Waste Water Plant Operator Salary

A sizeable majority of Waste Water Plant Operators in the United States are men. In this role, average pay is around $17.52 per hour. Pay generally varies between $12.20 per hour and $25.68. Career length and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and more than half collect dental insurance. Most Waste Water Plant Operators report high levels of job satisfaction. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$29,238 - $67,703
(Median)
$29K
$44K
$68K
MEDIAN: $44,012
10%
50%
90%

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$12.20 - $25.68
(Median)
$12
$18
$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$23K$46K$69K
Salary
$29,238 - $67,703  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,237  
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).
)
$26,739 - $61,115  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 153
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
$17.37 - $40.67  
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 - $1,237  
   
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).
)
$26,739 - $61,115  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 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 not commonly seen, Waste Water Plant Operators who transition into a Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendent position may see a rise in pay. The median salary for Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendents is $54K per year. 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.

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Waste Water Plant Operators who responded to the survey report just a handful of 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.


Waste Water Plant Operators do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $34K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $41K. Waste Water Plant Operators with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $48K. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $51K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.

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Experience Affects Waste Water Plant Operator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 28%

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
15%

Common Health Benefits

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