A water technician ensures the quality of water consumed and used by the public through monitoring it at a water treatment plant. He is usually in charge of the equipment maintenance at the plant. His job entails using various tools, computerised systems and gauges to test the water for contaminants and inconsistencies.
The ability to read and interpret gauges and other measuring devices is required for this job. A water technician must also be skilled at using chemicals and other additives to test water samples and make adjustments as necessary to guarantee its safety and the quality of taste and smell. Good listening skills are required to follow precise instructions provided by the water plant operator.
The job of a water technician requires good organizational skills. She must carefully follow daily procedures to test the water and give excellent attention to every detail of her findings. She has to have the knowledge and expertise to adjust chemical levels and remove harmful bacteria and organisms to make the water drinkable and visually appealing. The job requires her to be informed of local, regional, state and federal water quality standards and make sure they are consistently met.
Water plants are normally located inside simple concrete structures, so the temperatures are often chilly. These plants are typically run by state, county or city agencies but also may be privately owned and operated. Noise levels may be elevated by the sound of the water processing equipment. Using hand tools is frequently necessary to repair and adjust the equipment and machines in the plant. Working hours are generally normal business hours although the technician may be called to the plant during odd hours or on weekends if there is equipment failure that requires his expertise.
Those seeking jobs as water technicians must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Employers tend to favour applicants who have an associate’s degree or certificate in wastewater treatment or water quality technology. A considerable number of states require water technicians to have certifications in water treatment technology. Knowledge gained through past jobs related to water treatment or plant maintenance is generally considered a plus by employers.
Salary and Advancement Opportunities
Many water technicians have the opportunity to advance to water plant operator. This promotion may require relocating to another plant within the water district’s jurisdiction. Based on information found at Swz.salary.com, the 2009 median annual salary for a water technician working in the United States was £32,216.