Recruitment #2206-1949DC-001


Located on the western shore of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee is an urban hub bursting with energy. Milwaukee provides a casual sophistication – big city appeal without the big-city hassles. We are accessible and affordable, and our residents are welcoming. Milwaukee has evolved through the years, bringing together its unsurpassed old-world charm with a breathtaking Art Museum, top-flight arts and cultural attractions, professional sports, lakefront festivals, recreational opportunities and great restaurants.


The City of Milwaukee is proud to employ a diverse workforce that is committed to providing exemplary service to the City’s citizens. If you have a passion for being a part of an inclusive team of public servants, please consider the following opportunity.


Under the direction of the Water Quality Operations Manager, the Water Chemist-Senior leads a team of Water Chemists and Technicians in the Milwaukee Water Works (MWW) Water Quality certified laboratory to maintain regulatory compliance of the water treatment process and distribution of continuous, safe potable water for over 867,000 customers.

Essential Functions

Staff Supervision

  • Supervise and direct Water Chemists and Water Laboratory Technicians in their work.
  • Oversee staff analysis of grab samples for control of online instruments and collection of plant and distribution samples.
  • Record, review, and approve staff work using the laboratory information management system (LIMS).
  • Ensure validity of all data produced according to the requirements of standard operating procedures, the quality assurance manual or other requirements.
  • Ensure work is completed in a timely fashion.
  • Ensure compliance with workplace safety rules, regulations and laws.
Laboratory Analysis and Quality Assurance

  • Analyze samples by advanced laboratory instruments including ion chromatograph, TOC analyzer, AA spectrometer, gas chromatograph.
  • Prepare the proficiency testing program samples.
  • Participate in the MWW Microbiological program.
  • Calibrate distribution field worker turbidity and chlorine analyzers.
  • Ensure chemical vendor QC compliance.
  • Assist in the creation of preventative maintenance plans, evaluate instrument performance.
Online Instrument Program and Plant Operational Support

  • Provide oversight and direction of the online instrument program to ensure data are reliable and verifiable.
  • Provide direction and guidance for Water Chemists to troubleshoot anomalous readings and find resolutions to issues involving data from online instrumentation.
  • Ensure preventative and demand maintenance of online and laboratory instruments.
  • Coordinate the activities of the laboratory with plant staff, automation and maintenance.
  • Utilize water treatment process and water quality information from continuous monitoring instrumentation to assist staff in fine-tuning and optimizing specific components of the treatment process such as filter operation, coagulant dosage, chlorine residuals, CT targets for ozone and chlorine, and others as identified by staff.
  • Participate and actively contribute to regular meetings of the Water Quality, Distribution and Plants sections.
  • Provide data analysis.

Regulatory Compliance and Administrative Tasks

  • Collect samples from the water treatment plants and distribution system to meet regulatory guidelines.
  • Perform administrative tasks such as preparing reports for submission to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
  • Order chemicals and other laboratory supplies; authorize payment for received goods.
  • Field customer complaints.

 We welcome qualified individuals with disabilities who are interested in employment and will make reasonable accommodations during the hiring process in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, as amended by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008.

Conditions of Employment

Please be advised that new employees are required to have received either both doses of the Moderna or Pfizer or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine prior to their employment start date or have an approved religious or medical accommodation prior to their employment start date.  You can find further information relative to the City’s Covid-19 Vaccination Policy here.

  • Must successfully complete a Milwaukee Water Works background check.
  • Must have the physical ability to differentiate and quantify colors and odor.
  • Must be subject to emergency call-out at any time.
  • Water Plant employees are considered “essential” and must report to work no matter the weather conditions or emergency event.
  • Must be able to lift and carry loads of water samples, containers and coolers up to 50 lbs.
  • Must be able to work in hot, cold, and humid environments.
  • Must be able to climb ladders and multiple stairs and enter and exit limited space areas.

Minimum Requirements

  1. Bachelor’s degree in chemistry, microbiology, water resources, water technology, environmental sciences/engineering, or a closely related field from an accredited college or university.
  2. Three years of experience in an environmental laboratory performing similar duties to the essential functions listed above.
  3. State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Surface Water Municipal Water Supply Operator Certification within nine months of appointment and throughout employment.  
  4. Valid driver’s license at time of appointment and throughout employment.  

Equivalent combinations of education and experience may also be considered.

NOTICE: Please do not attach your academic transcripts to your employment application. The hiring department will verify candidates’ education as part of the background screening process prior to extending any job offers.

Desirable Qualifications

  • Laboratory or operational experience in a surface water purification plant.
  • Knowledge of drinking water treatment principles and processes.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities & Other Characteristics


  • Knowledge of proper sample collection and preservation procedures.
  • Knowledge of chemistry for dilutions, conversions and general lab practices.
  • Knowledge of mathematics such as ratios, units, dimensions, conversions, percentages, statistics and logarithms.
  • Ability to work with laboratory equipment, including pH meters, colorimeters, and particle counting equipment.
  • Ability to perform laboratory testing with third party blind and reference standards and use proper lab techniques including standard methods and department required protocols.
  • Ability to maintain appropriate lab hygiene to protect and ensure reliable results.
  • Ability to understand, interpret, apply and adhere to regulatory requirements.
  • Ability to utilize computer software, including databases and Microsoft Office products such as Word, Access, Excel and Outlook.
  • Ability to follow safety guidelines and policies regarding personal protective equipment and other safety gear.

Supervision and Staff Development

  • Leadership skills to supervise technical staff by assigning tasks, prioritizing duties, and monitoring performance.
  • Ability to supervise and mentor the team dynamics of a diverse staff of chemists and technicians.

Communication, Interpersonal and Customer Service

  • Verbal communication skills to effectively convey information to co-workers, the public and management.
  • Written communication skills for compiling records and reports.
  • Interpersonal skills to maintain effective, positive relationships with the public and other City departments.
  • Ability to effectively handle water quality concerns of citizens and to interact with customers in their homes.
  • Ability to interact with residents in a helpful and courteous manner.
  • Ability to work cooperatively and effectively with people whose backgrounds may differ from one’s own.
  • Ability to be flexible and work both independently and within a team structure.

Problem Solving, Judgement and Accuracy

  • Problem solving skills to analyze data, trends and formulate hypotheses.
  • Ability to analyze reports, summarize findings, perform data entry and summarize spreadsheets.
  • Attention to detail to ensure accurate review and recording of test results.
  • High ethical standards to report accurate lab results and to ensure regulatory compliance at all times.

Current Salary

The current salary range (2HN) is $64,171-$78,342 annually, and the resident incentive salary range for City of Milwaukee residents is $66,096-$80,692 annually. Appointment above the minimum is possible based upon level of experience and other qualifications and is subject to approval.    


The City of Milwaukee provides a comprehensive benefit program that includes the following:

  • Defined Benefit Pension Plan
  • 457 Deferred Compensation Plan
  • Health and Dental Insurance
  • Paid Parental Leave
  • Comprehensive Wellness Program
  • Onsite Clinic Services
  • Onsite Employee Assistance Program
  • Alternative Work Schedules
  • Long Term Disability Insurance
  • Group Life Insurance
  • Tuition Benefits
  •  Paid Vacation
  • 11 Paid Holidays
  • Paid Sick Leave and other paid leaves
  • Flexible Spending Arrangement
  • Commuter Value Pass  

For full details of the benefits offered by the City of Milwaukee, please visit https://city.milwaukee.gov/der/benefits.

Selection Process

THE SELECTION PROCESS will be job related and will consist of one or more of the following: education and experience evaluation; written, oral, or performance tests, or other assessment methods. The Department of Employee Relations reserves the right to call only the most qualified candidates to oral and performance examinations. Oral examinations may include written exercises. Selection process component weights will be determined by further analysis of the job.  


INITIAL FILING DATE - The examination will be held as soon as practical after Friday, July 22, 2022. Receipt of applications may be discontinued at any time after this date without prior notice. However, recruitment may continue until the needs of the City have been met. Qualified applicants will be notified of the date, time, and place of the examination. Unless otherwise required by law, the City of Milwaukee will not provide alternative test administration. The applicant is responsible for attending all phases of the job selection process at the time and place designated by the City of Milwaukee.

Additional Information

APPLICATIONS and further information may be accessed by visiting: https://www.jobapscloud.com/MIL/

  • Applications should be submitted no later than the deadline listed above.
  • If you would like assistance completing an application, please contact the Department of Employee Relations at (414) 286-3751 or staffinginfo@milwaukee.gov.
  • The Department of Employee Relations is in City Hall, 200 E Wells St, Room 706, Milwaukee, WI 53202.  


EEO 206

The City of Milwaukee values and encourages diversity and is an equal opportunity employer