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Environmental Technician

Algonquin College
42 weeks
Full time
Diploma / certificate
Scholarships available
Fall 2020
Algonquin College

Program description

Environmental Technician

Preserve the present for the future - Explore a career in the environmental sciences.

The two-year Environmental Technician program, delivered in a compressed format over 42 weeks, offers theoretical and extensive practical education in all areas of environmental sciences.

You explore the disciplines of biology, chemistry, physical science and engineering as you learn to collect, measure and analyze variables commonly considered in environmental studies. Gain field and laboratory experience in soil, water and air testing as you develop a basic knowledge of:

  • Freshwater environment systems
  • Soils and land forms
  • The chemistry of pollutants
  • Ecological processes

Use the appropriate tools and equipment needed in biology, hydrology, ecological field sampling and analytical chemistry.

This program includes applied research projects that allow you to apply skills and theory to real environmental issues, all while supporting important community initiatives, such as:

  • Water quality monitoring and implementation of agricultural best management practices in the Muskrat Lake watershed
  • Soil testing, weather/climate monitoring and pest/disease surveying for Rocher Fendu Estate vineyard.

Benefit from the opportunity to gain more than 20 certifications in various preferred specialties including provincial certification in water and wastewater operation, electrofishing, and geospatial analysis.

Admission requirements

Program eligibility

  • English, Grade 12 (ENG4C or equivalent).
  • Mathematics, Grade 12 (MAP4C or equivalent).
  • Biology Grade 11 or 12 is strongly recommended
  • Chemistry Grade 11 or 12 is strongly recommended.
  • International applicants must provide proof of the subject specific requirements noted above along with proof of either: (IELTS / TOEFL) IELTS-International English Language Testing Service (Academic) Overall band of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band; OR TOEFL-Internet-based (iBT) Overall 80, with a minimum of 20 in each component: Reading 20; Listening 20; Speaking 20; Writing 20.
  • Applicants with international transcripts must provide proof of the subject specific requirements noted above and may be required to provide proof of language proficiency.

Should the number of qualified applicants exceed the number of available places, applicants will be selected on the basis of their proficiency in English and mathematics.

A current Standard First Aid and CPR certificate is preferred prior to registration. Otherwise, the student must obtain the certificate within the first two months of the first level. Students must also obtain WHMIS certification within the first two months of the first level.

Success factors

This program is well-suited for students who:

  • Seek an active, outdoor, hands-on learning environment.
  • Are eager to measure, monitor, protect and improve the environment.
  • Want to become familiar with both field and laboratory methods used broadly in the environmental sector.

Does this course require proof of English proficiency?

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Program content

Core courses include:

Level: 01

  • Ecology
  • Environmental Biology
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Microcomputer Applications
  • Communications I
  • Freshwater Environments
  • Field Botany
  • Soils and Landforms
  • Mathematics
  • Physical, Chemical and Biological Sampling

Level: 02

  • Communications for Environmental Technicians
  • Contaminants in the Environment
  • Hydrology and Hydrogeology
  • Sustainable Ecosystems
  • Field Certifications
  • Water and Wastewater Treatment Technologies
  • Wildlife Identification
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Statistics and Data Management

Level: 03

  • Global, Regional and Local Environmental Issues
  • Environmental Assessments 70.0 ENV7433
  • Contaminated Site Assessment and Remediation
  • Land and Water Stewardship
  • Environmental Management Systems
  • The Art of Science

Scholarships & funding

For more information about scholarships, please visit the college website.



Ontario College Diploma

Learning outcomes

  • Collect representative environmental samples and perform routine tests, using current and relevant tools.
  • Use scientific concepts and models when contributing to the prevention, control and elimination of environmental hazards and remediation of contaminated sites.
  • Assist with analysis of water/soil/air samples and with the resolution of environmental problems through the application of scientific and engineering principles.
  • Follow standard procedures for conducting environmental sampling projects including the use of appropriate equipment and materials.
  • Promote and maintain sustainable practices by applying the elements of ecosystem-based management.
  • Carry out work responsibilities adhering to standards of professional conduct and principles of professional ethics.
  • Complete assigned tasks in adherence to occupational health and safety standards and applicable legislative requirements.
  • Follow established protocols in support of environmental management systems.
  • Provide ongoing support for project management.
  • Communicate technical information accurately and effectively in oral, written, visual and electronic forms.
  • Develop and present strategies for ongoing personal and professional development to enhance performance as an environmental technician.
  • Identify and apply discipline-specific practices that contribute to the local and global community through social responsibility, economic commitment and environmental stewardship.

Career opportunities

Upon graduation, you are ready to help meet the current and growing need for skilled entry-level practitioners within the environmental sciences sector. Graduates may find entry-level employment in roles such as a(n):

  • Remediation technician
  • Field sampling technician
  • Geographical information systems (GIS) technician
  • Contaminated site assessor
  • Environmental assessor
  • Water and wastewater facility operator
  • Environmental consultant



About this institute

Algonquin College

Algonquin College

Consider Algonquin’s unique campuses Algonquin College offers an experience that includes personalized learning and industry-ready skills through field-work, work placement and co-op. Employers value the combination of theory and experiential learning, at Algonquin College you get it all. In addition...

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Why study at Algonquin College

Canada ranked #1 study abroad country

Canada has been ranked the #1 study abroad country in the world for 2020! Known for its untouched natural beauty, friendly and welcoming locals, and a culture of tolerance and diversity, Canada is a clear choice for students looking to study abroad.

Contact info

Algonquin College

1385 Woodroffe Avenue
K2G 1V8 Ottawa Ontario


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