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AWT Student Education and Enhancement Development (SEED) Program

A Day in the Life ...

Name:
Chris Golden, CWT

Company:
Taylor Technologies, Inc.

Q. What is your title?
A. Sales Manager, Water Treatment Industry

Q. How long have you been in this position?
A. 3 years, but 21 years in the water treatment field.

Q. What services does Taylor provide?
A. We manufacture test kits and supplies for monitoring water quality.

Q. What types of organizations do you serve?
A. Any organization where water quality is monitored, including industrial water treatment (primarily boiler and cooling systems), residential and commercial water conditioning, food processing and beverage production, swimming pool/spa maintenance, and municipal water and wastewater treatment.

Q. What water treatment activities are in your normal workday?
A. I provide support and advice to water treaters regarding the appropriate test kits and testing procedures for their specific needs. I routinely field calls and e-mails from water treatment consultants who have questions or problems with water systems. With the knowledge garnered while working as a water treater for many years, I am able to help them discover the root cause of their problems and to recommend some possible solutions.

Q. What "non-routine" activities are included in your job?
A. I donate a portion of my time to AWT by serving on the Education and Certification committees. These two committees do some great work for the AWT and keep it moving forward.

Q. How did you learn about the water treatment field?
A. In my last semesters at Lehigh University studying chemical engineering, I noticed job postings for water treatment positions. So I knew the occupation existed. However, my first job after graduating was not in water treatment. Instead, I worked for a steel mill. It was not until eight years later that I found myself interviewing with two water treatment consulting companies. Because of my college major, my background in heavy industry, and my sales experience, I was hired as a water treatment consultant to work with a steel mill and a paper mill. It was a natural fit.

Q. How did you get your first job in water treatment?
A. See above.

Q. What barriers, if any, have you had to overcome in your work?
A.As a new consultant, I had to prove that I could be an asset to my customers, which first meant building a foundation of trust. I was their eyes and ears when it came to their water systems. It was quite a responsibility to know an improper diagnosis or treatment recommendation could result in process shutdowns or equipment failures leading to costly replacements. I had to show customers that I was qualified and dedicated to becoming the critical resource they could depend on. To me, water treatment is more than just a job, it is a career. You have to show a certain level of commitment before you can gain that trust.

Q. Degree:
A.Bachelor of Science, Chemical Engineering, Lehigh University

Q. Job training:
A.Six months of training in the beginning and periodic company-sponsored seminars thereafter.

Q. Mentoring opportunities:
A.I had two great mentors when I began water treatment. Their insights into the chemical, mechanical, and operational aspects of water systems were amazing. They readily shared their experiences with me. Later, I had the chance to return the favor by using my experience to help orient new water treatment consultants as well as advance a few veterans in the field. As a sales manager at Taylor Technologies, I am able to continue my support by providing water treaters with advice plus training in the use of our products.

Q. What other jobs/skills can translate into a water treatment career?
A. In this industry, a consultant must be out in the field interacting with customers and prospects, so self-motivation and being able to work with minimal supervision are a must. If you enjoy challenges and are good at solving problems, then you have some of the building blocks necessary for becoming a water treater. Sometimes the answers are right in front of your face, other times it will take some detective work. An integral part of the job is knowing the right questions to ask to get to the root cause of a problem, so someone who has been trained to diagnose problems would have an advantage.

Q. What is the job outlook?
A. Prospects are good. I have the privilege of speaking with water treaters across the United States, and one thing is certain — companies are always searching for qualified people. A job as a water treatment consultant is challenging and requires a high level of self-motivation and commitment. Candidates possessing these attributes should have success finding work in this industry.

Q. Advice for students:
A. Don’t miss out on an opportunity for an exciting career. Use the resources AWT has available to learn all you can about the industry. Water treatment consulting is a very rewarding profession — one that provides a high degree of satisfaction from helping others solve their problems. I have been in the industry for 21 years, and if I had it to do all over again, I would not change a thing!