Waste Water or Water Plant Operators operate plants to store, distribute and treat water, including purifying water for human consumption and removing waste from sewage.

    You usually need a certificate III or IV in water industry operations to work as a Waste Water or Water Plant Operator.

    Tasks

    • Controls flow of raw water into plant, by regulating electric motors, pumps and valves.
    • Adds specified amounts of chemicals and activates agitators to mix chemicals. carries out such tests as are required in accordance with training given.
    • Allows impurities to settle and removes them by filtering water through filtering material.
    • Pumps purified water into mains, monitors flow and distribution.
    • Cleans tanks and maintains equipment, and makes minor repairs.
    • Pumps waste water into oxidation/settling ponds.
    • Removes sludge.
    • Burns off gases, treats and discharges waste water when it reaches the required levels of purity.

    All Other Stationary Plant Operators

    • $1,886 Weekly Pay
    • Moderate Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment

    Waste Water and Water Plant Operators

    • 4,200 workers Employment Size
    • Lower skill Skill level rating
    • 94% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 44 hours Average full-time
    • 47 years Average age
    • 6% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Waste Water and Water Plant Operators (in their main job) grew moderately over 5 years:
    from 3,900 in 2011 to 4,200 in 2016.

    • Size: This is a very small occupation.
    • Location: Waste Water and Water Plant Operators work in many parts of Australia. Queensland has a large share of workers.
    • Industries: Most work in Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services; Public Administration and Safety; and Construction.
    • Full-time: Most work full-time (94%, much higher than the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 44 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 47 years (compared to the average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (57%).
    • Gender: 6% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services70.1
    Public Administration and Safety16.5
    Construction3.7
    Manufacturing2.7
    Other Industries7.0

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StateWaste Water and Water Plant OperatorsAll Jobs Average
    NSW30.631.6
    VIC20.425.6
    QLD26.120.0
    SA6.57.0
    WA9.410.8
    TAS5.32.0
    NT0.81.0
    ACT0.81.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketWaste Water and Water Plant OperatorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.6-5.05.0
    20-243.8-9.39.3
    25-3415.8-22.922.9
    35-4422.6-22.022.0
    45-5430.4-21.621.6
    55-5914.9-9.09.0
    60-649.5-6.06.0
    65 and Over2.4-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationWaste Water and Water Plant OperatorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate2.8-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree6.7-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma9.4-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV56.0-21.121.1
    Year 128.4-18.118.1
    Year 113.7-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below12.9-12.512.5

    You usually need a certificate III or IV in water industry operations to work as a Waste Water or Water Plant Operator.

    Checks, licences and tickets

    You may need:

    • construction induction card (white card)
    • working at heights ticket
    • working in confined spaces ticket
    • heavy ridged (HR) driver's licence
    • first aid certificate

    Thinking about study or training?

    Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

    • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

    Employers look for Stationary Plant Operators who communicate well with others, are polite, courteous and reliable.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Mechanical

      70% Skill level

      Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

    2. Education and Training

      64% Skill level

      Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

    3. Physics

      63% Skill level

      The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

    4. Mathematics

      62% Skill level

      Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

    5. Engineering and Technology

      60% Skill level

      The use engineering science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-8031.00 - Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators.

    Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment

      100% Important

      How often do you wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?

    2. Exposed to Contaminants

      97% Important

      How often are you exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours?

    3. Sounds, Loud or Uncomfortable

      95% Important

      How often are you there sounds and noise levels that are distracting or uncomfortable?

    4. Contact With Others

      95% Important

      How much do you have contact with people (face-to-face, by telephone, or any other way)?

    5. Outdoors, Exposed to Weather

      94% Important

      How often do you work outdoors, exposed to the weather?

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-8031.00 - Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators.

    go to top