Schools with Wastewater Treatment Programs: How to Choose

Licensed wastewater treatment technicians and wastewater plant operators make sure that water is purified to local, state and federal specifications. Water purification technology requires technical and applied science skills that can be learned through trade programs at vocational and community colleges.

How to Select a Wastewater Treatment School

Aspiring wastewater treatment technicians may gain training through 1-year certificate programs or 2-year associate's degree programs. Certificate programs offer students the basic skills they need for entry-level jobs operating wastewater treatment facilities. Associate's degree programs offer additional advanced courses, and these programs may qualify graduates for wastewater technician positions.

Consider the following also when looking for wastewater treatment schools:

  • Students should seek program certification, since wastewater treatment technicians are required to be licensed by the state in which they work.
  • Students might research requirements to ensure that they receive the necessary level of training since some states have up to four different levels of licensure based on the type of work done.

Program Overviews

Wastewater Treatment Certificates

Certificate programs are offered in water treatment and distribution system technology, wastewater management and wastewater plant operations. Some certificate programs offer internships that allow students to experience wastewater treatment technology firsthand. The curriculum typically includes courses such as:

  • Wastewater science
  • Membrane technology
  • Ion exchange technology
  • Treatment systems
  • Water collection systems

Associate's Degrees in Wastewater Technology

Associate's degree programs are available in water and wastewater treatment, wastewater technology, water purification technology and environmental health technology. Through course work and practical labs, students learn to calibrate, maintain and operate water treatment equipment. They learn to follow safety procedures, regulations and ethical guidelines, and use computers for operating water treatment machinery. Typical courses might include:

  • Chemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Hydrology
  • Advanced water technology

10 Schools with Wastewater Treatment Programs

College/University Institution Type
Eastern Kentucky University 2-year, Public
Gateway Community College 2-year, Public
Linn-Benton Community College 2-year, Public
Lewis and Clark Community College 2-year, Public
Western Kentucky University 4-year, Public
University of Florida 4-year, Public
Pikes Peak Community College 2-year, Public
Des Moines Area Community College 2-year, Public
Sacramento City College 2-year, Public
Zane State College 2-year, Public

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