Employment of water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators is expected to grow about as fast as average for all occupations through the year 2014. Job prospects will be good for qualified individuals because the number of applicants in this field is normally low, due primarily to the unclean and physically demanding nature of the work. Workers who have training in all aspects of water and wastewater treatment and who can handle multiple duties will have the best opportunities.
The increasing population and the growth of the economy are expected to boost demand for essential water and wastewater treatment services. As new plants are constructed to meet this demand, employment of water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators will increase. In addition, many job openings will occur as experienced operators leave the labor force or transfer to other occupations.
Local governments are the largest employers of water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators. However, Federal certification requirements have increased utilities’ reliance on private firms specializing in the operation and management of water and wastewater treatment facilities. As a result, employment in privately owned facilities will grow faster than the average.