What does a Utility Operator do?

Learn all about Utility Operator duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Utility Operator.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A utility operator is responsible for the operation and maintenance of a variety of equipment used in the production process. This may include pumps, compressors, generators, and other types of mechanical equipment. The operator must be able to troubleshoot problems and make necessary repairs.

Utility Operator job duties include:

  • Reads and interprets gauges, meters, and other indicators to verify operating conditions of equipment.
  • Starts up, shuts down, and controls operation of equipment using switches, dials, or other controls.
  • Monitors equipment operations and observes pressure, temperature, level, or flow readings to verify operating conditions.
  • Adjusts valves, pumps, or other controls to maintain specified operating conditions.
  • Collects samples of products or substances for laboratory analysis.
  • Cleans clogged lines or components using hand tools, air hoses, or chemicals.
  • Lubricates moving parts on equipment using grease guns or oilcans.
  • Performs minor maintenance tasks such as replacing fuses or light bulbs.
  • Records operational data in logbooks or on computerized tracking systems.

Utility Operator Job Requirements

There are no formal education requirements for a utility operator, although some employers may prefer candidates with a high school diploma or equivalent. Certification is not required, but completing a voluntary certification program can demonstrate proficiency and may improve job prospects. Experience is typically the most important qualification for this position, and utility operators typically start in entry-level positions before being promoted to operator roles.

Utility Operator Skills

  • Operating
  • Utility
  • Machines
  • Mechanical
  • Equipment
  • Industrial
  • Production
  • Maintenance
  • Repairing
  • Troubleshooting
  • Installation

Related: Top Utility Operator Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Utility Operator

Utility operators are responsible for the operation and maintenance of a variety of utility systems. These systems may include water treatment and distribution, wastewater treatment, stormwater management, and solid waste management. Utility operators must have a thorough understanding of the principles of hydraulics and hydrology, as well as the ability to read and interpret blueprints and engineering drawings.

The first step to becoming a utility operator is to obtain a high school diploma or equivalent. Many utility operators also have postsecondary education in fields such as civil engineering, environmental science, or construction management. After completing educational requirements, utility operators must complete on-the-job training under the supervision of a licensed operator. Once they have gained the necessary experience, utility operators can obtain a license from their state's licensing board.

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