Recruitment #2404-1954DC-002


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 charm with breathtaking 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 residents. If you have a passion for being a part of an inclusive team of public servants, please consider the following opportunity.


The Water Chemist collects and analyzes water samples to meet compliance requirements and to verify the precision and accuracy of online water quality control instrumentation used throughout the water treatment process.

Essential Functions

Compliance and Quality Monitoring

  • Prepare standards, materials, reagents, and solutions required to perform chemical tests, analyses and calibration examinations.
  • Calibrate and perform regular and routine quality control to ensure maximum water quality.
  • Troubleshoot online instrumentation to regulate and monitor the water treatment process.
  • Assure all water quality objectives and regulatory standards are met while maintaining proficiency for laboratory analyses.
  • Complete preventive maintenance work and generate work orders for malfunctioning equipment or instrumentation.
  • Interpret and utilize technical data from calibration and verification checks to make accurate and timely assessments of instrument performance.
  • Maintain familiarity with both water treatment plants and pumping stations, which includes monitoring different processes, instrumentation, and equipment.
  • Maintain accurate records of test results with data logged in a timely manner, including computer generated reports and graphs.
  • Assist operations personnel in the use of data to make water quality treatment adjustments.
  • Maintain a clean and organized work environment. 
  • Train new employees in lab functions and water quality processes.    

Environmental Chemistry

  • Perform microbiology tests and maintain records in the absence of the microbiologist.
  • Collect samples for water quality testing from public buildings and customers’ homes. 

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

  • Must successfully complete a Milwaukee Water Works background check.
  • Must have the physical ability to differentiate and quantify colors and odor.
  • Must be able to work a rotating shift (rotating from 7-3:30 and 3-11:30 shifts every 4 weeks) and 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 or wastewater technology or a closely related field from an accredited college or university. 


Associate degree in chemistry, microbiology, water or wastewater technology plus two years of experience in a laboratory performing chemical analyses.     

Equivalent combinations of education and experience may also be considered.

Note: Students in their last semester may apply for this position but may not be appointed proof of education completion is provided.

2.  State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Surface Water Municipal Water Supply Operator Certification within nine months of appointment and throughout employment.  

3.  Valid driver’s license at the time of appointment and throughout employment.  

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.

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.
  • Customer service skills to effectively handle water quality concerns of residents 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, Judgment 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 in order to report accurate lab results to ensure regulatory compliance at all times.

Current Salary

The current salary range (2FN) is $61,409-$71,754 annually, and the resident incentive salary range for City of Milwaukee residents is $63,252-$73,907 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
  • 12 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: an evaluation of education, experience and/or responses to supplemental questions; a written or performance test, a structured interview, or other assessment methods. The Department of Employee Relations reserves the right to call only the most qualified candidates to structured interviews and performance examinations. Structured interviews may include written exercises. Selection process component weights will be determined by further analysis of the job.

INITIAL FILING DATE - The selection process will be held as soon as practical after the deadline listed above. 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 selection process components. Unless otherwise required by law, the City of Milwaukee will not provide an alternate selection process dates or times. The applicant is responsible for attending all phases of the 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 located 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.