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WTM - Irrigation Technology

Industry Description
Water is a resource that impacts our lives on a daily basis. Due to water shortages, today and in the future, management of this precious resource is critical. With heightened emphasis on environmental concerns, the demand on water supplies requires that old, inefficient practices and systems be updated or replaced. This notion is creating a demand for a broad range of irrigation and hydrological expertise. Knowledge of water management and policy is important in the agriculture, turf maintenance, and municipal landscape industries. The water management industry is experiencing a period of rapid technological advancement in labor saving and water conserving irrigation systems, while having to manage a finite resource. Highly skilled technicians are required to design, install, operate and maintain these new technologies. Graduates of this program have been highly recruited, and job placement is exceptional.  

Department Overview
The Water Technologies and Management program offers certificates, Associate in Applied Arts & Sciences degrees (AAAS) and transfer options in Watershed Ecology, Natural Resources Technology and Management, and Irrigation Technology.

Recently added are four new 2+2 degree pathways to Washington State University in Wildlife Ecology & Conservations Science, Environmental & Ecosystem Sciences, Forestry, and Earth Sciences.

Irrigation Technology provides practical learning experience in both the agriculture and the turf industries. The study of irrigation principles and practices, water and energy conservation, pumps, fluid hydraulics, troubleshooting, and installation prepares students for irrigation industry challenges. Graduates of the Irrigation Technology program are highly recruited to design, sell, install, operate, maintain, manage, and/or service turf, landscape, and agricultural irrigation systems. The Irrigation Technology degree prepares graduates for highly skilled entry-level positions within the industry and/or transferability to Washington State University.

Students in the program have the unique opportunity to participate in a paid work experience in spring and summer quarters of the program. Approximately half of the courses required for the degree can be taken online.

The Water Technologies & Management curriculum is reviewed annually by an advisory board composed of local and regional industry members.

Students may earn an Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences Degree in Irrigation Technology upon completion of the two-year program of study. A Center Pivot Technology Certificate is available upon completion of the first year of the program.

Career Opportunities
  • Water District Manager
  • Designer/Specifier
  • Conservation District Personnel
  • Installation Foreman
  • Service Technician
  • Field Technician
  • Wholesale/Retail Sales Personnel
  • Irrigation Manager
  • Consultant
  • Contractor
  • Water Auditor

Irrigation Technology Scholarship
This scholarship is funded by Nelson Irrigation, Inc. and awarded to students who intend to make a career working in the many areas of irrigation technology. The $1,000 award may be shared with one or more applicants.

Entrance Requirements
Students may begin their study in fall, winter, spring, or summer quarter, however. A placement test offered by the Student Development Center must be completed prior to starting the program.

Other Information
For additional information including regional employment data, completion rates, student characteristics, and employment see