The Water Environmental Technology degree is designed to address the education requirements of operators working in the water and wastewater industry and students interested in entering the water and wastewater industry. Courses are designed to prepare students for entry-level employment in water and wastewater as well as for certification examinations administered by the State of Iowa and those administered by professional associations within the water and wastewater industry.
The degree is designed to provide a progressive credential structure through which students can gain two certificates and a diploma, then the AAS degree. This degree program emphasizes hands-on experience and instruction. An internship is required.
Classes are built around practical examples of real-world scenarios, demonstrations, and field trips to maximize understanding of subject matter.
People who may be interested in this program:
- Students interested in entering the field of Water Environmental Technology.
- Current operators working on increasing their certification level through attainment of coursework.
Upon completion of the program, graduates will be qualified to seek employment or advancement in a wide variety of settings including water treatment facilities, wastewater treatment facilities, water distribution systems, wastewater collection systems, state and federal agencies, engineering firms, and more!
This program provides training and educational experiences that will prepare you for certification examinations. Work experience requirements must be met before you are eligible to take an examination for certification. Be sure to refer to the certifying body in your area to determine eligibility. In Iowa, visit the DNR website.
More information on the Water Environmental Technology program.
Pathway: Agriculture, Animals, & Natural Resources
Students may start any semester
Program Entry Requirements
- Attend any required information/registration session.
- Meet with Program Chair for an interview.
To earn a Water Environmental Technology AAS degree, a student must complete all coursework as prescribed and maintain a 2.0 grade point average. A grade of 2.0 (C) or better is required in all WAT courses required for this degree.
Option 1 - Select 3 Credits
Total Credits Required to Complete this AAS Degree - 69
Tuition……………………………………………………………………………………..$185.00 per credit
The costs for each program are estimates and subject to change.
Approximate total for program: $15,365*
**Program entry requirements are not included in the total approximate cost.
What Kind of Work Will You Do?
Students graduating with an AAS degree will be immediately qualified for employment opportunities, including entry-level positions with municipal and industrial water treatment facilities, municipal and industrial wastewater treatment facilities, municipal and industrial water distribution systems, municipal and industrial wastewater collection systems, municipal, industrial, and commercial water laboratories, and municipal, industrial, and commercial wastewater laboratories. You will be well-advanced along the path for state operator certification, which opens many employment doors for you. Potential employers will recognize your educational efforts as being vital to long-term success in this industry, which will give you a significant advantage over other entry-level personnel.
- Operate facilities to remove contaminants to produce and deliver safe drinking water to consumers, thereby protecting public health from waterborne diseases and other health concerns.
- Operate facilities to collect and treat wastewater to remove pollutants and recycle/reuse water, recover resources, protect and improve our environment, reduce water polution, and protect public health from waterborne diseases and other health concerns.
- Operate, maintain, and troubleshoot water treatment processes, wastewater treatment processes, water distribution systems, and wastewater collection systems.
- Monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot equipment, controls, computerized systems, and laboratory equipment.
- Collect and analyze water and wastewater samples, interpret results, and adjust processes to achieve maximum performance.
- Be eligible to take your Iowa DNR Grade 1 Water Treatment Certification Exam, have the knowledge to pass the exam, and become certified.
- Be eligible to take your Iowa DNR Grade 1 Water Distribution Certification Exam, have the knowledge to pass the exam, and become certified.
- Be eligible to take your Iowa DNR Grade 1 Wastewater Treatment Certification Exam, have the knowledge to pass the exam, and become certified.
- Be eligible to take your Iowa Water Environment Association Class I Wastewater Collection System Certification Exam, have the knowledge to pass the exam, and become certified.
- Be eligible to take Iowa DNR Grade 2 and Iowa Water Environment Association Class II Certification Exams with 18 months of operating experience, have the knowledge to pass the exam, and become certified.
- Be eligible to take Iowa DNR Grade 3 and 4 and Iowa Water Environment Association Class III and IV Certification Exams with the required operating experience.
- Make a difference every day
What Skills and Abilities Will You Need?
- A basic knowledge of the traditional sciences, including biology and chemistry.
- A good knowledge of math and algebra.
- A willingness to work indoors and outdoors.
- A desire to protect public health and the environment.
- Technical abilities and technological skills.
- Good public relations skills.
- A willingness to do a variety of tasks that contribute to producing and delivering water that is safe to drink and collecting and treating wastewater so that it is safe to reuse and recycle to the environment.
What Else Should I Consider about this AAS degree?
- Water Environmental Technology is a high-growth industry that is very stable and challenging. There are a wide of career opportunities and specialties.
- Because field work and hands-on experience are so important to this field, you will have to do an internship where you will work in this field and gain real-world experience. This work experience will qualify you to take Grade 1 certification exams before you graduate!
- If you are a person who is passionate about serving your community, recycling, improving public health and the environment, able to work with minimal supervision and reliable and accurate in your work ethic, Water Environmental Technology may be the field for you.
- Average starting salary $28,000-$60,000 (depending on area of interest and level of education), with opportunities to make a much higher income as you advance to higher levels of certification.
The student will:
- Demonstrate knowledge of the duties of an operator of Water Environmental Technology Facilities including: Water Treatment Facilities, Wastewater Treatment Facility, Water Distribution System, and Collection System.
- Explain the operations, maintenance, and administration of Water Environmental Technology Facilities.
- Perform monitoring, sampling, and laboratory analyses for regulatory compliance and process control of Water Environmental Technology Facilities.
- Obtain the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Grade 1 Operator Certification.
- Obtain the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Grade 2 Operator Certification.
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