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Field of Study: Water and Wastewater Treatment Technology


Water and wastewater treatment technology programs prepare people to help engineers and others develop water systems.



Water and wastewater treatment technology programs include topics such as:

  • Water storage
  • Power and treatment systems and equipment
  • Equipment inspection and monitoring
  • Water sample testing
  • System maintenance procedures
  • Water filtering and purifying
  • Laboratory equipment calibration
  • Government regulations
  • Recordkeeping and report writing

Many community colleges and technical schools offer certificate and associate degree programs in waste and wastewater treatment technology. A certificate program usually takes a year of full-time study. An associate degree program at a community college usually takes two years of full-time study to complete.


College preparation

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

  • Trigonometry
  • Business Computer Applications
  • English Composition
  • Biology
  • Chemistry


Typical course work

An associate degree program in this field typically includes courses in the following subjects:

  • Calculations in Water and Wastewater Technology
  • College Algebra
  • English Composition
  • General Chemistry
  • Introduction to Computer Science
  • Laboratory Analysis for Water and Wastewater Technology
  • Microbiology
  • Supervised Work Experience
  • Treatment Plant Instrumentation
  • Wastewater Treatment Plant Operation
  • Water Distribution Systems
  • Water Treatment Plant Operation


Things to know

You may need to pass a civil service exam to be employed by a municipality. To be a plant operator, you must pass a certification exam.

The technology in this field continues to change, so plan on taking classes throughout your career to keep your skills up to date.


Similar fields of study

Careers you may qualify for

Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators



American Water Works Association

Association of Boards of Certification
Select "Certification Contacts" on the menu bar to see requirements for your state.

Water Environment Federation

Schools that offer program

Click on the school name to see a list of their programs related to this field of study.

St. Cloud Technical & Community College , Located in Central
St. Cloud Technical & Community College - Online , Located in Central
Vermilion Community College - Ely, Located in Northeast
Vermilion Community College - Online - Ely, Located in Northeast