CAREER PATHS

Electrical Instrumentation Technologist

Within the water and wastewater industry, Electronic Maintenance Technicians, also called Instrument Technicians, are responsible for installing and maintaining various electronic monitoring and communication equipment, including pressure and level recorders, programmable logic controllers, relays and computers. They are responsible for communications systems at treatment plants, pump stations, power generating facilities, electrical substations, and remote locations.

CAREER PATH     CERTIFICATION INFO     JOB OPENINGS

Electrician

Electricians install, repair, operate, and maintain the electrical and power systems for homes, businesses, factories, and infrastructure within the water and wastewater industry. They are responsible for the wiring and control equipment through which electricity flows and the electrical equipment that it powers.

CAREER PATH       JOB OPENINGS

Engineer

Engineering is an exciting profession that makes a difference in our world. Engineers play a critical role in providing clean, safe water to sustain life and support our economy. This includes planning, design and construction of new facilities as well as maintenance of existing ones. Engineering jobs in the water and wastewater industry provide the opportunity to earn a good living for yourself and your family while serving your community and protecting the environment.

“There are two things that make my job enjoyable. The first is the satisfaction of knowing that I am building infrastructure that keeps the environment safe from wastewater and pollution. The second is that even though this is a position in civil engineering, I am exposed to all of the other engineering disciplines…. This keeps the job interesting and allows me to learn about things that I might not otherwise be exposed to.” Chris Pachmayer, Union Sanitary District.

CAREER PATH       JOB OPENINGS

Environmental Compliance Inspector

An Environmental Compliance Inspector (ECI) inspects industrial, commercial and municipal activities to ensure compliance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), State Water Board, Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB,) and local regulations and ordinances.

The EPA established and maintains pretreatment regulations for all publicly operated treatment works (POTW) as part of their National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits. ECIs work with local commercial and industrial dischargers to ensure the POTW can maintain its treatment levels and meet  permit requirements. Environmental Compliance Inspectors are sometimes known as Pretreatment Inspectors.

CAREER PATH     CERTIFICATION INFO      JOB OPENINGS

Mechanic

Under general direction, the Mechanic/Machinist performs preventive, routine and emergency maintenance and repair of a variety of heavy and light equipment, related systems and components.

Knowledge of: basic techniques of shop theory and bench work such as chipping, sawing, filing, drilling, welding (MIG and ARC), soldering, gearing, threading, grinding and heat treatment; maintenance and repair of a variety of equipment including hydraulically and pneumatically operated machinery; arithmetic functions needed for precise measurements in performing machining duties; safety rules and regulations in the workplace, field, and while operating equipment; and familiarity with basic composition, characteristics, and uses of commonly used machine shop metals and materials.

CAREER PATH      CERTIFICATION INFO      JOB OPENINGS

Wastewater Collections Operator

Wastewater Collections Operators are responsible for skilled tasks in the construction, maintenance, and repair of wastewater system facilities; operating a variety of light and moderately heavy power driven equipment; and ensuring public health and safety by preventing and/or responding to sewage overflows and blockages.

Wastewater Collections Operators are responsible for skilled tasks in the construction, maintenance, and repair of wastewater system facilities; operating a variety of light and moderately heavy power driven equipment; and ensuring public health and safety by preventing and/or responding to sewage overflows and blockages. They inspect, clean, maintain, construct, and repair wastewater collection systems including sanitary sewers, storm drains, pump stations, pipes, manholes and catch basins.

CAREER PATH    CERTIFICATION INFO   JOB OPENINGS

Wastewater Treatment Operator

Under general supervision, operates, inspects, and maintains a variety of plant equipment in connection with the continuous operation of a large metropolitan wastewater treatment plant; directs lower level operators; and performs related work as required.

The operation, maintenance and cleaning of primary and secondary wastewater treatment equipment and facilities; wastewater treatment principles, methods, and practices; arithmetic; safety rules, codes, and regulations pertaining to the work; basic first aid; the methods and precautions in storing and handling chlorine and other hazardous gases and chemicals; wastewater sampling and routine process control tests.

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According to a workforce report by the Brookings Institute:

  • There are 212 different occupations in the water sector
  • In the US nearly 1.7 million workers fill jobs across the water sector
  • The water sector pays above average according to Brookings, up to 50 percent more for water workers in entry level jobs
  • California hires over 6,000 new water and wastewater professionals per year *

Read the Brookings report. * CA statistics calculated by CWEA based a Cuyamaca College water workforce study.

VISIT CA WATER JOBS

INSPIRING CAREER STORIES

Member Profile: Tara McClinton, Lab Technician, Napa Sanitation District
Video Profile “The requirement to continue training is vital because it ensures we stay up to date with current trends in the field.” Tara McClinton Volunteer TCP Moderator Lab Technician II Napa Sanitation District Laboratory Analyst, Grade 4 Environmental Compliance Inspector, Grade 4 This month’s member Q&A is with Tara McClinton, a CWEA member since...
Meet CWEA President Wendy Wert, Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts
As environmental professionals work to address the most pressing challenges of the 21st century, is time dedicated to the California Water Environment Association (AAEES) well spent? The answer from an active volunteer, Wendy Wert, P.E., BCEE, is a resounding yes and a compelling story. Wendy is registered civil engineer with the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts....
Video: Cindy Messer, Chief Deputy Director DWR, in ‘Follow Her Lead’ Interview
Read the original profile from Comstock magazine. Cindy Messer was sworn in as chief deputy director of the California Department of Water Resources the day after the Oroville Dam crisis began in February 2017, when damage to both the main and emergency spillways forced the evacuation of more than 180,000 residents. Find more info on...

WOMEN IN WATER

Member Profile: Cheyanne Harris, Brown and Caldwell
For Cheyanne Harris, it all started in middle school. Growing up in Sacramento, she attended the School of Engineering and Sciences – a specialized school that invited guest speakers from the math, science and engineering industries. What appealed to Cheyanne about engineering was the opportunity to make a positive impact on the community using math...
Women in Water: Dr. Kumudini Dharmawardana, City of Livermore
Name: Dr. Kumudini Dharmawardana Title/Agency: Public Works Supervisor – Laboratory Certifications: CWEA Laboratory Analyst Grade IV Dr. Kumudini Dharmawardana always knew she wanted to pursue a scientific career that would make a positive impact in the world. After receiving her master’s degree in Analytical Chemistry and PhD in Biochemistry, Dharmawardana began working in medical research...
Women in Water: Lisa Boyko-Davidson, City of Livermore
Name: Lisa Boyko-Davidson Title/Agency: Laboratory Technician, City of Livermore Certifications: CWEA Laboratory Analyst Grade IV, CWEA Environmental Compliance Inspector Grade I Lisa Boyko-Davidson had an early start in the science field. “Growing up, my dad worked in an environmental laboratory and I remember helping him run biochemical oxygen demand tests when I was six years...

VETERANS IN WATER

Cybersecurity Lessons During a Year of Crisis
Every year brings its own cyber incidents and threats, and with each of these there are lessons for what should be done in terms of cybersecurity. 2020 still has over a couple months to go, but already it’s provided its fair share of crises that we can learn from. And now that it’s Cybersecurity Awareness...
Veterans in Water: Alexander Avila, Compost Worker
Name: Alexander Avila Title: Compost Worker Tenure and certifications held: 7 Months/Confined space, Lockout Tag out, Respirator fitting Name of agency: Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) Branch and years of service: Army National Guard/ 8 years What is your role? In the Army I was a team leader responsible for supervising 6 soldiers. Today I...
Veterans in Water: Kenneth Monfore, Manager of Asset Management
  Name: Kenneth Monfore Title: Manager of Asset Management Certifications: Certified Reliability Leader (CRL), Certified Maintenance & Reliability Professional (CMRP) – Expected completion 2021 Name of agency: Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) Branch and years of service: United States Navy – 24 years as a Nuclear Submarine Naval Officer I am the Inland Empire Utilities...

CALIFORNIA WATER & WASTEWATER WORKFORCE

EPA Announces Initiative to Recruit and Retain Water Workforce of the Future
Today, at the virtual 2020 WEFTEC conference, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the next step in EPA’s effort to help address workforce challenges that are facing America’s drinking water and wastewater utilities. The new America’s Water Sector Workforce Initiative outlines actions that the public and private sector are committing to that...
EPA Urges States to Support Drinking Water and Wastewater Operations During COVID-19
View CWEA’s round-up of Coronavirus (COVID-19) worker safety information here > Message from the US EPA… Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler sent a letter to Governors in all 50 states, territories and Washington, D.C. urging them to ensure that drinking water and wastewater employees are considered essential workers by state authorities...
Recorded CWEA Webinar: Continuity of Operations and Emergency Staffing
Coverage of water workforce topics is supported by waterTALENT COVID-19 in CA Webinar – Continuity of Operations and Emergency Staffing was held on Thursday, April 9th. The webinar is supported by DUDEK. This is CWEA’s second webinar in our COVID-19 series. Recording:  A recording of the webinar is available on YouTube.  Feel free to forward...

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