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ETHS introduces new Water Operator Training Program for 2017-18 school year

Mar 10, 2017 3:30pm CT


In partnership with the City of Evanston, Evanston Township High School has introduced a new certification program for students who are interested in a career as a water operator. Students can begin earning the certification in the fall of 2017. Preparation for “Water Operator in Training” certification can be completed as part of the Career and Technical Education Department’s Industry/Engineering Practicum course.  


As part of the program, students will complete a college-level online course and complete internship hours in preparation for a certification test offered by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.  Students who successfully complete the program will have the opportunity to enter the high-demand utility industry directly after high school graduation. The program has the support of the Illinois Section American Water Works Association.

ETHS juniors and seniors were invited to learn about various local apprenticeship, job and work opportunities during WorKIT Week at the high school in March. Darrell King, Water Production Bureau Chief for the City of Evanston, spoke to ETHS students about the training and certification program as well as increased opportunities for employment and advancement in the water industry. As more water operators retire in coming years, a new generation of workers will be needed to fill the workforce shortage. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean wage for water system operators is currently between $51,000 and $66,000 per year. 


“We are excited to provide this opportunity for students who are interested in pursuing a rewarding career that does not require a four-year college degree,” said Shelley Gates, CTE Department Chair.  


CTE programs at ETHS are designed to prepare students for lifelong success using project-based learning experiences and the opportunity to earn industry recognized certifications while still in high school. Career programs and certifications at ETHS include the areas of advanced manufacturing, automotive technology, information technology, child development, engineering, pharmacy technician, culinary arts, and public safety.


ETHS students may contact their counselor or the CTE Department if they have questions. Additional information is available from the City of Evanston.