Waste Water Plant Operator Salary

Waste Water Plant Operators in the United States are largely men, earning an average of $17.47 per hour. The bottom of the pay range sits near $12.20 per hour, and the top verges on $25.68. Experience level and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most Waste Water Plant Operators report high levels of job satisfaction. A large number enjoy medical while the larger part get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to slightly more than half. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
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$29,290 - $69,090
(Median)
$29K
$44K
$69K
MEDIAN: $44,403
10%
50%
90%

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$12.20 - $25.68
(Median)
$12
$17
$26
MEDIAN: $17.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$24K$48K$72K
Salary
$29,290 - $69,090  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,507  
Profit Sharing
$350.00 - $3,750  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$26,746 - $61,613  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 154
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$12.20 - $25.68  
   
Overtime
$17.50 - $40.63  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,507  
   
Profit Sharing
$350.00 - $3,750  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$26,746 - $61,613  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 477
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Job Description for Waste Water Plant Operator

Waste water plant operators ensure drinking water is safe for consumption by the general public. To conduct this task, operators use many types of equipment that are usually housed in very large plants. The machines inside the plants intake water from many sources ranging from rivers to streams to sewers. The main task of an operator is to monitor the machines, as well as maintain and take measurements/readings of the data the equipment collects. Operators must pay close attention to the smell of the water as it is being processed, as well as the contents of the water observed on a microscopic level. The operator usually works during regular business hours, and their position is hands on and may be dangerous.

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Waste Water Plant Operator Tasks

  • Inspect machines and operating conditions to detect malfunctions.
  • Test water and sewage samples.
  • Operate machines to transfer or treat waste water.

Common Career Paths for Waste Water Plant Operator


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While Waste Water Plant Operators do not often become Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendents, the job pays $54K per year on average. However, it's more common for Waste Water Plant Operators to move into roles as Water Treatment Operators or Water or Liquid Waste Treatment Plant / System Operators.

Water Treatment Operator Job Listings

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Survey takers who work as Waste Water Plant Operators typically report just a few professional skills. Most notably, facility with Operations Management and Plant Maintenance are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 25 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

Pay by Experience Level for Waste Water Plant Operator

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Waste Water Plant Operators — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $34K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $41K. For Waste Water Plant Operators, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $48K. Waste Water Plant Operators who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $51K.

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Experience Affects Waste Water Plant Operator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 29%

Experienced
up arrow 20%

Mid-Career
up arrow 5%

National Average
$40,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 13%

Skills That Affect Waste Water Plant Operator Salaries

Operations Management
up arrow 25%

Plant Maintenance
up arrow 12%

National Average
$40,000

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 107 votes.

Gender

Female
4 %
Male
96 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
36%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
14%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 87% dental benefits Dental: 68%
vision benefits Vision: 52% employee benefits None: 10%
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