Water or Wastewater treatment jobs, similar to many water jobs, are quite varied. There are positions for those who want to be involved in the planning and operation of water treatment facilities and water filtration systems. Such as a water treatment specialist who utilizes collection system and water treatment equipment to monitor a wastewater treatment plant.
There are also jobs for people who want to research new water treatment technologies. And there are jobs for those who want to work with the public to ensure that they have access to clean water.
Most water treatment jobs are full-time, and some may require shift work or weekend and evening hours. Some jobs may involve travel. Jobs in water treatment are expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The median annual salary for water treatment plant and system operators is $71,456. The median annual salary for environmental scientists and specialists is $76,530. And the median annual salary for education, training, and library occupations is $57,220.
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Water or Wastewater treatment jobs such as facility operators typically have a high school diploma or equivalent, for an entry level position, although some jobs may require post-secondary education, such as formal trade school training, and must complete on-the-job training.
The on-the-job training is usually paid training activities. Research positions usually require at least a bachelor's degree in science or engineering, and many jobs also require experience in the field of water treatment. Public outreach positions may require a background in environmental science or education.
Water treatment jobs such as facility operators typically work in plants that supply drinking water or treat wastewater. They may operate equipment that removes impurities from water or that disposes of sewage, and you may also find them performing preventative maintenance on advanced water treatment equipment, cooling towers, and other plant equipment.
They may also monitor the operation of water treatment facilities to monitor water quality and oversee water production. Through the knowledge obtained and stability of the water industry, an individual who monitors wastewater treatment plant or plants has one of the most stable and reliable jobs in the United States.
Research positions in water treatment usually involve investigating new ways to treat water or remove impurities from it. These scientists may develop new methods of wastewater treatment, study the effects of pollutants on aquatic ecosystems, perform various laboratory tests on water and wastewater samples, or find ways to improve the quality of drinking water in places like a wastewater treatment plant.
They may also be responsible for disseminating water related data. They typically have a bachelor's degree in science or engineering, and many jobs also require experience in the field of water treatment. Individuals with a bachelor's degree may also find employment with regional water planning organizations.
Public outreach positions in water treatment typically involve working with the public to ensure that they have access to clean water. These educators don't work in a wastewater treatment plant but may give presentations about the importance of clean water, teach people how to conserve water or provide general knowledge to citizens of any new state or federal guidelines or local government ordinances about the water industry.
They may also offer information about what to do if there is a water emergency. These positions may require a background in environmental science or education.
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