Associate Degree

Environmental Science & Water Resource Technology

An affordable path to prepare for a career in water resources. This program will provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the field of water and wastewater treatment plant operation.


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Associate Degree in Environmental Science & Water Resource Technology

The Associate of Applied Science in Environmental Science & Water Resources Technology prepares students for a career in water and/or wastewater treatment plant operation. Students will learn concepts associated with maintaining and operating machinery and equipment used in facilities for the treatment of water supplies in urban areas and/or for wastewater treatment that is released back into the environment. Academic skills emphasizing math, science, and human relations are stressed to prepare students to meet challenges common in the workplace.

Estimated Annual Cost: $8,280

Cost estimate based on enrollment in 45 annual quarter hours with current Tuition and Fees. Cost includes fees for textbooks and materials.


Learn more about Associate of Applied Science Degrees >


Career Paths

Water Treatment Plan Operator
Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators manage a system of machines to transfer or treat water or wastewater.
Hydrologists work in offices and in the field. In offices, hydrologists spend much of their time using computers to analyze data and model their findings. In the field, hydrologists may have to wade into lakes and streams to collect samples or to read and inspect monitoring equipment.
Power Plant Operators, Distributors, and Dispatchers
Power plant operators, distributors, and dispatchers control the systems that generate and distribute electric power.

What You Will Learn


Students will analyze water quality using appropriate calculations and measurements.


Students will describe the proper treatment of water relevant to the environmental science technology field, including the mechanical, technical, and scientific knowledge used in water treatment.


Students will translate the appropriate municipal, state, and federal environmental standards in eh assessment and treatment of water.


Students will discuss industry standards for public service including professional, ethical, and leadership behaviors.


Students will describe safety measure used in water treatment, storage, and laboratory testing.

Leadership. Character. Civility.

Attending GMC is about more than just earning a degree. We prepare our graduates to stand out in the world by teaching leadership skills, character education, and ethics. GMC grads have the grit and determination to be successful in an ever-changing job market.

See How GMC Builds Character

Why pay more for the same degree?

Thanks to our Transfer Agreements, GMC Online students can take their college credits with them to dozens of other colleges and universities. Why pay more for core curriculum when you take the same accredited courses at GMC Online for less, and then transfer to the four-year college of your choice? Here’s a cost comparison:

“My GMC Online Enrollment Coach really believed in me, and pushed me to want to do better for myself… One year later, I found myself with a degree and two jobs. I was very quickly able to get myself a new car, put my son in a better school, and eventually buy myself a house. I became an all-around happier and healthier person thanks to GMC Online.”

— Charity Suggs, Graduate

Recent Grads

Concentration Courses

BIO 141 Environmental Science I 6qh

Basic biological and earth science principles are used to investigate the scientific aspects of the impacts modern society has upon the Earth’s natural environmental systems. Emphasis is placed on sustaining resources and making informed choices concerning environmental issues. Potential solutions to environmental problems are also investigated. The laboratory incorporates hands-on procedures to explore environmental concepts and problems as well as the collection and interpretation of data relevant to managing environmental challenges.

BIO 299 Microbiology I 6qh

This course is a study of microbial morphology, growth, colonial morphology, biochemistry, physiology, drug resistance, methods of disinfection, and methods of sterilization.

CHE 121 Principles of Chemistry I I 6qh

This course is the first course in a sequence intended for science majors. This course is a study of the systematic treatment of atomic structure, stoichiometry, aqueous reactions, the gas laws, thermochemistry, periodicity, molecular geometry, and chemical bonding.

CHE 122 Principles of Chemistry II I 6qh

A continuation of CHE 121, intended for science majors. Topics include solutions, colligative properties, kinetics, equilibrium, thermodynamics, electrochemistry and descriptive chemistry.

CIS 110 Introduction to Computer Concepts & Applications I 5qh

A multi-faceted course including an overview of computer architecture, an overview of digital security, ethical issues in computing, application software (including word processing, electronic spreadsheet, presentation, and database software) to facilitate business productivity. In addition, the student will use a hands-on approach to develop algorithms and multimedia computer programs using an object- oriented, graphically-driven, programming language using common programming data structures and event driven tasks. This course will have an emphasis on the development of algorithmic and critical thinking skills.

ESC 101 Introduction to Water Treatment Processes I 5qh

An introductory study of the water treatment process. Students will learn about managing and monitoring water treatment processes, as well as mechanical knowledge, safety, maintenance, governmental regulations, chemical handling, sample testing, first aid, and more. Laboratory exercises are related to lecture topics.

ESC 102 Introduction to Wastewater Treatment Processes I 5qh

This course is an introductory study of the wastewater treatment process. Students will learn about managing and monitoring wastewater treatment processes, as well as mechanical knowledge, safety, maintenance, governmental regulations, chemical handling, sample testing, and first aid. Laboratory exercises are related to lecture topics.

ESC 103 Water Distribution and Backflow I 6qh

An introductory study of water distribution and backflow. Students will learn about managing and monitoring water distribution, water storage and distribution facilities, and system operation.

BIO 280 Introduction to Ecology I 6qh

Introduction to individual, population, community, and ecosystem ecology. Topics include adaptations, population structure and dynamics, organization and classification of communities, and nutrient and energy flows in ecosystems Laboratory and field component introduces students to sampling procedures and data analysis.

Hiring Partners

GMC is fortunate to have partnerships with a wide range of businesses who hire our graduates. Here are a few of our partners:

Frequently Asked Questions

About This Program

Earning an AAS degree in Environmental Science & Water Resources Technology will better prepare students for the Water Treatment Operator Certification Exam and employment opportunities. With a career in the water sector, you can continue your public service by working to provide and ensure safe, sanitary water for your community. Go to work each day knowing that you are making a positive impact through serving others and ensuring public health.

Degree Program Coordinator

Randy Elvidge,

Program Benefits

One significant benefit of completing this degree program is the increased likelihood of passing the Water Treatment Operator Certification Exam. Students who complete this program will be well-prepared to tackle this exam and advance their careers in the field of water and wastewater treatment plant operation.

Cost for the Degree

Average Annual Cost for this Degree:

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Do you know someone who would be a perfect fit for GMC Online?

Introducing our Exclusive Referral Program! By simply connecting us with individuals who are ready to pursue their college degree, you can earn generous rewards.

Pocket up to $175 for every new student you refer.

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*Referral Verification Disclaimer: All referrals are subject to a thorough verification process to confirm their authenticity. GMC Online retains the right to withhold gift cards if any referral appears suspicious or violates our program guidelines. This is crucial in preventing fraud and maintaining the integrity of our program. 

*Terms & Conditions: This program applies solely to individuals referred to the GMC online campus and does NOT include GMC employees or those who have previously been referred to our institution. The referral program officially launched on June 23, 2023. Please note that referrals made before this date will not be eligible for rewards.

Academic Excellence.
Since 1879.

We’ve been educating bright minds for well over a century. That’s why a degree from GMC means more than just a great education. It means success.