Skip navigation

Summary Report for:
47-4071.00 - Septic Tank Servicers and Sewer Pipe Cleaners

Clean and repair septic tanks, sewer lines, or drains. May patch walls and partitions of tank, replace damaged drain tile, or repair breaks in underground piping.

Sample of reported job titles: Drain Cleaner, Maintenance Worker, Public Works Technician, Septic Cleaner, Septic Pump Truck Driver, Service Technician, Sewer and Drain Cleaner, Sewer and Drain Technician, Utility Worker

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Technology Skills  |  Tools Used  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings

Tasks

  • Drive trucks to transport crews, materials, and equipment.
  • Communicate with supervisors and other workers, using equipment such as wireless phones, pagers, or radio telephones.
  • Prepare and keep records of actions taken, including maintenance and repair work.
  • Operate sewer cleaning equipment, including power rodders, high-velocity water jets, sewer flushers, bucket machines, wayne balls, and vac-alls.
  • Ensure that repaired sewer line joints are tightly sealed before backfilling begins.
  • Withdraw cables from pipes and examine them for evidence of mud, roots, grease, and other deposits indicating broken or clogged sewer lines.
  • Install rotary knives on flexible cables mounted on machine reels, according to the diameters of pipes to be cleaned.
  • Measure excavation sites, using plumbers' snakes, tapelines, or lengths of cutting heads within sewers, and mark areas for digging.
  • Locate problems, using specially designed equipment, and mark where digging must occur to reach damaged tanks or pipes.
  • Clean and repair septic tanks, sewer lines, or related structures such as manholes, culverts, and catch basins.
  • Start machines to feed revolving cables or rods into openings, stopping machines and changing knives to conform to pipe sizes.
  • Service, adjust, and make minor repairs to equipment, machines, and attachments.
  • Inspect manholes to locate sewer line stoppages.
  • Cut damaged sections of pipe with cutters, remove broken sections from ditches, and replace pipe sections, using pipe sleeves.
  • Dig out sewer lines manually, using shovels.
  • Break asphalt and other pavement so that pipes can be accessed, using airhammers, picks, and shovels.
  • Cover repaired pipes with dirt, and pack backfilled excavations, using air and gasoline tampers.
  • Requisition or order tools and equipment.
  • Rotate cleaning rods manually, using turning pins.
  • Clean and disinfect domestic basements and other areas flooded by sewer stoppages.
  • Tap mainline sewers to install sewer saddles.
  • Update sewer maps and manhole charts.

Find occupations related to multiple tasks

back to top

Technology Skills

  • Accounting software — Intuit QuickBooks Hot technology
  • Calendar and scheduling software — Work scheduling software
  • Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software Hot technology
  • Internet browser software — Web browser software
  • Route navigation software — Route mapping software
  • Word processing software

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

back to top

Tools Used

  • Caulking guns — Caulk dispensing tools
  • Claw hammer — Claw hammers
  • Concrete mixers or plants — Portable concrete mixers
  • Concrete spreaders — Power screeds
  • Digital camcorders or video cameras — Sewer surveillance cameras
  • Drain or pipe cleaning equipment — High velocity water jetters; Power rodders; Sewer cleaners; Sewer cleaning rods (see all 5 examples)
  • Earthmoving buckets or its parts or accessories — Bucket machines
  • Global positioning system GPS receiver — Global positioning system GPS receivers
  • Material handling hoses — Material pumping hoses
  • Mobile excavators — Mobile tracked excavators
  • Personal computers
  • Pipe or tube cutter — Pipe cutters
  • Pipe wrenches — End pipe wrenches
  • Pneumatic hammer — Air hammers
  • Power drills — Portable drills
  • Pry bars — Prying bars
  • Shovels — Dirt shovels
  • Sludge or sewage handling trucks — Septic pumping trucks
  • Tampers — Air tampers
  • Tape measures — Measuring tapes
  • Trowels — Power trowels
  • Two way radios — Mobile radios
  • Water pumps — Liquid pumps

back to top

Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

back to top

Skills

  • Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.

back to top

Abilities

  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Depth Perception — The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
  • Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Rate Control — The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
  • Response Orientation — The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Gross Body Coordination — The ability to coordinate the movement of your arms, legs, and torso together when the whole body is in motion.
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.

back to top

Work Activities

  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

back to top

Detailed Work Activities

  • Drive trucks or truck-mounted equipment.
  • Communicate with other construction or extraction personnel to discuss project details.
  • Record operational or environmental data.
  • Clean equipment or facilities.
  • Inspect completed work to ensure proper installation.
  • Inspect plumbing systems or fixtures.
  • Install equipment attachments or components.
  • Locate equipment or materials in need of repair or replacement.
  • Measure work site dimensions.
  • Maintain plumbing structures or fixtures.
  • Operate heavy-duty construction or installation equipment.
  • Maintain construction tools or equipment.
  • Cut metal components for installation.
  • Dig holes or trenches.
  • Remove worn, damaged or outdated materials from work areas.
  • Compact materials to create level bases.
  • Spread sand, dirt or other loose materials onto surfaces.
  • Maintain mechanical equipment.
  • Order construction or extraction materials or equipment.
  • Decontaminate equipment or sites to remove hazardous or toxic substances.
  • Drill holes in construction materials.
  • Break up rock, asphalt, or concrete.

Find occupations related to multiple detailed work activities

back to top

Work Context

  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 83% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others — 78% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 74% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 79% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 80% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone — 77% responded “Every day.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 66% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 68% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 55% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 55% responded “40 hours.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 38% responded “Important.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 65% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 43% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 35% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 43% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 41% responded “Very important results.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 41% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Level of Competition — 42% responded “Moderately competitive.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 38% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 50% responded “Every day.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 40% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 29% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Time Pressure — 33% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 29% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 34% responded “Important.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 35% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 39% responded “Every day.”
  • Outdoors, Under Cover — 33% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 29% responded “Limited responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 41% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Consequence of Error — 42% responded “Fairly serious.”
  • Letters and Memos — 36% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 44% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 37% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections — 42% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity — 42% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”

back to top

Job Zone

Title Job Zone One: Little or No Preparation Needed
Education Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.
Related Experience Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, a person can become a waiter or waitress even if he/she has never worked before.
Job Training Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.
Job Zone Examples These occupations involve following instructions and helping others. Examples include counter and rental clerks, dishwashers, cashiers, furniture finishers, logging equipment operators, and baristas.
SVP Range (Below 4.0)

back to top

Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
46   Less than high school diploma
37   High school diploma or equivalent Help
16   Post-secondary certificate Help

back to top

Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Licenses

back to top

Interests

Interest code: R

  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

back to top

Work Styles

  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

back to top

Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

back to top

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2015) $17.00 hourly, $35,370 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2014) 25,000 employees
Projected growth (2014-2024) Much faster than average (14% or higher) Much faster than average (14% or higher)
Projected job openings (2014-2024) 10,100
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2014)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data external site and 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

back to top

Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs

back to top