All public water and wastewater systems in Oregon are operated and maintained under the supervision of certified operators. The UCC Water Quality Pathways Certificate program was developed for people interested in a career in water and/or wastewater operations.
The certification program includes a series of four courses in water quality, including introductory courses in water treatment, water distribution, wastewater treatment, and wastewater collection. In addition, sites are available for in-plant experience through the UCC cooperative work experience program. The course content for the UCC water quality courses are based on the Ken Kerri courses developed through Sacramento State University.
The Water Quality Certificate provides training for the Level I certification exams, is an opportunity for continuing education training and career advancement for employees already working in the field, and provides a career and educational pathway for people desiring an entry level position in water quality operations.
The required courses for the pathways certificate are included in the two-year AAS program for Civil Engineering and Surveying Technology. Students completing the water quality pathways certificate may continue with the two-year AAS, if desired.
All public water and wastewater systems must be piped and treated to federal and state standards under the supervision of certified operators. Water quality operators are employed in virtually every community in Oregon and throughout the nation. The number of operators is stable; funding is typically through monthly user rates (stable funding) and trained operators are required to protect public health and the environment. The majority of job openings projected in the near future are replacement positions, to replace operators that will either retire, be promoted, or move to other locations.
The median salary for Water and Liquid Waste Treatment Plan Operators is listed as $39,800 in the Occupational Report by the Oregon Employment Department.
More information on the career is provided on the related career video for Water and Liquid Waste Treatment Plant Operators.
There are also multiple career pathways for people with water quality backgrounds. Examples of some related careers are available on the Oregon Labor Market Information web site.
View and/or download catalog information for Water Quality Certificate
Other Degrees & Certificates at UCC
- Civil Engineering and Surveying Technology: AAS
- Engineering and Drafting Technician: One-year Certificate
- Drafting Pathways Certificate
- Surveying & Geomatics: AS
- Surveying Pathways Certificate
Engineering technology faculty members at UCC have practical experience working in business and industry. They bring their real world experience into the classroom. Faculty members network with employers, and are able to work cooperatively with the UCC Advising and Career Center to assist you in finding internships and permanent employment.
Prospective students should visit Advising and Career Services to get started and then see a program advisor (below) to develop a more focused educational plan.
Clay Baumgartner, PE - Contact
Chair, Associate Professor, Engineering / Surveying & CIS