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.

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

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: 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 Emerging Leader: Anna Bell, Valley Sanitation District
Anna Bell not only knows her laboratory, she understands the treatment process and how the lab data affect plant operations.  That’s because she’s not only a certified laboratory analyst, she’s also a grade V wastewater operator, and that enables her to know exactly what the analytical data mean out there where the wastewater meets the...
Meet Emerging Leader: Oyuna Jenkins, Associate Chemist, City of Escondido
Oyuna Jenkins has been working all her professional life to serve the public.  That ethic goes back to her native Mongolia, where she earned a university degree in chemical engineering. In the U.S. she says she wanted to find a job that capitalized on her education, and she worked for a small analytical laboratory for nine years...

VETERANS IN WATER

Collections System Professional Profile: Robert Gerena
Robert Gerena, Utilities O&M Supervisor, City of Hayward  How did you get your first job in the wastewater sector?  After getting out of the Navy, I worked for the federal government at Camp Pendleton as a Boiler Plant Operator. I saw that as a dead-end job and looked for a way to a different career path. I...
Interview with Apprentice Dayton Busch
By: Channing Vang, California Rural Water Association What’s your background? After being discharged from the military, I enrolled at DeVry University and earned my Associates degree in Electronics. I went to work for an oil company and focused on instrumentation. While working there, I was introduced to the field of environmental reporting and really enjoyed...

CALIFORNIA WATER & WASTEWATER WORKFORCE

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...
Finding and Training the Operators of the Future
CWEA’s coverage of the water workforce is supported by WaterTalent Obstacles and paths to water operator careers By Katherine Saltzman Amid retirement surges across the water workforce, there are ongoing discussions about the urgency to recruit, train, and retain new professionals. Part of this effort involves establishing the water sector as an attractive career path...

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