Schools for Aspiring Water Treatment Plant Operators

Dec 05, 2019

Aspiring water treatment plant operators can complete an associate's degree program, while students who are currently working in the field may pursue certificate programs to earn certification or licensure. Important considerations for selecting a school include access to practical work experience, flexible programs and job placement assistance.

Programs that train aspiring water treatment plant operators can be found at community and technical colleges. These programs may last one or two years.

Schools With Water Treatment Plant Operator Programs

These institutions offer water treatment plant operator programs.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition
Aaniiih Nakoda College Harlem, MT 2-year, Public Certificate $2,410
Cascadia College Bothell, WA 2-year, Public Associate's $3,931 In-state; $9,297 Out-of-state
Central Carolina Technical College Sumter, SC 2-year, Public Certificate $5,166 In-District; $6,035 In-state; $8,518 Out-of-stater
College of Southern Nevada Las Vegas, NV 4-year, primarily associate's, Public Certificate, Associate's $3,492 In-state; $10,371 Out-of-state
Delaware Technical Community College-Owens Georgetown, DE 2-year, Public Associate's $4,904 In-state; $11,632 Out-of-state
Eastern Kentucky University Richmond, KY 4-year, Public Bachelor's $9,666 In-state; $19,444 Out-of-state
Stark State College North Canton, OH 2-year, Public Certificate $4,070 In-state; $7,166 Out-of-state
Vermilion Community College Ely, MN 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $5,325 In-state; $6,506 Out-of-state
White Mountains Community College Berlin, NH 2-year, Public Certificate $7,970 In-state; $16,770 Out-of-state

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

School Selection Criteria

There are several factors to consider when choosing a water treatment plant operator program.

  • Students may want to look for programs with up-to-date equipment and technology in their labs when selecting a school.
  • Some programs offer practicum courses or internships to build the students' job skills.
  • Aspiring water treatment plant operators may benefit from studying under faculty who are licensed or certified plant operators, especially students in short-term programs who want to learn essential job skills quickly.
  • Most employers require their operators to be certified, and some states require operators to be licensed. Students should look for programs that meet those requirements.

Associate's Degree in Water Treatment

Students who want to complete general education courses along with their plant operator training, or those who plan to transfer to a 4-year program, can earn an associate's degree, such as an Associate in Science in Water Quality Science or an Associate in Applied Science in Water Environment Technology.

Certificate in Water Treatment

Water treatment plant operators who want to supplement their training or become licensed can complete a short course, diploma program or certificate program to earn an award such as a Water Environment Technology Advanced Certificate or a Water Treatment Specialist Certificate.

Water treatment courses are typically offered as a certificate, associate's degree or bachelor's degree program. Many institutions offer programs, and prospective students may want to ensure that any program they consider meets state licensing requirements, offers an opportunity for hands-on experience and is taught by industry professionals.

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