Career Pathways

Job descriptions and salaries for water utility professionals are profiled below, compiled by the American Water Works Association.
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Water Operations Manager
Responsible for the operation of the water distribution system and control of the flow of filtered water into and throughout the system; plans and supervises the operation of all pumping stations and distribution reservoirs; supervises leak detection activities and 24-hour service department.

  • Median Salary: $61,373

Water Quality/Laboratory Manager
Responsible for the direction, administration, and operation of the water quality laboratory. Ensures quality and compliance with the requirements of state and federal regulatory agencies through the monitoring and testing of water introduced into the water system.

  • Median Salary: $56,877

SCADA Systems Manager
Responsible for the operation of the SCADA system including the design, programming and maintenance of the process control system.

  • Median Salary: $56,491

Water Treatment Plant Manager
Responsible for all operations of a single water treatment plant, including staffing, training, directing operations, maintenance, and budgeting.

  • Median Salary: $55,407

Entry Level Water Treatment Plant Operator (Operator In Training)
Under direct supervision, performs tasks related to the operation of a water treatment plant. Typically holds or is working on first-level water treatment certification.

  • Median Salary: $33,775

Water Treatment Plant Operator
Operates and maintains a water treatment plant, including maintenance of equipment, quality control/testing, and day-to-day activities. Typically holds or is working towards an intermediate-level water treatment certification.

  • Median Salary: $38,241

Senior/Lead Water Treatment Plant Operator
Operates and maintains a water treatment plant. Is fully qualified to perform most complex functions and may direct the work of other operators. Typically holds a high-level water treatment certification.

  • Median Salary: $44,677

Wastewater Treatment Plant Manager
Responsible for all operations of a single wastewater treatment plant, including staffing, training, directing operations, maintenance, and budgeting.

  • Median Salary: $54,570

Entry Level Waste-water Treatment Plant Operator (Operator In Training)
Under direct supervision, performs tasks related to the operation of a waste-water treatment plant. Typically holds or is working on first-level waste-water treatment certification.

  • Median Salary: $30,227

Waste-water Treatment Plant Operator
Operates and maintains a waste-water treatment plant, including maintenance of equipment, quality control/testing, and day-to-day activities. Typically holds or is working towards an intermediate-level waste-water treatment certification.

  • Median Salary: $36,148

Senior/Lead Waste-water Treatment Plant Operator
Operates and maintains a waste-water treatment plant. Is fully qualified to perform the most complex functions and may direct the work of other operators. Typically holds a high-level waste-water treatment certification.

  • Median Salary: $47,761

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