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Water treatment worker

Alternative titles for this job include Water quality technician, water treatment operator

Water treatment workers treat and process clean water and waste water.

Average salary (a year)

£17,000 Starter


£32,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

42 to 44 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Water treatment worker

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you'll need in this job. 

You could do 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


You could do a:

  • Water Process Operative Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship
  • Water Industry Treatment Process Technician Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship
  • Water Treatment Technician Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship

These can take between 18 months and 3 years to complete.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 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 might want you to have GCSEs in English, maths and a science at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C).

It might also be useful if you have experience of working in industrial plant maintenance. 

More information

You can find more advice about careers and training in the water industry through Energy and Utilities Jobs.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to analyse quality or performance
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • observation and recording skills
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work on your own
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • analytical thinking skills
  • 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

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a water treatment worker, you could:

  • operate equipment to treat sewage
  • clean and maintain tanks and filters
  • treat water with chemicals and microbes, take readings and keep records
  • check drinking water samples for quality
  • make sure the site is safe and secure

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

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

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.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Water Treatment Technician Apprentice at Imperial College London contract. September start

  • Wage: £17,014 a year Annually
  • Location: 111 Huxley Building, South Kensington

Courses In England

Engineering - Level 3 (Extended Diploma) - Anglian Water Alliances

  • Start date: 05 September 2024
  • Location: Wisbech

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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