I dream to work for the water treatment facility in Anchorage, The John M. Asplund Wastewater Treatment Facility, as an operations technician, having finished my degree in Process Technology degree. The job is quite challenging, since the facility is the largest in Alaska. The facility depends on incorporation of modern technology to meet the demands of a natural process under indoors platform. The waste water treatment facility operation's technicians are mandated with the manual and automated systems to observe the quality of water at all phases of the treatment process.

The nature of work as an operations technician entails skilled labor in the scope of precautionary maintenance and minor maintenance of the facilities used in the plant. The equipment in the plant under the operations technician’s job scope is shredders, motors, pumps, boilers, valves, blowers, generators incinerators, chlorinators, vehicle and other equipment used in the wastewater treatment facility. This type of job is done under supervision of the authorized treatment plant’s operations foreman or a designated management supervisor. As the level of experience rises, a technician can work independently with minimal direct supervision. For a newcomer, supervision and direction can also be done by the incumbent or experienced plant operators.

A typical day of an operation technician includes observing and monitoring the process operations, analyzing recorded readings, effect changes make operating decisions, regulating the  operating set points and strictures essential to assure wastewater discharge perimeters are achieved. At the same time, the operations technician is supposed to determine that quantities, timing and treatment plant dispensation of chemicals, such as chlorine, soda ash, polymer and lime are in line with preset operating guidelines. After doing this, the operations technician can collect samples of products and perform a lab treatment test to ensure that all is well. At a point the operations technicians have a platform to supervise themselves. All these operations must be entered in different log sheets and computer data management systems. On a more technical scale, the operations technician is supposed to perform general precautionary maintenance and repairs of allocated treatment plant equipment. The operations technicians are also obligated to conduct a review of their repair and maintenance jobs through a computerized maintenance management system.

The operations technician’s jobs vary and are undertaken in various platforms in regard to the nature of the job. For example, making records usually takes place in the office, while recording of the process takes place on the basis of a machine location. However, maintenance and repair of a machine can take place in the machine location of a special lab. The working conditions are maintained by both the facility and the technician. For example, the facility provides up to date platforms for the technicians to do their work; however, it is the work of a technician to maintain tools and the working place conditions. This maintenance amounts to making sure that the work place is clean and safe under the safety and operational rules.

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The starting salary for a plant operations technician is in the ranges of $ 45,000 to $ 72,000 annually. However, the most valuable part is the amount of experience acquired through the job. The basic pay is based on a schedule of eight hours a day from Monday to Friday, but Sunday and Saturday’s 3 hour work amounts to other benefits. This is because working at the plant is extremely involving, and experience can guarantee that one is promoted to another level or can work for other companies with ease of entry. As experience increases, the pay also increases. A plant operations technician with an experience of ten years can take home around $100,000 to $145,000 annually. There is a rising demand for water, and the most effective way for delivering water is through the treatment plants. This creates a lot of job opportunities for plant operations technicians as water treatment plants try to expand. For example, the Anchorage Water & Wastewater Utility with branches (Girdwood Wastewater Treatment Facility, Eagle River Wastewater Treatment Facility and the John M. Asplund Wastewater Treatment Facility) employ close to 300 staff members to serve approximately 52,500 customers from a customer base of a population base of 216,800 residents. The company, therefore, supplies only 24% of the total population. This means there is quite a large gap for the company to expand and meet the needs of the increasing number of customers.

Anchorage Water & Wastewater Utility has three branches that can offer an excellent platform for launching my career. John M. Asplund Wastewater Treatment Facility, a branch of Anchorage Water & Wastewater Utility, is remarkably close to my home. This is extremely perfect since I would not like to relocate from home because of job factors. Thus this reduces any negative aspects from the job. Relocation comes with many stress factors, such as survival and relocation cost and may provoke negative feelings about the job. However, working from home can guarantee that I will put all my energy towards the job and worry little about my family.

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Having studied and completed a degree in Process technology can guarantee many jobs in the industry sectors, such as oil and gas production, transportation and refining, mining and milling and wastewater treatment facilities maintenance. However, I feel that starting work from a local base, such as John M. Asplund Wastewater Treatment Facility, will make it possible for me to work smoothly with all the support I need. Working in the facility for a period of five years can guarantee promotion or open doors in other prominent companies, such as BP or GPS Environmental, LLC. Both companies have diverse businesses ranging from chemical manufacturing, oil and gas production, petroleum refining and mining, which translates to more challenging work and better pay. 

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