In today’s economy, job opportunity and security are more important than ever. Many industries will experience a sudden increase in job availability between now and the year 2020, either due to the retiring workforce or urban growth. The water treatment and wastewater treatment industry is no exception.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the employment rate for water and wastewater operators is on the rise. The contributing factors are: a growing population and increased demand for water and wastewater-treatment services, existing plant expansion and new plants construction, and the pending retirement of the baby boomer generation. In 2013, more than 3.5 million Americans will turn 65. The number of people approaching retirement or enjoying their retirement will keep increasing, at least for the next 20 years, as more and more baby boomers hit their 60s, 70s, and 80s. By 2030, the over-65 crowd will expand to 72 million people. It has been estimated that the baby boomer generation retires at a rate of 10,000 per day. Obviously, the gaps created in the water and wastewater treatment fields will only continue to grow.
Many people find themselves seeking a second career either due to layoffs or poor business performance over the last 3 to 5 years. What we’re seeing at American Water College is that several of our students are looking to get into the industry as a second career in a more stable profession. The water treatment and wastewater treatment industry is clearly experiencing growth and providing new job opportunities, however, the number of applicants looking to enter the field is not rising equally as fast. Another comment from the Bureau of Labor Statistics states: “…the number of applicants for these positions is normally low, primarily because of the physically demanding and unappealing nature of some of the work. Job prospects will be best for those with training or education in water or wastewater systems and good mechanical skills.” You can find more information by visiting your state’s department of public health website, or the US BLS page for Water and Wastewater Treatment Operators. There is a lot of helpful information regarding job opportunities, the average salary and educational requirements for water and wastewater treatment operators.
If you’re interested in joining a booming, growing profession as your first or second (or third!) career, American Water College can help. Our goal is to help you achieve your career goals, and our certification exam training and continuing education courses can provide the educational support you need to succeed in the water industry. Contact us today!