Consider a Career as Drinking Water Operator

Everyone depends on clean drinking water. Drinking water operators are public health professionals who oversee the treatment and testing of drinking water at all public water systems. They make sure that the water that reaches customers taps is monitored for more than 100 different contaminants and that treatment systems are working correctly. One of the greatest rewards for operators is knowing that they are protecting public health and the environment and providing a much needed and valuable service to their neighbors.

Today, qualified drinking water operators are in short supply. Now is an ideal time to explore a career with opportunities for advancement, a choice of locations and utility size, work schedule flexibility, employer-supported training, and negotiable wages and benefits.

Salary Ranges

Drinking water operator salaries typically start at $30,000 and can range up to $100,000 over a career. Most local public water systems offer health care and retirement plans as well as tuition reimbursement for continuing education.

How Do I Get Started

Certified drinking water operators must have a certificate from the New York State Department of Health and have completed you high school or GED diploma, training courses and required on-the-job experience. Contact your local department of public works or water treatment plant to find out about entry level job opportunities.

It also helps to have some science and math knowledge and mechanical ability. People who are interested should take courses in biology, chemistry and mathematics, as well as some shop courses like carpentry, metal working, plumbing, heavy equipment or automotive studies.

How to Get Certified

Many colleges and training providers that offer courses for operator certification. The NYSDOH also have approved lists of courses available for operator certification.