Work with chemicals to help treat water either for consumption or release back into the environment. Control a system of machines to transfer or treat drinking or wastewater, and managers work to ensure the entire plant runs smoothly. Water is the most crucial resource for human survival, and ensuring it is clean for both the environment and human consumption is highly valued.

Make a Difference

A Typical Day

  • Add chemicals, such as ammonia, chlorine, or lime, to disinfect and deodorize water and other liquids.
  • Collect and test water and sewage samples, using test equipment and color analysis standards.
  • Record operational data, personnel attendance, or meter and gauge readings on specified forms.
  • Operate and adjust controls on equipment to purify and clarify water, process or dispose of sewage, and generate power.
  • Inspect equipment or monitor operating conditions, meters, and gauges to determine load requirements and detect malfunctions.
 

Recommended Credentials

High School Diploma required, certificate or an associate degree preferred

Education & Training

Regional employers often hire graduates of these programs.

 

Northwest Lower Michigan

 

Elsewhere in Michigan

 

Drinking Water Operator Certification Program
— Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE)

Wastewater Operator Certification Program
— Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE)

Explore This Career

Try it before you buy it!

Watch this video tour of the Traverse City water treatment plant!

Go on an in-person tour of your local treatment facility!

The Local Advantage Learning Pathway

Pathway 1

Find out which AP classes are available for college credit at your high school.

Pathway 2

Great Lakes Water Studies Institute Freshwater Studies Program
— Northwestern Michigan College

Pathway 3

Complete the Operator Training Certification through Michigan's Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.

 

Sample Employers in Our Region

Click the logos below to learn more.

TIP

Contact one of these companies and ask for an informational interview, to see if you can job shadow, or to find out if they hire interns.

 

10-Year Job Growth Projections

-6.7%
10-County Region
-11%
Michigan
-4%
U.S.

Employed Regionally

130
In 2021

Wage Range & Median 10-County Region

$37,570
$47,330 
$60,740

Annual Hires Regionally

3
In 2021

Other Regional Career Resources

Further career information: Water Treatment Worker