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Career and Education Opportunities for Sewage Treatment Plant Operators in Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky

If you want to be a sewage treatment plant operator, the Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 1,630 people are currently employed as sewage treatment plant operators in Kentucky. By 2016, this is expected to grow 13% to about 1,840 people employed. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for sewage treatment plant operators are expected to grow by about 19.8%. In general, sewage treatment plant operators 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.

Sewage treatment plant operators earn about $14 per hour or $30,300 annually on average in Kentucky and about $18 hourly or $38,430 per year on average nationally. Sewage treatment plant operators earn more than people working in the category of Waste and Recycling generally in Kentucky and more than people in the Waste and Recycling category nationally.

The Lexington-Fayette area is home to twenty-two schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Lexington-Fayette where you can get a degree as a sewage treatment plant operator. Sewage treatment plant operators usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a sewage treatment plant operator if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Sewage Treatment Plant Operator

Sewage Treatment Plant Operator video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, sewage treatment plant operators 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.

Sewage treatment plant operators record operational data or meter and gauge readings on specified forms. They also add chemicals such as ammonia or lime to disinfect and deodorize water and other liquids. Equally important, sewage treatment plant operators have to clean and maintain tanks, filter beds, and other work areas using hand tools and power tools. They are often called upon to collect and test water and sewage samples, using test equipment and color analysis standards. They are expected to maintain and lubricate equipment, using hand tools and power tools. Finally, sewage treatment plant operators operate and adjust controls on apparatus to purify and clarify water, process or dispose of sewage, and generate power.

Every day, sewage treatment plant operators are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they see details at a very fine level of focus.

It is important for sewage treatment plant operators to inspect equipment or monitor operating conditions and gauges to establish load requirements and detect malfunctions. Somewhat less frequently, sewage treatment plant operators are also expected to direct and schedule plant staff working on routine operations and maintenance efforts.

And finally, they sometimes have to direct and schedule plant staff working on routine operations and maintenance efforts.

Like many other jobs, sewage treatment plant operators must believe in an agile approach to problem solving and deal with change and be thorough and dependable.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Sewage Treatment Plant Operator Training

Eastern Kentucky University - Richmond, KY

Eastern Kentucky University, 521 Lancaster Ave, Richmond, KY 40475-3102. Eastern Kentucky University is a large university located in Richmond, Kentucky. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,050 students and an admission rate of 69%. Eastern Kentucky University has a bachelor's degree program in Water Quality & Wastewater Treatment Management & Recycling Technology/Technician which graduated twenty-five students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Water Treatment Operator: ABC offers certification to operators in water treatment, distribution, very small water systems, wastewater treatment, collection, and industrial waste.

For more information, see the Association of Boards of Certification website.

Water/Wastewater Plants Certification: This certification program is designed for engineering technicians who perform the inspection during construction of water/wastewater treatment plants, pumping stations and related buildings and structures.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Water and Sewer Lines: This certification program is for engineering technicians engaged in the construction and inspection of underground water and sewer lines, and is applicable to both private and public sector technicians.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Stormwater and Wastewater System Inspection: This certification program is designed for engineering technicians engaged in the inspection of stormwater and wastewater systems and is applicable to both private and public sector technicians.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

LICENSES

Certified Drinking Water Treatment and Distribution System

Licensing agency: Kentucky Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
Address: Division of Compliance Assistance, Operator Certification Program, 300 Fair Oaks Lane, Frankfort, KY 40601

Phone: (502) 564-0323
Website: Kentucky Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet Division of Compliance Assistance Operator Certification Program

Certified Wastewater System Operator

Licensing agency: Kentucky Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
Address: Division of Compliance Assistance, Operator Certification Program, 300 Fair Oaks Lane, Frankfort, KY 40601

Phone: (502) 564-0323
Website: Kentucky Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet Division of Compliance Assistance Operator Certification Program

LOCATION INFORMATION: Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky

Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky
Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky photo by Jonesey

Lexington-Fayette is located in Fayette County, Kentucky. It has a population of over 282,114, which has grown by 8.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Lexington-Fayette, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Lexington-Fayette are valued at $167,600 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, seven hundred seventy-one new homes were built in Lexington-Fayette, down from 1,227 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Lexington-Fayette are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 35.6% of Lexington-Fayette residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.5%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Lexington-Fayette residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 47.3%, is less than both the national and state average. Victory Baptist Church, Aldersgate Church and Trinity Hill United Methodist Church are all churches located in Lexington-Fayette. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Lexington-Fayette is home to the Tates Creek Country Club and the Home of Henry Clay as well as Kentucky State Horse Park and Duncan Park. Shopping centers in the area include Fayette Mall, Turfland Mall and Lexington Mall.