Environmental Technology

Program Guide

The Program

The water quality treatment field is projected to lose upwards of one-third of its Kansas workforce to retirements in the next three to five years. These changes could translate into a well paying career for you. If you’re looking for a career direction or a new challenge, consider a career in Environmental Technology.

Forecasts suggest up to 30 percent of workers in this field will retire in the next five years. There are more than 4,500 state-certified water quality workers in Kansas. Opportunities available in water production, distribution, wastewater treatment and conversation. Entry-level positions typically include operators and maintenance type positions moving up to assistant superintendent and superintendent positions. Wages can vary, depending on location and size of the community in question.

Typical entry-level salaries can vary between $9-$11 per hour to $50,000-$65,000 or more for management positions. Workers employed by cities can received comprehensive medical, retirement and disability benefits. High school graduates can enter this field with an associate’s degree, and there are additional certification requirements by the state. The employer usually will pay for the certification and continuing education courses.

Clean water is essential for everyday life. Environmental technicians and water treatment plant and system operators treat water so that it is safe to drink as well as remove harmful pollutants from domestic and industrial liquid waste so that it is safe to return to the earth.

Industrial facilities that send their wastes to municipal treatment plants must meet certain minimum standards to ensure that the wastes have been adequately pretreated and will not damage municipal treatment facilities. Plant operators must be familiar with the guidelines established by Federal regulations and how they affect their plant.

In addition, operators must be aware of any guidelines imposed by the State or locality in which the plant operates. Employment is concentrated in local government and private water, sewage, and other systems utilities.

Program Mission

To provide specific technical educational opportunities to students who may be entering, and those students already working in, the water quality management field of Environmental Technology. The program will prepare students for entry level positions or professional advancement in the potable water and wastewater treatment industry.

Institutional Outcomes

1. Demonstrate the ability to think critically.
2.  Demonstrate proficiency in technical program learning outcomes.
3.  Demonstrate effective written and verbal communication.
4.  Develop positive work habits and interpersonal skills needed for employment.




Program Outcomes

1. Apply critical thinking skills to specific water treatment plant processes following established procedures.
2.  Understand how and why sample collection methods affect analytical laboratory results which ultimately affect treatment decisions and can impact the plant’s regulatory compliance.
3.  Explain and practice safe chemical handling methods as well as safe work habits.
4.  Understand the importance of process record keeping, how to complete and submit regulatory reporting forms.
5. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the Regulations that apply to the drinking water or waste water treatment plants.
6. Understand the very real impacts their actions and how their actions can directly affect the public health.

Water Resources 

Is a class for students who already have an interest in water quality management. Students in this class will learn about the various types of water sources used to supply drinking water. Topics covered will include watershed management, well head protection, basic water well design, water well construction methods and techniques, surface water intake structures, impoundment as well as potential disease causing contaminates.

Water Quality Career Exploration

Course designed for students who want to find out if this career path is appropriate for them. The class will present both the drinking water and waste water treatment operator's duties and responsibilities. Students will learn about the water cycle and its importance to life on earth. this class will help students to decide if water quality management is a career path for them. The class will also introduce the student to water quality regulation and the reasons for the creation for these regulations.

Salina Area Technical College does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), sexual orientation, parental status, national origin, age, disability, family medical history or genetic information, military service, or any other non-merit based factor in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs and activities. Any person having inquiries concerning compliance with the regulations implementing Title VI, Title VII, ADA, Title IX, Section 504, Title II, GINA, is directed to contact the Vice President of Student Services, 2562 Centennial Rd, Salina, KS 67401, 785-309-3100.


For more information about our completion , on-time graduation rates, cost, placement rates, and median debt incurred, please go to http://www.salinatech.edu/ and search by program of study.