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Alumna Renee Oelrich was named the 2013 Minnesota Wastewater Operators Association Laboratory Operator of the Year.
Why Choose This Program?
Clean, safe water. We expect it every time we grab a glass from the faucet or dive into one of Minnesota’s lakes and rivers. The women and men with degrees in water environment technologies make good on that expectation. They help ensure the health and well being of communities and the natural environment through proper handling of water.
Graduates of this program play many roles in the operations of water & wastewater treatment facilities, sewer collection systems, and water distribution systems. They complete lab analysis of water, take water meter readings, trouble shoot and repair systems, and even supervise plant operations or public works.
Water environment technology jobs offer meaningful work and extensive career growth potential. To meet the demand for clean safe water in our state, we offer two program locations. One is in St. Cloud and one at the Eden Prairie Water Treatment Plant.
Consider water environment technologies . . . a crystal, clear choice.
- 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
- Utility administration and planning
- Customer Service
Career Choices in Water Environment Technologies
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
- Municipal (local)
- Water Management Districts
- 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.
Projected Job Growth
The job availability in water and wastewater treatment facilities in Minnesota and across the United States is at an all-time high due to rapid retirement and an expansion in the number of job positions in our industry. The job needs in Minnesota have historically out-paced our ability to supply the industry with qualified operators. This trend will continue most readily during the next 5 – 10 years, and the availability of jobs is expected to continue to grow at just a slightly lower rate beyond the next 10 years. With high paying jobs, solid retirement plans, and overall generous benefit packages, this career choice will satisfy the needs of most, if not all, people looking to start a new career.
Average State Pay
The average pay in our industry is somewhat dependent on where a person obtains employment. Larger metropolitan water and wastewater treatment facilities have to offer higher wages due to the greater cost of living. However when property values are considered, the lower wages at smaller utilities outside the metropolitan area are still very competitive.
Our graduates can expect a starting hourly wage between $16/hr. and $25/hr.
The benefit packages are usually equal to 15 - 20% of the hourly wage, and some are much higher.
Minnesota transfer curriculum - http://sctcc.edu/mntc
Degrees & Certificates
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)
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)
- 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.