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Water Environment Technology - Associate in Applied Science

Seventy-five percent of the earth is covered with water. Clearly, it's one of our most precious resources.

Pure, safe drinking water and clean, healthy rivers, lakes, and oceans don't just happen by themselves. It takes all kinds of people to find, build, maintain, and operate water and wastewater treatment systems. And these systems are everywhere -- wherever you find people.

About the Program

The Water Environment Technology program is designed to provide specialized training in the water and wastewater fields. Both theory and application are stressed in the program, tailored for both entry-level persons, as well as those already employed in the field.

Completion of the WET program will allow graduates the opportunity to take the entry level water and wastewater certification examinations administered by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

In the WET program, you will study the water treatment process for drinking water, wastewater treatment processes, water chemistry, and pollution prevention. Courses in utility management and maintenance complete the program. You will participate in two four-week practicums in actual industrial plants to obtain hands-on experience and qualify to take the entry-level certification tests.

Fast Facts

Faculty - WET core courses are taught by local engineers, superintendents, lab analysts, and managers with up-to-date experience

Night Classes - Many courses are offered in the evenings to allow students the flexibility of maintaining full or part-time employment

Lab Facilities - The WET program is much more than class room lectures, utilizing many hands-on laboratory exercises

Site Visits - Many field trips and site visits are taken to local facilities, observing first-hand the application of theory learned in the class room

Careers and Job Outlook

The Water Environment field offers many rewarding career opportunities. New regulatory requirements have led to more work and more jobs each year. WET graduates are ready for many types of careers.

  • Municipal water treatment and wastewater treatment
  • Private water supply and environmental services companies
  • Local, state and federal regulatory agencies
  • Chemical and other manufacturing companies
  • Equipment sales and service companies
  • Consulting engineering and environmental firms
  • Independent contractors

State of Michigan average yearly earnings is $40,220.
Source: Michigan Department of Career Development, 2010 State Occupational Employment, and Wage Estimates of Michigan Occupational Information System.

Related Resources

Check out the links below to learn more about this fascinating field.

American Water Works Association

Water Environment Federation

Michigan Water Environment Association

Find Out More

Have questions or want more information? Contact:

Ronald Sharp
WET program coordinator

Water Environment Technology - Associate in Applied Science

Program Code: AAS.15827

The vast majority of water and wastewater treatment plant operators work for local governments. Some work for private water supply and sanitary services companies, many of which provide operation and management services to local governments on a contract basis.

Graduation from this program will prepare you to make application to write the Wastewater Class "D" Operator Certification examination and the entry-level waterworks certification examinations.

Core Courses

CourseCreditsCourse TitleCompleted
SCI 1071Introduction to Technical Programs in Science ______________
WET 1103Water Treatment Technologies ______________
WET 1123Wastewater Treatment Technology ______________
WET 2103Advanced Wastewater Treatment Technologies ______________
WET 2123Advanced Water Treatment Technologies ______________
WET 2153Water Quality Analysis And Wet Instrumentation ______________
WET 2203Water Microbiology ______________
WET 2303Water/Wastewater Utility Management ______________
WET 2403Applied Hydraulics ______________
WET 2443Water/Wastewater Utility Equipment Maintenance ______________
WET 2462Water/Wastewater Utility Electrical Maintenance ______________
WET 2654Practicum In Water/Wastewater Treatment ______________

General Education Courses

CourseCreditsCourse TitleCompleted
BIO 110W4Environmental Science ______________
CHM 105W5Technical Chemistry I AND ______________
CHM 106W5Technical Chemistry II ______________
OR ______________
CHM 111(5)General and Inorganic Chemistry I AND ______________
CHM 112(5)General and Inorganic Chemistry II ______________
CST 133W4Computer Concepts & Competencies ______________
ENG ---3Any Approved College Composition I Course ______________
ENG 1133Technical Communication ______________
OR ______________
ENG ---(3)Any Approved College Composition II Course ______________
MTH ---4Any Approved Intermediate Algebra Course ______________
LW ---1Any 1 Credit LW Course AND ______________
LWA ---1Any 1 Credit LWA Course ______________
OR ______________
LW ---(2)Any 2 Credit LW Course ______________
POL ---3/4Any Approved American Government Requirement ______________

Recommended Electives

CourseCreditsCourse TitleCompleted
ENV 100W3Environmental Regulations ______________
ENV 151W2.7HAZWOPER Training ______________
ENV 1531.3Confined Space Training ______________
GLG 1304Environmental Geology ______________
GLG 2302Introductory Field Methods in Hydrogeology ______________

67/68Total Credits


1 - A student not wishing to take the Michigan Department of Environment Quality Water and Wastewater Entry-Level Exams may replace WET 265 with one of the recommended electives or an elective approved by the Division Chair or the Program Chair to complete at least 64 credits.
2 - The MTH approved Intermediate Algebra Course requirement can also be met with an acceptable score on the current college assessment instrument. To meet minimum graduation requirements, credits may be replaced from the "Recommended Electives" course list above.
3 - A Grade of “C” (2.0) or higher is required in all Core Courses
4 - It is highly recommended that students take SCI 107 early in their coursework.

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