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Water System Operator Careers

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a water system operator. For example, did you know that they make an average of $19.93 an hour? That's $41,444 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow -5% and produce -6,100 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Water System Operator Do

There are certain skills that many water system operators have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, detail oriented and math skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a water system operator, we found that a lot of resumes listed 13.8% of water system operators included hand tools, while 12.3% of resumes included heavy equipment, and 11.0% of resumes included water systems. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the water system operator job title. But what industry to start with? Most water system operators actually find jobs in the government and utilities industries.

How To Become a Water System Operator

If you're interested in becoming a water system operator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 30.1% of water system operators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 1.0% of water system operators have master's degrees. Even though some water system operators have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a water system operator. When we researched the most common majors for a water system operator, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees. Other degrees that we often see on water system operator resumes include associate degree degrees or master's degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a water system operator. In fact, many water system operator jobs require experience in a role such as operator. Meanwhile, many water system operators also have previous career experience in roles such as customer service representative or heavy equipment operator.

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Average Salary
$41,444
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
-5%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
16,099
Job Openings

Average Salary for a Water System Operator

Water System Operators in America make an average salary of $41,444 per year or $20 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $54,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $31,000 per year.
Average Salary
$41,444
Find Your Salary Estimate
How much should you be earning as an Architect? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
San Jose, CA
Salary Range47k - 75k$60k$59,864
Loveland, CO
Salary Range42k - 59k$51k$50,531
Lehi, UT
Salary Range32k - 46k$39k$38,986
Tucson, AZ
Salary Range31k - 46k$38k$38,315
Garland, TX
Salary Range27k - 41k$34k$33,846
$27k
$75k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
{Title:Lead Water System Operator, City:Santa Cruz}
{Title:Lead Water System Operator, City:Santa Cruz}
University of California
University of California
06/29/2021
06/29/2021
$47,29106/29/2021
$47,291
Water System Operator-Storm Drain
Water System Operator-Storm Drain
Lehi City Ut
Lehi City Ut
06/23/2021
06/23/2021
$34,58206/23/2021
$34,582
Water System Operator
Water System Operator
City of Tucson
City of Tucson
06/02/2021
06/02/2021
$45,33006/02/2021
$45,330
Water System Operator
Water System Operator
City of Tucson
City of Tucson
05/03/2021
05/03/2021
$45,33005/03/2021
$45,330
Water System Operator
Water System Operator
City of Tucson
City of Tucson
05/03/2021
05/03/2021
$45,33005/03/2021
$45,330
See More Recent Salaries

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Water System Operator Demographics

Gender

male

89.7 %

female

8.6 %

unknown

1.7 %

Ethnicity

White

77.1 %

Hispanic or Latino

9.7 %

Black or African American

7.8 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.7 %

Carrier

33.3 %
See More Demographics

Water System Operator Education

Degrees

Certificate

33.0 %

Bachelors

30.1 %

High School Diploma

17.5 %

Top Colleges for Water System Operators

1. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

2. Bucknell University

Lewisburg, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,092
Enrollment
3,583

3. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Troy, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,880
Enrollment
6,590

4. North Carolina State University

Raleigh, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,101
Enrollment
23,708

5. Santa Clara University

Santa Clara, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,711
Enrollment
5,504

6. Vermont Technical College

Randolph, VT • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,108
Enrollment
1,350

7. Texas Christian University

Fort Worth, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$46,950
Enrollment
9,407
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Water System Operator That You May Like

Analysis and Design of Water Distribution Systems
edX (Global)

Water distribution networks are crucial for supplying water for residential areas, hospitals, educational institutions, industrial zones, commercial areas, and for firefighting purposes. In this course, we will: Review fluid properties, and fundamental hydraulics principles leading to continuity equation, energy and momentum equations. Review energy grade lines, and hydraulic grade lines. Quantify flows through pipes and learn to design simple water distribution networks. Topics such as major...

Irrigation Efficiency: more food with less water
edX (Global)

How can we meet the demands of our ever hungrier and thirstier world? Irrigation water uses 70% of the fresh water extraction worldwide to produce 40% of the food. Arid countries are dependent on these cropproduction systems but irrigation is usually operated at low efficiency. There is great potential to increase food output per drop of water from field through farm up to catchment level. In this intermediate course you will learn about the irrigation supply chain, from water sources to root...

Water Resources Management and Policy
coursera

Water management today is faced with new challenges such as climate change or the effects of human activity. Public and private stakeholders who are active in this field must develop new ways to better manage the water cycle "as a whole". The objective of this MOOC is to develop an understanding of the problems related to water management. Firstly, this course will define a resource and, more specifically, the resource of water. It will look at how water is used and the activities associated wit...

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Part Time
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Top Skills For a Water System Operator

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 13.8% of water system operators listed hand tools on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and detail oriented are important as well.

Best States For a Water System Operator

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a water system operator. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Illinois, Kansas, and California. Water system operators make the most in Washington with an average salary of $60,457. Whereas in Illinois and Kansas, they would average $58,345 and $57,130, respectively. While water system operators would only make an average of $54,632 in California, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Water System Operator Jobs:
264
Highest 10% Earn:
$81,000
Location Quotient:
0.92
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Alaska

Total Water System Operator Jobs:
108
Highest 10% Earn:
$61,000
Location Quotient:
3.29
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. California

Total Water System Operator Jobs:
1,174
Highest 10% Earn:
$83,000
Location Quotient:
1.02
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Water System Operator Employers

1. City of Tucson
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$45,830
Water System Operators Hired: 
9+
2. City of Fresno - Office of The City Manager
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$49,072
Water System Operators Hired: 
3+
3. Salt Lake County
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$38,947
Water System Operators Hired: 
3+
4. The University of Iowa
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$38,015
Water System Operators Hired: 
2+
5. Elite Prints Svc
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$41,052
Water System Operators Hired: 
1+
6. Evanston Township High School
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$40,801
Water System Operators Hired: 
1+
Updated October 2, 2020