Water treatment worker

Water quality technician, water treatment operator

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Water quality technicians treat and clean drinking water and process waste water.

Salary range: £14,500 to £32,000

How to become a water treatment worker

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

College

You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant subjects include the Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Water Engineering.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More information

Apprenticeship

You may be able to do a water process technician advanced apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information

Direct application

You could apply directly to work as a water treatment worker. Some employers may ask for GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English, maths and a science.

Experience of working in industrial plant maintenance may give you an advantage.

More information

Further information

You’ll find more advice about careers and training in the water industry through Talent Source Network.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • knowledge of maths
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of physics
  • the ability to work on your own
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

  • pass a medical check

You’ll have to register with a water industry safety scheme.

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • operating equipment to treat sewage
  • cleaning and maintaining tanks and filters
  • adding chemicals and microbes to treat water
  • taking readings and keeping accurate records
  • checking drinking water samples for quality

Working environment

You could work in a control room.

Your working environment may be dirty, physically demanding, cramped, at height and outdoors in all weathers.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a team leader. With further training, you could become an engineering technician or a water engineer.

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