CAREER GUIDE FOR WATER & LIQUID WASTE TREATMENT PLANT AND SYSTEM OPERATOR
SOC Code: 51- 8031
Pay Band(s): 3 ( Salary Structure )
Standard Occupational Description: Operate or control an entire process or system of machines, often through the use of control boards, to transfer or treat water or liquid waste.
Water & Liquid Waste Treatment and System Operator positions in the Commonwealth are assigned to the following Roles in the Utility Plant Operations Career Group:
While Water & Liquid Waste Treatment and System Operators within the Commonwealth are all located within the Utility Plant Operations Career Group, individuals may want to pursue other opportunities within the Commonwealth depending upon individual training, education, knowledge, skills, abilities, and interests.
Other Career Group(s) that may be of interest are:
SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE, ABILITIES AND TASKS
(Technical and Functional Expertise)
The Knowledge of:
The Ability to:
Like people, occupations have traits or characteristics. These characteristics give important clues about the nature of the work and work environment, and give you an opportunity to match your own personal interests to a specific occupation. When you choose a job in an occupation that matches your own interests you have taken an important step in planning a successful and rewarding career.
The occupation of Water & Liquid Waste Treatment Plant and System Operators has Realistic characteristics as described below:
Realistic Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
LICENSURE, REGISTRATION, OR CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS
Generally licensure is required for Water & Liquid Waste Treatment Plant and System Operator positions in Virginia.
The Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation's Board for Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators license Water and Liquid Waste Treatment Plant and System Operators. For more information on licensure requirements, board and the regulations, visit the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation web site: http://www.dpor.virginia.gov
The Board for Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators regulates individuals who operate water and wastewater treatment facilities. This board issues a Class VI, V, IV, III, II, or I license only after an individual has met all experience and examination requirements as set forth in these regulations. Each license shall be in the appropriate category and classification and shall indicate the highest classification of works the holder is qualified to operate.
The Board for Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators develops training criteria, approves training providers and licenses qualified individuals who operate water and liquid waste facilities in the Commonwealth. To contact the board the email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Association of Boards of Certification offers certification as:
For information on certification, contact:
Association of Boards of Certification: http://www.abccert.org
EDUCATIONAL, TRAINING, AND LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
The Department of Labor provides the following information:
Clean water is essential for everyday life. Water treatment plant and system operators treat water so that it is safe to drink. Liquid waste treatment plant and system operators, also known as wastewater treatment plant and system operators, remove harmful pollutants from domestic and industrial liquid waste so that it is safe to return to the environment.
A high school diploma usually is required for an individual to become a water or liquid waste treatment plant operator. Operators need mechanical aptitude and should be competent in basic mathematics, chemistry, and biology.
The completion of an associate degree or a 1-year certificate program in water quality and liquid waste treatment technology increases an applicant's chances for employment and promotion because plants are becoming more complex.
The Commonwealth has an approved apprenticeship program for those individuals interested in an occupation as Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operators. The Virginia Department of Labor provides more information about apprenticeships on their web site: http://www.dli.state.va.us/
As operators are promoted, they become responsible for more complex treatment processes. Some operators are promoted to plant supervisor or superintendent; others advance by transferring to a larger facility. Postsecondary training in water and liquid waste treatment, coupled with increasingly responsible experience as an operator, may be sufficient to qualify a worker for becoming superintendent of a small plant, where a superintendent also serves as an operator. However, educational requirements are rising as larger, more complex treatment plants are built to meet new drinking water and water pollution control standards. With each promotion, the operator must have greater knowledge of Federal, State, and local regulations. Superintendents of large plants generally need an engineering or a science degree.
Competencies are a set of identified behaviors, knowledge, skills, and abilities that directly and positively impact the success of employees and the organization. Competencies can be observed and measured. When consistently demonstrated, competencies make employees particularly effective in their work. Competencies help lay out a road map to career success. You can use the Commonwealth Competencies to help improve your individual performance by adopting behaviors that make high performing employees successful in their jobs. In this way, you can use the Commonwealth Competencies for your further professional development.
The Commonwealth Competencies are:
The above competencies may be applied to employees throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. They can be rank-ordered by agencies and hiring managers to represent the needs of a specific job. The rank ordering will change depending upon the occupation, an organization's priorities, the actual job requirements, and the supervisor's preferences.
Career success is both about what you do (applying your technical knowledge, skills, and ability) and how you do it (the consistent behaviors you demonstrate and choose to use) while interacting and communicating with others. Hopefully, by studying the Commonwealth competencies, identifying your developmental opportunities, and working to refine your own competence, you can take charge of your career!
For additional information about the Commonwealth Competencies go to: http://jobs.state.va.us/cc_planningctr.htm . For the competencies, we first list the competencies and then define each. Finally, we list competency indicators; to describe what successful performance looks like.
COMMONWEALTH CAREER PATH
Career opportunities in the Commonwealth are not limited to moving up to the next highest role and pay band, changing positions, or to becoming a supervisor. That's because most roles describe a broad group of occupationally related positions that perform a range of work that requires increased knowledge and skills. For that reason, Commonwealth roles describe the career paths within the same or higher-level role for the same or different Career Group. The broad salary range and the Commonwealth's pay practices provide flexibility in recognizing career development and advancement. ( Salary Structure )
For example: Water & Liquid Waste Treatment Plant and System Operators
Sample Career Path
Utility Plant Specialist II
Utility Plant Manager I
Utility Plant Manager II
ADDITIONAL OCCUPATIONAL INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT:
O*NET (Occupational Information Network)
Virginia Employment Commission
Career One Stop
Virginia Career Resource Network
American Water Works Association
Water Environment Federation