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Working As a Water Technician

  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Getting Information
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Repetitive

  • $33,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Water Technician Do

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators manage a system of machines, often through the use of control boards, to transfer or treat water or wastewater.

Duties

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators typically do the following:

  • Add chemicals, such as ammonia or chlorine, to disinfect water or other liquids
  • Inspect equipment on a regular basis
  • Monitor operating conditions, meters, and gauges
  • Collect and test water and sewage samples
  • Record meter and gauge readings and operational data
  • Operate equipment to purify and clarify water or to process or dispose of sewage
  • Clean and maintain equipment, tanks, filter beds, and other work areas
  • Follow U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations
  • Ensure safety standards are met

It takes a lot of work to get water from natural sources—reservoirs, streams, and groundwater—into people’s taps. Similarly, it is a complicated process to convert the wastewater from drains and sewers into a form that is safe to release into the environment.

The specific duties of plant operators depend on the type and size of the plant. In a small plant, one operator may be responsible for maintaining all of the systems. In large plants, multiple operators work the same shifts and are more specialized in their duties, often relying on computerized systems to help them monitor plant processes.

Water treatment plant and system operators work in water treatment plants. Fresh water is pumped from wells, rivers, streams, or reservoirs to water treatment plants, where it is treated and distributed to customers. Water treatment plant and system operators run the equipment, control the processes, and monitor the plants that treat water to make it safe to drink.

Wastewater treatment plant and system operators do similar work to remove pollutants from domestic and industrial waste. Used water, also known as wastewater, travels through sewer pipes to treatment plants where it is treated and either returned to streams, rivers, and oceans, or used for irrigation.

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How To Become A Water Technician

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators typically need a high school diploma and a license to work. They also typically undergo on-the-job training.

Education

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators need a high school diploma or equivalent to become operators. Employers may prefer applicants who have completed a certificate or an associate’s degree program in a related field such as environmental science or wastewater treatment technology, as it reduces the amount of training a worker will need. These programs are generally offered at community colleges, technical schools, and trade associations.

Training

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators need long-term on-the-job training to become fully qualified. Trainees usually start as attendants or operators-in-training and learn their skills on the job under the direction of an experienced operator. The trainees learn by observing and doing routine tasks, such as recording meter readings, taking samples of wastewater and sludge, and performing simple maintenance and repair work on plant equipment.

Larger treatment plants usually combine this on-the-job training with formal classroom or self-paced study programs. As plants get larger and more complicated, operators need more skills before they are allowed to work without supervision.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators must be licensed by the state in which they work. Requirements and standards vary widely depending on the state.

State licenses typically have multiple levels, which indicate the operator's experience and training. Although some states will honor licenses from other states, operators who move from one state to another may need to take a new set of exams to become licensed in their new state.

Advancement

Most states have multiple levels of licenses for water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators. Each increase in license level allows the operator to control a larger plant and more complicated processes without supervision.

At the largest plants, operators who have the highest license level work as shift supervisors and may be in charge of large teams of operators.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators must conduct tests and inspections on water or wastewater and evaluate the results.

Detail oriented. Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators must monitor machinery, gauges, dials, and controls to ensure everything is operating properly. Because tap water and wastewater are highly regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, operators must be careful and thorough in completing these tasks.

Math skills. Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators must have the ability to apply data to formulas that determine treatment requirements, flow levels, and concentration levels.

Mechanical skills. Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators must know how to work with machines and use tools. They must be familiar with how to operate, repair, and maintain equipment.

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Average Yearly Salary
$33,000
Show Salaries
$27,000
Min 10%
$33,000
Median 50%
$33,000
Median 50%
$33,000
Median 50%
$33,000
Median 50%
$33,000
Median 50%
$33,000
Median 50%
$33,000
Median 50%
$39,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Intel
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
2.1 years
How much does a Water Technician make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Water Technician in the United States is $33,427 per year or $16 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $28,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $39,000.

Top Skills for A Water Technician

  1. Water Damage Restoration
  2. Safety Procedures
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Specialized in water damage restoration Residential structure demolition Residential structure cleaning Carpet cleaning Fire/Smoke cleaning and restoration Mold removal and remediation
  • Observe all safety procedures as specified by the District, including attending safety meetings and training sessions.
  • Installed and serviced water conditioning equipment, delivery, customer service.
  • Provide recommendations when water samples were contaminated.
  • Perform disaster response/crisis management activities concerning emergency services for water damage to assure customer satisfaction.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Water Technicians

  1. Alaska
  2. North Dakota
  3. Nevada
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Oregon
  6. Idaho
  7. Montana
  8. Pennsylvania
  9. Connecticut
  10. South Dakota
  • (22 jobs)
  • (84 jobs)
  • (79 jobs)
  • (258 jobs)
  • (149 jobs)
  • (48 jobs)
  • (42 jobs)
  • (430 jobs)
  • (151 jobs)
  • (39 jobs)

Water Technician Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 3,898 Water Technician resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Water Technician Resume

View Resume Examples

Water Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

80.8%

Unknown

10.1%

Female

9.1%
Ethnicity

White

62.3%

Hispanic or Latino

18.0%

Black or African American

10.7%

Asian

5.8%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

70.4%

Russian

7.4%

Chinese

3.7%

Ukrainian

3.7%

French

3.7%

Arabic

3.7%

Portuguese

1.9%

Dakota

1.9%

Mandarin

1.9%

Polish

1.9%
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Water Technician Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.6%

The Academy

13.1%

Ashford University

7.6%

Universal Technical Institute

4.8%

Salt Lake Community College

4.8%

San Antonio College

4.1%

Palomar College

4.1%

Wayne County Community College District

3.4%

Lane Community College

3.4%

Columbia Southern University

3.4%

University of North Texas

3.4%

Angelo State University

3.4%

Pima Community College

3.4%

Florida State College at Jacksonville

3.4%

Texas State University

3.4%

Technology Center

3.4%

Chemeketa Community College

3.4%

South Plains College

3.4%

A-Technical College

3.4%

Trident Technical College

3.4%
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Majors

Business

20.5%

Criminal Justice

8.8%

General Studies

8.3%

Automotive Technology

7.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

5.4%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

5.2%

Environmental Science

4.2%

Precision Metal Working

4.1%

Accounting

4.0%

Computer Science

3.7%

Management

3.6%

Biology

3.6%

Mechanical Engineering

3.0%

Education

2.8%

Electrical Engineering

2.7%

Natural Resources Management

2.6%

Information Technology

2.6%

Communication

2.5%

Medical Assisting Services

2.5%

Engineering

2.5%
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Degrees

Other

41.7%

Bachelors

24.8%

Associate

17.6%

Certificate

8.5%

Masters

3.4%

Diploma

3.0%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.4%
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Top Water Technician Employers

Jobs From Top Water Technician Employers

Water Technician Videos

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Updated May 19, 2020