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Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators and Technicians


Wastewater treatment plant operators control, monitor, and maintain the equipment and treatment processes in wastewater (sewage) treatment plants. They remove or neutralize the chemicals, solid materials, and organisms in wastewater so that the water is not polluted when it is returned to the environment. There are approximately 126,400 water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators currently working in the United States.

Wastewater treatment plant technicians work under the supervision of wastewater treatment plant operators. Technicians take samples and monitor treatment to ensure treated water is safe for its intended use. Depending on the level of treatment, water is used for human consumption or for nonconsumptive purposes, such as field irrigation or discharge into natural water sources. Some technicians also work in labs, where they collect and analyze water samples and maintain lab equipment.

Salary Range

$25,000 to $100,000

Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma




Personality Traits

Hands On



Career Ladder
Plant Supervisor or Superintendent

Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator

Wastewater Treatment Plant Technician

Wastewater Treatment Attendant or Operator-in-Training

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