In a recent article, the popular Reader's Digest provided a list of the "10 Jobs Americans Can’t Live Without." Many of the profession are in the public-service sector, working for utilities or essential security-related services like the police or fire protection. Number 2 on its list was water/wastewater treatment plant and system operators.
The article said this about the profession:
Number Employed: 108,330
Median Income: $40,770
Water and liquid waste treatment plants require near-constant supervision in order to ensure that customers receive safe water. As a result, system operators must either work or be on call at all hours. Plants are highly regulated and can face a number of problems. Storms can cause flooding in sewers, and water can be tainted by chemicals. Plant operators are responsible for all of this.
RCAP also believes operators are vital to our lives as Americans and central to the health and economic systems of communities, both in cities and rural areas. RCAP is concerned about this profession and supporting those who work in it – ensuring operators in rural areas have the skills and technical knowledge to run efficient systems as well as finding ways to fill openings in the profession as the workforce ages and retires.