Those interested in irrigation technology can choose between associate's degrees and certificate programs. Some certificate programs are presented as a component of degree programs in water management. At this level, aspiring service technicians and conservation workers explore the principles of soil science as well as the design of irrigation systems.
Students of associate's degree programs may participate in outdoor experiences in addition to studying agricultural science and automated irrigation systems. Other areas of study include basic electricity and motor control principles. Career advancement may be an option for students who also decide to pursue relevant bachelor's degrees.
- Program Levels: Certificate, associate's degree.
- Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED.
- Online Availability: Some colleges may offer these programs partially online.
- Program Length: Two years for an associate's degree.
Certificate in Irrigation Contracting and Management
Certificate programs investigate water management, irrigation contracting and landscape management technology. Within these programs, students gain the practical skills necessary to succeed in the irrigation and agricultural industry. Certificate programs are available as individual programs or as part of a water management degree program. Courses in a certificate program in irrigation contracting and management focus on agricultural technologies, landscaping tutorials and business practices. Topics of discussion include:
- Xeriscape principles
- Soil science
- Computer-aided drafting
- Irrigation auditing
- Designing irrigation systems
Associate of Applied Science in Irrigation Technology
An Associate of Applied Science program includes classroom lectures, as well as outdoor practical experiences designed to prepare students for the agricultural and turf industries. During their two years of full-time study, students will gain an understanding of various irrigation practices, water and energy consumption rules and installation methods for irrigation programs. Technology aids students in analyzing and understanding the relationships between water and communities. The courses in an associate's degree program focus on agricultural sciences and technology. Possible class titles include:
- Basic electricity
- Motor control
- Irrigation wiring systems
- Control wiring
- Automation fundamentals
Popular Career Options
Certificate graduates possess the entry-level knowledge to qualify for water management and landscape positions. Job titles may include:
- Service technician
- Conservation district personnel
Nature and water conservation organizations are examples of employers hiring irrigation technology graduates. Common job positions include:
- Irrigation manager
- Water auditor
- Field technician
- Water district manager
Career Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the category of environmental science and protection technicians, which included irrigation field technicians, could expect to see an above-average increase of 19% from 2012 to 2022. These professionals made an annual average salary of $45,910 in May 2014. Water treatment plant and system operators were predicted to experience average growth; these workers earned a median yearly wage of $44,100 in May 2014.
Continuing Education Information
Students can explore irrigation technologies and sciences further through earning a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Civil Engineering Technology. This degree program teaches students to design and construct civil construction projects. These construction projects may deal with developing agricultural projects, such as irrigation works for a community.