The Professional Water Operator

The American Water Works Association is offering an online course that explores the career of the Water Operator transforming from an unskilled utility worker into a professional.  Here is how they describe their course:

“Over time, trades grow into professions through education, apprenticeship, examination, and regulation, bringing those working in an occupation greater recognition, compensation, and employment opportunities. Recent developments now position operators for unprecedented professional recognition and growth. Join us for a discussion of emerging industry initiatives that propel operations firmly into the professional realm and explore how operators can shape and successfully navigate advancements of the industry.”

And here is how you can enroll in this course:

This is something that we have been noting for years.  While working at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California in about 1995, John Moersfelder (from the California Department of Public Health) and myself — along with a few other speakers — spoke about this to a collection of Operators in SoCal.

At that time, I compared the Operator to the Astronaut.  Crazy?  Who is “operating” a space craft?  The design engineers?  The construction team?  No!  And what kind of training, experience, and expertise is required to be successful as an Astronaut?  These requirements have always been high for Astronauts, of course, but we have seen a constant growth in these requirements for professional Water Operators.  And with the regulatory picture continuing to grow more complex, this trend is likely to continue.

We would also like to point something else out about this seminar.  It is scheduled to be 90 minutes long, meaning it would count for one hour of continuing education/contact hours toward the renewal of your Water Operator certification.  The cost for this one hour?  $120 ($75 if you happen to be a dues-paying member of AWWA.)

How much does one hour of online continuing education cost you here at MOST?  Only $10!  But surely, the content must be better from AWWA?  We would consider them to be about 20 years late in addressing this topic!

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