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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

CAREER PATH CERTIFICATION INFO JOB OPENINGS

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.

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CAREER ADVICE

Career advice stories are sponsored by WaterTALENT

Video: Water Leaders Discuss Their Career Path to Power
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From Operator Certs to Bachelor’s Degree: <br>JCSD’s Chander Letulle Shares Secrets to Getting a Degree
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2022 Water Week: California Water Career Fairs
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INSPIRING CAREER STORIES

Ron Wade, Longtime CWEA Member, has Passed Away
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Member Profile: A 20 Year Journey in Wastewater Management
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CWEA Member Dr. Rosso Joins WEF Board of Trustees
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WOMEN IN WATER

Empowering Change: Engineering for a Sustainable Future with the Kirt Brooks Scholarship
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Video: Water Leaders Discuss Their Career Path to Power
The Path to Power series is organized by the Association of Women in Water, Energy, and the Environment. We are excited to introduce a remarkable panel of women in the water industry who will engage in a thought-provoking dialogue about their accomplished career paths. California water leaders on the panel: Jennifer Persike, moderatorr, Jennifer Persike...
Michelle White to Begin Tenure as Harris & Associates CEO in 2024
Harris & Associates will officially welcome Michelle White as the firm’s next Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on January 1, 2024. This is the culmination of a well-planned and purposeful succession strategy developed in 2021. Michelle brings extensive experience and deep industry knowledge to the position, having successfully led various aspects of Harris’ business operations over...

VETERANS IN WATER

EVMWD Honors Veterans: Recognizing the Heroic Service of Veteran Staff on Veterans Day and the U.S. Marine Corps’ Birthday
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Veterans in Water: Ryan Ward, Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA)
Introducing Ryan Ward, an Associate Engineer at the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA). Since joining IEUA in 2017, Ryan has brought valuable expertise, holding certifications such as F.E., D2, T2, Wastewater 3, and Collection System Maintenance Grade 2. Prior to his role at IEUA, Ryan dedicated a decade of service to the Army. What is...
Wastewater treatment operator reaches 25-year milestone
It’s easy to get Todd Hutchinson talking about wastewater treatment and how it has improved since the late ‘90s. As Lead Operator for the San Elijo Joint Powers Authority, Hutchinson is celebrating 25 years of service for the agency that serves Encinitas, Solana Beach, Del Mar and some surrounding areas. The Board of Directors is...

CALIFORNIA WATER & WASTEWATER WORKFORCE

California is Overflowing with Water Career Opportunities
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Workforce Diversity: Three Tips on Recognizing and Removing Bias from the Hiring Process
The US Water Alliance spoke with Louisville MSD and DC Water for some insight into their organizations’ efforts to seek out and maintain a diverse workplace. The VOW Workforce Diversity Toolkit contains materials to assist in the pursuit of a more diverse team—we hope you’ll use these tips, too. 1) Establish company values during the...

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