Students in undergraduate programs in irrigation technology learn about planning, developing, managing and evaluating agricultural water systems for natural habitats. Some colleges may offer these programs partially online.
Certificate programs are available as individual programs or as part of a water management degree program. 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.
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. Courses 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 practical coursework designed to prepare students for the agricultural and turf industries. A high school diploma or the GED equivalent is required for admission. 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 may hire graduates of associate's degree programs in irrigation technology. Common jobs 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 employment increase of 9% from 2014 to 2024. These professionals made a median annual salary of $43,030 as of May 2015. Water treatment plant and system operators are predicted to experience average growth (5 to 8%); these workers earned a median yearly wage of $44,790 as of May 2015.
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.
Both certificate and associate's degree programs provide a thorough introduction to the field of irrigation technology. Associate's degree programs also include more general studies to provide students with a broader educational background.