Water Environment Technologies

Water Environment Technology

Degrees and Certificates

Why Choose This Program

Water Environment Technology grads are in high demand across the country, and SCTCC offers two locations to complete this program: one at the St. Cloud campus and one at the Eden Prairie Water Treatment Plant.

Clean, safe water is important to the health and wellbeing of communities and the environment. Water Environment students will learn a variety of chemical, biological, physical, and mechanical water and wastewater treatment processes and techniques.

Students will learn the processes of getting water from its source, treatment, distribution, collection, and treatment again on its way back to the source. Students learn to identify, troubleshoot, and solve problems they might see in the treatment process.

Graduates play many roles in operations of water and wastewater treatment facilities, sewer, collection systems, and water distribution systems. There are also many career choices outside of city or county water and wastewater treatment facilities, including agricultural, paper, beverage, ethanol, and manufacturing industries as examples.

Good Stuff

 "SCTCC has a fantastic Water Environment Technologies program that prepares students for careers in both essential services of water and wastewater treatment and distribution/collection.  This program has near 100% job placement in municipalities offering excellent salaries, benefits and retirement as well as a very rewarding career experience.  This field of study and curriculum needs to be promoted, as enrollment still isn't even close to meeting the industry demand for educated operators!" 

Joe Rubbelke – Director of Innovative Solutions at Copperhead Industries  

Skills Acquired

  •  Water and wastewater treatment process control 
  • Mechanical aptitude in a variety of areas 
  • Laboratory skills utilized in water treatment 
  • Basic electricity & controls logic 
  • Math (process control, chemical dosing, process design) 
  • Computer (SCADA, word, excel, PowerPoint) 
  • Communication (oral, written, electronic) 
  • Use of hand and power tools 
  • Process and Equipment Troubleshooting & problem solving 
  • Equipment operation 
  • Preventative maintenance and repair 
  • Regulations and Regulatory Compliance 
  • Safety 
  • Utility administration and planning 
  • Customer Service 
3-year Placement Rate
Central MN average hourly salary

Career Choices

Types of Careers

  • Operations of water & wastewater treatment facilities
  • Sewer collection system operations
  • Water distribution system operations
  • Laboratory Analysis (Quality Control & Quality Assurance)
  • Treatment plant residuals (solids handling)
  • Supervisor of plant operations or public works
  • Maintenance of utility systems
  • Water meter reading, troubleshooting, and repair
  • Electronic systems repair & maintenance
  • Regulatory enforcement
  • Inspections of water and wastewater systems
  • Training & Education
  • Sales of industry related equipment and services

Potential Employers

Government agencies:

  • Municipal (local)
  • Water Management Districts
  • County
  • State
  • Federal
  • Tribal

Private organizations:

  • Industries with a manufacturing process that requires the business to operate its own water and wastewater treatment systems.
  • Contract Operations Companies – Operation and maintenance of municipal and industrial water and wastewater systems.
  • Equipment and Service Vendors – Suppliers of equipment and services utilized by the water and wastewater industry.

Accreditations & Credentials

Water Licensure - Upon completion of the WETT program, students qualify to sit for their Class “D” Water License proctored by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).   

Wastewater Licensure - Upon completion of the WETT program, students qualify to sit for their Class “D” Wastewater License proctored by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).   

Employment at a qualified Water or Wastewater facility allows a licensed operator to advance their licenses to higher levels.  SCTCC graduates with a four-year degree in the Sciences (e.g. Engineering, Biology, Chemistry) may qualify to be able to advance their water and wastewater licensure even faster! 

 The Water Environment Technologies program is accredited by the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 520 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155-4194, (651) 296-6300. Students who successfully pass the state exams receive Class D Water and Wastewater certificates, which are required to operate water and wastewater treatment facilities for both public and private entities. 

Contact Us

Phone: (320) 308-5952 

Fax: (320) 308-5905 

Bill Spain: bspain@sctcc.edu 

Gregg Kropp: gregg.kropp@sctcc.edu  


Program Costs

 In addition to tuition and fees, students can expect to pay $1590 on books, supplies, and materials. 

Related Links

Other Information

  • Program specific scholarships are available.
  • Potential for part time paying jobs in water and wastewater treatment facilities are available to successful candidates.  The part time jobs could be prior to the start of schooling and also while students are attending school.
  • The courses taken in the WETT program are 50% full time face-to-face, and 50% blended classes……meaning students will take half their classes with some online learning components built into their classes/course work.
  • Students will perform 3 weeks of internships during the course of the year in the WETT program.  1 week in the fall semester and 2 weeks in the spring semester.
  • Students will participate in industry driven conferences and seminars throughout the year.
  • Students will be provided guided tours through a variety of treatment facilities during their training through SCTCC in the WETT program.
  • The WETT program core classes are completed in a ten (10) month period.  Students will complete the diploma degree in 12 months if their general education courses are not completed before enrolling in our program, and 1 additional semester is needed to complete the AAS degree if no general education credits are completed prior to enrolling in the WETT program. 
  • Students in the WETT program can complete their program in St. Cloud or the Twin Cities.
  • Students may complete their degree on campus at SCTCC in the state-of-the art simulation lab. Or, students may complete their degree at the Eden Prairie Water Treatment Facility and Metropolitan Council Seneca Wastewater Treatment Facility in Bloomington.
  • An educational background in mathematics, science, and mechanics is helpful, but not required.

Clubs & Organizations

 WAMM (SCTCC student water club) 

Water Environment Federation (WEF) Professional Organization 

American Water Works Association (AWWA) 

Minnesota Wastewater Operators Association (MWOA) 

Minnesota Rural Water Association (MRWA) 

SCTCC Student Clubs