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Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and 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.   (O'Net 51-8031.00)

 
Reported job titles:   Basin Tender, Biosolids Management Technician, Clarifying Plant Operator, Dispatcher, Disposal Operator, Disposal Plant Operator   (view all job titles)
 
  • Career Video
  • Wages
  • Employment Trends
  • Industries of Employment
  • Tasks
  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Abilities
  • Work Activities
  • Interests
  • Work Styles
  • License Information
  • Education & Training Requirements
  • Schools
  • Other Resources
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    Career Video
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    Wages
    for Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators
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     Location Pay
    Period
    2016
    Percentile Wages Average
    Wage
    10% 25% 50%
    Median
    75% 90%
     Vermont Hourly $ 14.54   $ 19.19   $ 22.72   $ 26.65   $ 30.64   $ 22.65  
    Yearly $30,250   $39,910   $47,250   $55,440   $63,740   $47,110  
     
     Burlington-South Burlington, VT Metropolitan NECTA Hourly $ 17.67   $ 21.42   $ 25.34   $ 28.98   $ 32.17   $ 25.33  
    Yearly $36,750   $44,560   $52,700   $60,290   $66,910   $52,680  
     
     Southern Vermont Balance of State Hourly $ 15.78   $ 18.65   $ 22.40   $ 26.58   $ 32.42   $ 22.84  
    Yearly $32,810   $38,790   $46,580   $55,280   $67,420   $47,500  
     
     Northern Vermont Balance of State Hourly $ 9.61   $ 17.09   $ 21.60   $ 24.36   $ 27.88   $ 20.40  
    Yearly $19,990   $35,540   $44,920   $50,670   $57,990   $42,430  
     
    What are Percentile Wages?
    source: Occupational Employment Statistics, Vermont Labor Market Information, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, released April 2017.
     


    Employment Trends
    for Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators
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    Location Employment Annual % change
    (compounded)
    Annual job openings
    (due to growth and
    net replacements)
    2014 2024
    Vermont 305 330 0.8% 10
    source: Employment Projections, Vermont Economic & Labor Market Information, in cooperation with U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, statewide estimates released July 2016.
     


    Industries of Employment
    for Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators
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    Industry Percent of Total
    2014
    Local government, excluding education and hospitals 78.5%
    Utilities 11.6%
    Waste management and remediation services 1.9%
    Food manufacturing 0.9%
    State government, excluding education and hospitals 0.6%
    source: Employment Projections, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Employment Matrix, released July 2016.
     


    Tasks
    for Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators
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  • Add chemicals such as ammonia, chlorine, or lime to disinfect and deodorize water and other liquids.
     
  • Inspect equipment or monitor operating conditions, meters, and gauges to determine load requirements and detect malfunctions.
     
  • Collect and test water and sewage samples, using test equipment and color analysis standards.
     
  • Record operational data, personnel attendance, or meter and gauge readings on specified forms.
     
  • Operate and adjust controls on equipment to purify and clarify water, process or dispose of sewage, and generate power.
     
  • Maintain, repair, and lubricate equipment, using hand tools and power tools.
     
  • Clean and maintain tanks, filter beds, and other work areas using hand tools and power tools.
     
  • Direct and coordinate plant workers engaged in routine operations and maintenance activities.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators  updated June 2009
     


    Knowledge
    for Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators
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  • 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.
     
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
     
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
     
  • 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.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
     
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
     
  • Building and Construction - Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
     
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
     
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators  updated June 2009
     


    Skills
    for Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators
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  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
     
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
     
  • 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.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Equipment Maintenance - Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
     
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
     
  • Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
     
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
     
  • Repairing - Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators  updated June 2010
     


    Abilities
    for Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators
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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
     
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
     
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
     
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
     
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
     
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
     
  • Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
     
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
     
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
     
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators  updated June 2009
     


    Work Activities
    for Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators
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  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
     
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
     
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
     
  • Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
     
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
     
  • Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
     
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
     
  • Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
     
  • Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
     
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators  updated June 2009
     


    Interests
    for Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators
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  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators  updated June 2008
     


    Work Styles
    for Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators
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  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
     
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
     
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
     
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
     
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
     
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
     
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
     
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
     
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
     
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators  updated June 2009
     


    State of Vermont License Information
    that may be required for Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators
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    License Name Licensing Agency
    Water System Operator Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
    Drinking Water & Groundwater Protection Division
    Wastewater Treatment Facility Operator Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
    Watershed Management Division
    Wastewater Operator Certification Program
     
    source: Vermont Department of Labor, Licensed & Certified Occupations in Vermont, 2015.
     


    Education and Training Requirements
    for Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators
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  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
  •  
  • Education: Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  •  
  • Training: Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  •  
  • Experience: Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
  •  
    source: Occupational Information Network: Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators  updated June 2009
     


    Schools
    offering instructional programs related to Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators
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      Related Instructional Programs
     
    • Water Quality and Wastewater Treatment Management and Recycling Technology/Technician.
     
     Search for schools offering these programs at
     
     
     
    source: National Center for Education Statistics 2000 Classification of Instructional Programs .
     


    Other Resources
    for Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators
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  • Labor Exchange Information
  • A source for occupational characteristics, such as age, gender, race, and years of education and an alternative source for occupational wage rates. Limited to people looking for jobs and the jobs advertised through VDOL Vermont Job Link.
  • Look for statewide information over the latest 12 months for Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators.
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  • Occupational Outlook Handbook
  • The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a nationally recognized source of career information, designed to provide valuable assistance to individuals making decisions about their future work lives. Revised every two years, the Handbook describes what workers do on the job, working conditions, the training and education needed, earnings, and expected job prospects in a wide range of occupations.
    Go to Occupational Outlook Handbook
    Handbook occupations related to Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators :
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    Related Occupations
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    source: Occupational Information Network: Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators 
     

     
     
     
    Vermont.gov State of Vermont Department of Labor