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Career and Education Opportunities for Sewage Treatment Plant Operators in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for sewage treatment plant operators. About 2,250 people are currently employed as sewage treatment plant operators in Wisconsin. By 2016, this is expected to grow 6% to about 2,390 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for sewage treatment plant operators, which sees this job pool growing by about 19.8% over the next eight years. Sewage treatment plant operators generally 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.

The income of a sewage treatment plant operator is about $19 per hour or $40,060 yearly on average in Wisconsin. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $18 hourly or $38,430 annually on average. Incomes for sewage treatment plant operators are better than in the overall category of Waste and Recycling in Wisconsin, and better than the overall Waste and Recycling category nationally.

There are thirty-nine schools of higher education in the Milwaukee area, including one within twenty-five miles of Milwaukee 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. 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.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Milwaukee include:

  • Chemical Plant Operations Technician. Control or operate an entire chemical process or system of machines.
  • Gas Plant Operator. Distribute or process gas for utility companies and others by controlling compressors to maintain specified pressures on main pipelines.
  • Petroleum Refinery Worker. Control the operation of petroleum refining or processing units. May specialize in controlling manifold and pumping systems, gauging or testing oil in storage tanks, or regulating the flow of oil into pipelines.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Sewage Treatment Plant Operator Training

Milwaukee Area Technical College - Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee Area Technical College, 700 W State St, Milwaukee, WI 53233-1443. Milwaukee Area Technical College is a large college located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 18,780 students and an admission rate of 54%. Milwaukee Area Technical College has an associate's degree program in Water Quality & Wastewater Treatment Management & Recycling Technology/Technician which graduated 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

WASTEWATER / WATERWORKS OPERATOR

Licensing agency: Dept of Natural Resources
Address: Integrated Science Services, 101 S. Webster St. SS/6, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921

Phone: (608) 267-6744
Website: Dept of Natural Resources Integrated Science Services

LOCATION INFORMATION: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin photo by Towpilot

Milwaukee is located in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. It has a population of over 604,477, which has grown by 1.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Milwaukee, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Milwaukee cost $167,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, ninety-six new homes were built in Milwaukee, down from one hundred sixty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Milwaukee are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is administrative and support and waste management services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 18.3% of Milwaukee residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Milwaukee is 10.6%, which is greater than Wisconsin's average of 7.7%.

The percentage of Milwaukee residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 47.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Church of the Epiphany, Saint Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church and German Full Gospel Church are among the churches located in Milwaukee. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Milwaukee is home to the Caroline Hall and the Wood as well as Cannon Park and Fifth Ward Playground. Shopping malls in the area include Juneau Village Shopping Center, Times Square Shopping Center and Grand Avenue Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Milwaukee can choose from Edge-O-Town Motel, Manor House Hotel and Days Inn West Allis for temporary stays in the area.