Careers in Water and Wastewater

Water and wastewater operators serve their communities by protecting public health and the natural environment through the responsible treatment of drinking water and wastewater. Due to the demand for clean water, positions in the water/wastewater industry will always be present. People who like to work with their hands and have an interest in biology, chemistry, and mathematics are well suited for this profession. Opportunities can be found throughout the province in municipalities both small and large, as well as with various operating authorities across Ontario.

Career opportunities in the water and wastewater industry include job titles such as:

  • Water & Wastewater Operator
  • Environmental Technician
  • Process Supervisor
  • Lab Technician
  • SCADA Operator
  • Utility Worker

Once certified, drinking water and wastewater operators are required to meet training requirements to maintain their certificates and licences. Drinking water operators and water quality analysts must complete annual training that is Director Approved. You can view a list of training providers and courses here. Training providers offer courses related to the field for both entry-level and seasoned operators looking to enhance their skills or meet their annual training requirements.

While formal education in the water/wastewater industry is not required, there are colleges and universities in the province which do offer courses or programs directly related to this field.

One of the requirements to be eligible for a drinking water certificate is completing the mandatory Entry-Level Drinking Water Operator Course (ELC). The ministry has agreements in place with 16 community colleges across Ontario to offer the mandatory ELC as part of their environmental or engineering programs. Students enrolled in these programs who complete the ELC can pursue a drinking water certificate if they meet requirements (see Getting Your Certificate or Licence for the First Time section). For a list of the institutes offering the ELC in their curriculum, please visit:

This mandatory course is also available to all through the Walkerton Clean Water Centre.

Once certified or licensed, operators are eligible to register on the Operator Workforce Matching Portal, which is a free, online tool to help connect system owners seeking staffing resources with water operators who are available for employment.

Operators can register on the portal with their contact information and certification credentials. Once these details are validated by OWWCO, registered system owners will be able to search for operator profiles by certificate type, availability and location. System owners with staffing needs will then be able to directly contact operators with potential employment opportunities.

Follow these links for more information: