
    They do well at jobs that need
  • Integrity
  • Dependability
  • Attention to Detail
  • Independence
  • Concern for Others
  • Initiative


    Industrial control software
  • Human machine interface HMI software
  • Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software
    Data base user interface and query software
  • Data logging software
  • Database software
    Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel


    high school diploma/GED
    certificate after high school


Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators work both indoors and outdoors. Their work is physically demanding and usually is performed in locations that are unclean or difficult to access. Operators may be exposed to noise from machinery and are often exposed to unpleasant odors.
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 77%
Utilities 11%
Manufacturing 3%


The median annual wage for water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators was $46,780 in May 2018. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $28,300, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $76,200.
Local government, excluding education and hospitals $46,960
Manufacturing $44,550
Utilities $44,270

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