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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 $17.34 per hour. Earnings generally vary between $12.13 per hour and $25.45. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and the larger part collect dental insurance. Work is enjoyable for Waste Water Plant Operators, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$29,088 - $67,019
(Median)
$29K
$44K
$67K
MEDIAN: $44,403
10%
50%
90%

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$12.13 - $25.45
(Median)
$12
$17
$25
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
$29,088 - $67,019  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,500  
Profit Sharing
$491.32 - $4,069  
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).
)
$26,649 - $60,640  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 162
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
$12.13 - $25.45  
   
Overtime
$17.20 - $39.66  
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 - $1,500  
   
Profit Sharing
$491.32 - $4,069  
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).
)
$26,649 - $60,640  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 464

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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 some Waste Water Plant Operators move into positions like Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendent (where the average salary is $55K), this progression is not the norm. More commonly, Waste Water Plant Operators become Water Treatment Operators or Water or Liquid Waste Treatment Plant Operators.

Water Treatment Operator Job Listings

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Waste Water Plant Operators note just a narrow range of job skills. Most notably, facility with Plant Maintenance and Operations Management are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 28 percent and 26 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 does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $34K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $41K on average — a distinctly larger sum. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $47K. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $50K.

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Waste Water Plant Operator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 28%

Experienced
up arrow 21%

Mid-Career
up arrow 5%

National Average
$39,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 12%

Skills That Affect Waste Water Plant Operator Salaries

Plant Maintenance
up arrow 28%

Operations Management
up arrow 26%

National Average
$39,000

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 108 votes.

Gender

Female
4 %
Male
96 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
36%
5-9 years
26%
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: 11%