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.

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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.

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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.

VISIT CA WATER JOBS

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CAREER ADVICE

Career advice stories are sponsored by WaterTALENT

Recorded Webinar: Veterans in Water: Continue Serving Your Community
 California’s water utilities are hiring now. They’ll hire thousands of highly-skilled professionals for water jobs this year. Your skills as a veteran could be exactly what water utilities are looking for. Dive into the California water profession. We can show you how. This one hour webinar features four veterans who work on the frontlines...
Recorded Webinar: Women in Water & Power: Working on the Frontlines
 Calling all women (and women supporters) who want to feel empowered in the water, wastewater and power industries! Join us if you are interested in pursuing these amazing careers. This very special one hour webinar discussion features four woman who work on the frontlines of California water. We’re also celebrating these amazing water professionals...
Recorded Webinar: How to Present on Paper and In Person for Water Jobs
 The CWEA Students and Young Professionals Committee presents a skills building webinar The resume is a marketing tool which acts as a door opener and allows an employer to assess your qualifications quickly in the pre-screening process before interviews. Resumes should be succinct, commanding and truthful while emphasizing skills, strengths and accomplishments. Most resumes...

INSPIRING CAREER STORIES

LEE + RO Names Vice President Eric Lovering its Chief Engineer
LEE + RO, Inc., today announced that Vice President Eric Lovering, P.E., has been named the company’s chief engineer. In this new role, Lovering will apply his 20 years of engineering experience, strong leadership qualities and problem-solving skills to helping solidify the company’s position as a leader in the design, engineering, and implementation of water,...
State Water Board Announces Laboratory Advisory Committee, Including Several CWEA Members
Announcement from the State Water Board’s ELAP office… Announcing the 2021-2022 Environmental Laboratory Technical Advisory Committee (ELTAC) Voting Members ELTAC provides constructive scientific advice and feedback to ELAP and the California regulatory agencies who use laboratory data to make decisions to protect the state’s environmental and public health. The 2021-2022 Committee has been built to...
Photo Gallery: CWEA Member PPE Selfies
Show off your PPE Whatever happens in this pandemic, the wastewater keeps flowing. CWEA members are #essentialworkers out there keeping #essentialservices going. We are the ones on the front lines, making sure wastewater gets cleaned up to protect our communities and the environment. Job #1 is keeping you and your teammates safe. If you’re a...

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

Veterans in Water: Brian Prenger, Costa Mesa Sanitary District
Brian Prenger Maintenance Worker 1 Costa Mesa Sanitary District Certifications : CWEA Grade 1 Collection Systems Maintenance Branch and Years of Service: USMC 1988-1992 What is your role? My role is of a Maintenance Worker 1 for the  Costa Mesa Sanitary District and our Mission is protecting the health and the environment. My tasks are preventive...
Recorded Webinar: Veterans in Water: Continue Serving Your Community
 California’s water utilities are hiring now. They’ll hire thousands of highly-skilled professionals for water jobs this year. Your skills as a veteran could be exactly what water utilities are looking for. Dive into the California water profession. We can show you how. This one hour webinar features four veterans who work on the frontlines...
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...

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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