A sizeable majority of Water Plant Operators in the United States are men. In this role, average pay is around $18.89 per hour. For the most part, Water Plant Operators enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. A large number enjoy medical while the greater part get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a little over a half. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.

$31,977 - $67,022
(Median)
$32K
$45K
$67K
MEDIAN: $44,749
10%
50%
90%

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$12.00 - $26.99
(Median)
$12
$19
$27
MEDIAN: $18.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$23K$46K$69K
Salary
$31,977 - $67,022  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,838  
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).
)
$26,743 - $63,026  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 62
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$12.00 - $26.99  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00  
Overtime
$18.37 - $41.57  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,838  
   
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).
)
$26,743 - $63,026  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 219
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Job Description for Water Plant Operator

Water plant operators work in water treatment plants and facilities. They generally operate the plant equipment, as well as perform tests, adjust and change chemicals, monitor changes, and communicate with the control center. They also repair and maintain pumps and valves, as well as perform preventative maintenance on a firm schedule. In some locations, water plant operators work in shifts on a rotating basis. However, in many places, they have permanent shifts on a full-time basis. They may be required to work nights, weekends, and holidays depending on the needs of their employer. This job involves working with municipality wastewater and machinery, and these professionals are typically managed by a plant manager or a senior water plant operator.

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Water Plant Operator Tasks

  • Collect, test, and analyze water samples.
  • Operate wells and chemical feed systems, and oversee store tank levels to ensure compliance with regulations.
  • Maintain water testing and treatment plant equipment.
  • Maintains documentation and records of plant operations and data

Common Career Paths for Water Plant Operator


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Many Water Plant Operators move into a Water Treatment Operator role, which does not lead to a big boost in pay. Water Treatment Operators on average bring in a similar salary to Water Plant Operators.

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Pay by Experience Level for Water Plant Operator

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


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 $37K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $45K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $46K. Old hands boasting more than twenty years of relevant experience report pay that is more or less commensurate with that extensive experience; average earnings for this group come out to approximately $52K.

Water Plant Operator Reviews

What is it like working as a Water Plant Operator?

Water Plant Operator in Lahaina:
"It's a great job that I get to do outdoors with an awesome s."
Pros: Working hands on outdoors. My coworkers.
Cons: My commute to work is too long and could be shorter.

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Experience Affects Water Plant Operator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 23%

Experienced
up arrow 9%

Mid-Career
up arrow 6%

National Average
$42,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 13%

Skills That Affect Water Plant Operator Salaries

license
up arrow 17%

Plant Maintenance
up arrow 6%

Operations Management
up arrow 5%

National Average
$42,000

Chemistry
up arrow 4%

Reverse Osmosis Water Purification
up arrow 13%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 24 votes.

Gender

Female
4 %
Male
96 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
34%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
16%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 88%
dental benefits
Dental: 68%
medical benefits
Vision: 53%
dental benefits
None: 9%
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