Waste Water Plant Operator Salary (United States)

Male Waste Water Plant Operators number significantly more than their female counterparts, and average earnings in this role come out to $17.17 per hour in the United States. Pay ranges from $12.00 per hour on the low end to $24.82 on the higher side. Benefits are common in this line of work, with most reporting medical and dental coverage and more than half collecting vision insurance. The majority of Waste Water Plant Operators claim high levels of job satisfaction. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
Waste Water Plant Operator Salary (?
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.
)
$27,698 - $68,148
(Median)
28K
41K
52K
68K
MEDIAN: $40,518
10%
50%
75%
90%
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Waste Water Plant Operator Salary (?
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.
)
$12.00 - $24.82
(Median)
12
14
17
21
25
MEDIAN: $17.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

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
$27,698 - $68,148  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,012  
Profit Sharing
$500 - $4,000  
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).
)
$26,143 - $58,241  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 158
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$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$12.00 - $24.82  
   
Overtime
$16.67 - $38.39  
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$26K$52K$78K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,012  
   
Profit Sharing
$500 - $4,000  
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).
)
$26,143 - $58,241  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 444
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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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Though not the most common occurrence, Waste Water Plant Operators who become Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendents earn an extra $15,554 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.

Waste Water Plant Operator Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Waste Water Plant Operator

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Though Waste Water Plant Operators can expect regular salary growth as they advance in their careers, experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase. After five to 10 years, pay—which begins at $34K—can reach $38K. Earnings total $46K after one to two decades. After 20 years in the field, Waste Water Plant Operators see their salaries growing more slowly, eventually averaging out to $49K. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up 23 percent of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise less than five, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining 14 percent. Most employees in this workforce have between one and nine years of experience; more than half of those surveyed fall within this distribution.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Waste Water Plant Operator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 29%
Experienced
up arrow 21%
Mid-Career
0%
National Average
$38,000
Entry-Level
up arrow 11%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 104 votes.

Gender

Female
3%
female alumni
 
Male
97%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
35%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
14%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 87% dental benefits Dental: 69%
vision benefits Vision: 51% employee benefits None: 11%
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