Junior Plant Operator

City of Sacramento , California

Job Information 



Entry Level


$48,352.36 - $68,320.62 Annually

Application Deadline 


10/13/2020 11:59 PM PDT

Recruitment Type 

Open Competitive


This position is for the Wastewater/Drainage Division. 

To perform skilled and semi-skilled work in the operation of the City's drinking water treatment plants, wells, reservoirs, distribution system, or swimming pools and fountains; combined wastewater control system, primary wastewater treatment plants and pumping stations; and to assist in monitoring and directing the pumping of storm water, wastewater, and potable water.


The Junior Plant Operator is the entry-level classification in the Plant Operator series. Incumbents perform the routine inspection, lubrication, servicing, maintenance, and cleaning of equipment and facilities, and assist in operating plant equipment and performing the more routine water quality laboratory tests.

This class is distinguished from the next higher class of Plant Operator in that the latter is the journey-level operator classification that works independently in operating plant equipment and conducting water quality laboratory tests.


Direct supervision is provided by the Supervising Plant Operator; indirect supervision and lead direction is provided by the Senior Plant Operator. Technical directions may be provided by the Plant Operator.




Depending upon assignment, duties may include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Make scheduled and preventive maintenance checks on facility equipment such as pumps, motors, and air compressors. Perform routine servicing and adjustments to equipment and paint equipment.
  • Lubricate equipment, including bearings and valves, and change oil as required.
  • Load and unload chlorine cylinders or containers, alum, lime, and other materials used in the treatment of potable and nonpotable water using an electric hoist, forklift, crane, and other heavy equipment, and make necessary connections for the transfer of chemicals.
  • Clean tanks, sedimentation basins, chemical feeders, reservoirs, filter basins, lime slakers, and sumps.
  • Assist in operating treatment plant or pool equipment by reading meters and gauges, operating valves, pumps, and other controls to adjust water flow, pressure, and chemical dosages. Make calculations and record readings.
  • Assist in collecting water samples and performing routine water quality laboratory tests.
  • Assist in performing various filter tests as part of the filter surveillance program.
  • Perform janitorial work and grounds maintenance.
  • Perform preventive maintenance duties including painting equipment and cleaning trash screens and filters.
  • Operate equipment such as engine driven pumps, generators, compressors, hoists, forklifts, cranes and other heavy equipment.
  • Work in confined spaces, on temporary scaffolding, and on high structures; using a self-contained breathing apparatus and/or Level I Hazmat suits.
  • Other related duties may also be performed; not all duties listed are necessarily performed by each individual holding this classification.



Knowledge of: 

  • Basic principles of drinking water, wastewater, strom drainage, or swimming pool water treatment.
  • Principles, operation and maintenance requirements of pumps, motors, compressors, generators, valves and internal combustion engines.
  • Basic principles and methods used generally in the mechanical and electrical fields.
  • Basic principles of mathematics, algebra, and chemistry.
  • Safe and efficient work practices as they are related to mechanical and electrical equipment.
  • Operating principles of power-driven equipment such as forklifts, electric hoists, and trucks.
Ability to: 
  • Perform a variety of physically demanding tasks on a regular basis.
  • Work any shift (e.g., swing, relief, night), weekends, holidays, and standby that is mandatory for some assignments.
  • Perform mathematical and algebraic calculations, interpret basic word problems related to water, wastewater treatment, or swimming pool water,  and keep accurate records.
  • Understand and carry out oral and written instructions.
  • Understand basic water and wastewater treatment processes and analytical tests including interpreting gauges, meters, and recorders.
  • Understand the location, function, operation, preventive maintenance and basic troubleshooting procedures for pumps, motors, chlorinators, alum, polymer and fluoride feeders, lime slakers and other associated equipment and machinery.
  • Understand basic personal computer programs including inter/intranet access, word processing, spreadsheets and databases.
  • Understand basic Supervising Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system operation for some assignments.
  • Understand basic Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) operations for some assignments.
  • Read, write, and speak English at a level necessary for satisfactory job performance.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with others.



Six months experience in performing operations in the water, wastewater or swimming pool field; or performing preventive maintenance-type work on pumps, motors, or related mechanical/electrical equipment.



Completion of a course of instruction related to water,  wastewater plant, or swimming pool (Aquatic Facility Operator or Certified Pool and Spa Operator) operations; or mechanical or electrical technology; assignments in drinking water treatment require one 90 contact hour (9 semester units) course in Water/Wastewater Treatment Operations.


Should education be used to qualify for this position, then proof of education such as, but not limited to, university/college transcripts and degrees must be submitted to the City of Sacramento Employment Office in person, as an attachment(s) to the online application, faxed to (916) 596-1556, or emailed to employment@cityofsacramento.org by the final filing deadline. If submitting in person or via fax/email, please include your name and Job # 004001-20-WW on your documents. Unofficial documents and/or copies are acceptable.

An applicant with a college degree obtained outside the United States must have education records evaluated by a credentials evaluation service. This evaluation must be submitted by the final filing deadline.


Driver License:
Possession of a valid California Class C Driver License is required at the time of appointment. Ability to obtain a valid California Class A or B Driver License with endorsements as required or Class C Driver License with Hazmat endorsement during the probationary period is required for some assignments. Loss of the license is cause for discipline. Individuals who do not meet this requirement due to physical disability will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Assignments in drinking water treatment require a T-1 or higher certificate from the California State Water Resources Control Board at the time of appointment;
For assignments in wastewater treatment, possession of a T-1 or higher certificate is desirable;
For assignments in aquatics, an Aquatic Facility Operator or Certified Pool and Spa Operator certification is required within 6 months of appointment.

If considered for appointment, candidates must pass a pre-employment drug test for some assignments.

Respiratory Protective Equipment:
Work in this class may require wearing respiratory protective equipment at times. When assigned to such assignments, individuals must act in accordance with the regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.



Please note, the City of Sacramento's preferred method of communication with applicants is via e-mail. As such, please ensure you verify the e-mail address on your application, and check your e-mail frequently, including your spam and junk folders. All e-mail notifications can also be accessed through the governmentjobs.com applicant inbox.

1. Application: (Pass/Fail) – All applicants must complete and submit online a City of Sacramento employment application by the final filing deadline;

  • Employment applications must be submitted online; paper applications will not be accepted.
  • Employment applications will be considered incomplete and will be disqualified:
    • If applicants do not list current and/or past job-related experience in the "Work Experience" section. Note: Qualifying experience is based on 40 hours per week (pro-rated if less than 40 hours/week).
    • If "see resume" is noted in the "Work Experience" section; a resume will not substitute for the information required in the "Work Experience" section.
  • Proof of education such as, but not limited to, university/college transcripts and degrees must be submitted online with your application, emailed to employment@cityofsacramento.org, delivered in person, or sent to the Employment Office by fax or mail by the final filing deadline.
  • If you’re requesting Veteran’s credit, a copy of your DD214 must be submitted online with your application, delivered in person, or sent to the Employment Office by email/fax or mailed by the final filing deadline. Information regarding the use of Veteran’s credit can be found in the Civil Service Board rules under rule 4.9C
2. Screening Committee: (Pass/Fail)– Human Resources will evaluate employment applications for the minimum qualifications stated on the job announcement.

3. Training and Experience Test: (Weighted 100%) – The Supplemental Questionnaire located at the end of the application is the Training and Experience Exam. Only the applicants who meet the minimum qualifications will become candidates and their supplemental questionnaire will be rated and scored. This exam will evaluate the relevance, level, and progression of a candidate's education, training and experience. Therefore, your responses to the supplemental questionnaire should be thorough and complete because the exam score will determine your ranking on the eligible list for this job. When completing the supplemental questionnaire, please note:
  • Responses to the supplemental questionnaire must be submitted online; paper questionnaires will not be accepted.
  • Incomplete supplemental questionnaires will not pass the review process; omitted information cannot be considered or assumed.
  • A resume will not substitute for the information required in the supplemental questionnaire.
4. Eligibility: Candidates who pass the Training and Experience Test will be placed on the eligible list. The hiring department may contact candidates for interview at any time during the life of the one-year list.

5. Conditional Hire: Upon receipt of a conditional offer, the selected candidate must complete and pass LiveScan/fingerprinting. If applicable, candidates may also need to pass a pre-employment medical exam, controlled substance and/or alcohol test, and possess any required licensure or certification prior to receiving a start date from the Department. Failure to meet these prerequisites will be grounds for withdrawal of your conditional offer of employment.

 For questions concerning this job announcement and the application process:
  • For technical support between 6 AM - 5 PM PT, contact Live Applicant Support at (855) 524-5627.
  • Visit the City of Sacramento Human Resources Department website at http://www.cityofsacramento.org/HR/Career-Opportunities;
  • Send an email to employment@cityofsacramento.org;
  • Call the Human Resources Department at (916) 808-5726; or
  • Visit the Human Resources Department at Historic City Hall, 915 I Street, Plaza Level, Sacramento, CA 95814.


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