Water Quality Technician

Water quality technicians test for microbes and chemical contaminants in recreational, potable, and waste water to determine if the water meets EPA standards. 

Fast Facts & Skills


Education & Training: 

Most employers prefer applicants to have a four-year degree and one to two years of experience but this is changing, if the two-year educational program targets the necessary knowledge, and laboratory skills for these positions. 
Certifications:  Some states will require a current Water Treatment Plant Operator certification. These are administered at the state level.

Common requirements and abilities:

  • A valid driver's license
  • Able to life 50 lbs repeatedly
  • Able to follow directions and work independently
  • Must be able to work in cramped spaces at customer sites

They follow Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). They are responsible for calibrating and maintaining the equipment they use.  They compile and analyze data, document test results and prepare reports.  

In some cases, water quality technicians install, assemble, and maintain water and flavor dispensers. They also test and document data related to water filtration systems.

Some water quality positions are at water treatment plants.  These positions will have more rigorous requirements and correspondingly, higher salaries. They will operates equipment in the water treatment plant, booster station, and water wells to maintain proper water capacity, pressures, and flows. This also includes transmission line valves, and distribution line valves, fire hydrants, and sampling stations/taps.

People in these positions need to be detail oriented, willing to keep excellent records, and have good communication skills. Those with good laboratory skills and manufacturing or laboratory experience are more likely to get the best jobs and the best salary.  Water quality technicians work a standard 40-hour week. Salaries for these positions can increase up to $60,000 and vary in different parts of the country.

Where to Work and Learn

Example Employers: 

InnovATEBIO programs offer degrees, certificates, or teach skills in these related areas.

Hear From the Pros: