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Career and Education Opportunities for Sewage Treatment Plant Operators in Salem, Oregon

Sewage treatment plant operators can find many career and educational opportunities in the Salem, Oregon area. About 1,200 people are currently employed as sewage treatment plant operators in Oregon. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 11% to 1,330 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 approximately $21 per hour or $44,750 per year on average in Oregon. Nationally they average about $18 hourly or $38,430 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Waste and Recycling, people working as sewage treatment plant operators in Oregon earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Waste and Recycling nationally.

There are seventeen schools of higher education in the Salem area, including two within twenty-five miles of Salem where you can get a degree to start your career as a sewage treatment plant operator. The most common level of education for sewage treatment plant operators is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn 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

Linn-Benton Community College - Albany, OR

Linn-Benton Community College, 6500 Pacific Blvd SW, Albany, OR 97321. Linn-Benton Community College is a medium sized college located in Albany, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,576 students. Linn-Benton Community College has an associate's degree program in Water Quality & Wastewater Treatment Management & Recycling Technology/Technician which graduated six students in 2008.

Clackamas Community College - Oregon City, OR

Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Ave, Oregon City, OR 97045-8980. Clackamas Community College is a medium sized college located in Oregon City, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,701 students. Clackamas Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Water Quality & Wastewater Treatment Management & Recycling Technology/Technician which graduated zero, one, and one students respectively 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

Drinking Water Operator Certification

Licensing agency: DHS - Health Services
Address: 500 Summer St NE, Suite E-41, Salem, OR 97301

Phone: (503) 947-1175
Website: DHS - Health Services

Waste Water Specialist

Licensing agency: Oregon Health Licensing Office
Address: 700 Summer St NE, Suite 320, Salem, OR 97301

Phone: (503) 378-8667
Website: Oregon Health Licensing Office

Waste Water Specialist Trainee

Licensing agency: Oregon Health Licensing Office
Address: 700 Summer St NE, Suite 320, Salem, OR 97301

Phone: (503) 378-8667
Website: Oregon Health Licensing Office

Wastewater System Operator Certification

Licensing agency: Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Address: 811 SW 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97204

Phone: (503) 229-5696
Website: Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

LOCATION INFORMATION: Salem, Oregon

Salem, Oregon
Salem, Oregon photo by Aboutmovies

Salem is located in Marion County, Oregon. It has a population of over 153,435, which has grown by 12.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Salem, 97, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Salem are valued at $215,800 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, two hundred sixty-nine new homes were constructed in Salem, down from five hundred forty-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Salem are health care, public administration, and educational services. For men, it is construction, public administration, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 24.1% of Salem residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Salem is 10.2%, which is less than Oregon's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Salem residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.6%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Salem is home to the Oregon Women's Correctional Center and the Oregon State Penitentiary as well as Waldo Park and Olinger Pool Park. Visitors to Salem can choose from Red Lion Hotel-Salem Reservations, Shilo Inn Salem and Econo Lodge Salem for temporary stays in the area.