Environmental technician wearing a hard hat and reflective safety vest crouching down next to a swamp while holding a tablet

Launch your career as an environmental technician

Environmental Technician Ontario College Diploma, Co-op program

Be career-ready in just 20 months, with four months of paid work experience. Hands-on lab/field experience plus theory. MECP water curriculum included.

Program code ENTN
Duration 2 Years
Credential Ontario College Diploma, Co-op
Delivery Full-time +
Part-time

Program information

Program description

Environmental Technician students are trained as entry-level practitioners in the use of environmental sampling, monitoring and testing equipment and information technology tools and will be familiar with standard operating procedures for conducting environmental projects. Students are provided with applied knowledge of health, safety and environmental legislative requirements, environmental management systems, and the basic principles of ecosystem-based management for sustainability.

If this doesn’t sound quite right for you, why not look into the Environmental Technology program? It’s a three-year option that includes three co-op terms and specialized courses like Atmospheric Science, Sustainable Technologies, Toxicology and Contaminants in Organisms and more.

Intake information

Start date Campus
Fall 2021 Barrie

Tuition and fees

Work-integrated learning

This program includes a co-op work term component where you will gain practical, on-the-job experience in your field.

What are the admission requirements for the Environmental Technician program?

Environmental Technician admission requirements

OSSD or equivalent with

  • Grade 12 English (C or U)
  • Grade 12 Mathematics (C or U)

Mature students, non-secondary school applicants (19 years or older), and home school applicants may also be considered for admission. Eligibility may be met by applicants who have taken equivalent courses, upgrading, completed their GED, and equivalency testing. For complete details refer to: www.georgiancollege.ca/admissions/academic-regulations/

Pathways

Applicants who have taken courses from a recognized and accredited post-secondary institution and/or have relevant life/learning experience may also be considered for admission; refer to the Credit Transfer Centre website for details:
www.georgiancollege.ca/admissions/credit-transfer/

Admission details

Full Ontario G driver’s license is strongly recommended in order to support a wider job search and facilitate more co-op employment opportunities.

Laptop is strongly recommended (Windows compatible recommended); Online access and/or student trial license opportunities available for most required software.

The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks Operator in Training (OIT) certification should be completed within first 6 months of school of starting the program (owwco.ca). Details will be provided during CPHR0001 Co-op and Career Preparation course in Semester 1.

Appropriate clothing for fieldwork is required.  This includes green patch safety boots/shoes.

What career paths can I take as an environmental technician?

Your Environmental Technician diploma gives you many career opportunities

Given the diversity in program skills and knowledge, there are a number of career options in the environmental field working for small and large corporations. Potential employers include environmental consulting firms; government agencies (municipal, provincial, federal); environmental services departments in a variety of organizations; and water, wastewater and waste management firms.

The most memorable experience I have from the Environmental Technician program at Georgian College is the Algonquin field trip. We spent a few days in a research camp getting hands-on experience with everything we learned in class, from surveying to soils to limnology. We explored different lakes doing canoeing, a portage and we dug the soils to explore their characteristics – all accompanied by amazing landscapes and wildlife sightings. A truly unique experience.

In my current position, I work with different equipment and perform water and media analysis. In this context, the chemistry courses and laboratory components were fundamental to build on the basics to perform this job. On the other hand, the theory learned from the water and wastewater treatment courses and hands-on experiences from the field trips were key in opening the doors to my current workplace.
Natalia Contreras (class of 2016), Laboratory Technician at the City of Barrie

Accreditation

Canadian Association for Co-operative Education

This program is accredited by the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE).

This accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement for co-operative education programs in Canada, and recognizes Georgian’s commitment to quality in co-op education.

CAFCE accreditation logo

Industry support

City of Barrie

For more than 20 years, Georgian has enjoyed a partnership with the City of Barrie within the areas of storm water management, water and wastewater operations, solid waste management, engineering and environmental services.

The City of Barrie supports the college’s advisory committee, special projects and co-operative education work terms.

Many of our graduates have secured full-time employment with the City of Barrie as a result of this successful partnership.

City of Barrie logo, featured a wave design under the "B"

Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA)

NVCA’s support of Georgian’s Environmental Technician and Environmental Technology programs has a long-standing history. Subject matter experts from NVCA have shared their knowledge as guest speakers, participated in networking events, and represented NVCA on our program advisory committee. 

NVCA representatives regularly facilitate fieldwork and hands-on-learning opportunities for various courses within our programs. Our students have benefited from co-op work terms and graduate employment opportunities in a variety of departments at the NVCA.

Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority logo

Comco Canada Ltd

Comco Canada Ltd has proudly supported Georgian’s Environmental Technician and Technology programs for several years.

Co-op students and graduates have gained working experience in spill response, soil and water remediation, environmental site assessments, water quality assessment, air quality analysis, and environmental compliance.

Experience with and exposure to petroleum systems provides insights to the sources of potential environmental problems, and how to properly design and install petroleum systems to avoid these problems.

Comco Canada Ltd. logo

Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA)

Georgian’s Environmental Technician and Environmental Technology programs are proud to have a long working relationship with LSRCA. LSRCA commits to furthering Georgian’s curriculum through representation on our program advisory committee, as well as assistance in seminars, networking events and field experience.

Our students gain hands-on experience through co-op work term opportunities with LSRCA. Students contribute to applied research, environmental science, as well as monitoring LSRCA projects and programs focused on key issues like low-impact development (LID) and invasive species impacts.

Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) logo

Lakehead-Georgian program

Earn a diploma and degree in just four years!

Georgian College and Lakehead University partner to offer students interested in environmental studies a unique opportunity.

In four years, you can earn an Honours Bachelor of Arts and Science – Environmental Sustainability (Specialization in Ecosystem Management) degree from Lakehead with an Environmental Technician diploma from Georgian College.

Completing both programs on their own would take an additional two years. Do them together to get more qualifications and break into the job market faster!

Flex MORE. Study Environmental Technician part-time

Benefits of studying part-time:

What courses are included in the Environmental Technician diploma program?

Course overview

22 Program Courses
2 Communications Courses
3 General Education Courses
1 Co-op Work Term

Program-specific courses

Semester 1 courses are listed below. For a full list of courses in the program including course descriptions, view the Environmental Technician program outline.

  • COMP 1059 – Computer Technology for Environmental Applications
  • ENVR 1005 – Workplace Safety and Employment Readiness
  • ENVR 1006 – Earth Science
  • ENVR 1009 – Foundations of Environmental Science
  • MATH 1035 – Applied Environmental Mathematics
  • PHYS 1004 – Physical Systems in the Environment
  • Select 1 course from the communications list during registration.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

The Environmental Technology and Environmental Technician programs look very similar. Can I change programs once enrolled?Georgian College Chevron

Yes. The Environmental Technician (ENTN) program is the first two years of the Environmental Technology (ENVR) program. You can transfer from one program to the other and are encouraged to discuss academic planning with your program co-ordinator.

If you would like to transfer from the two-year ENTN program to the three-year ENVR program, we recommend you do so prior to the end of semester three in order to stay in sequence for co-op work terms. 

To help you decide which program is right for you, review our ENTN and ENVR program fit resource.

Does this program include fieldwork?Georgian College Chevron

The Environmental Technician (ENTN) and Environmental Technology (ENVR) programs at Georgian include many experiential learning opportunities.

Hands-on components include fieldwork, field trips, science-based labs and computer-based labs. The inclusion of hands-on components vary by course and by semester. With lab or fieldwork comes the associated theory and results analysis to understand and interpret what is explored in the hands-on component.

For more information, please see our ENVR/ENTN program fit resource.

What types of co-op experiences can I expect in this program?Georgian College Chevron

The Environmental Technician program includes one co-op work term. The Environmental Technology program includes three co-op work terms.

Co-op consultants for these programs work with industry representatives to secure a variety of environmental positions.

Positions are mainly located within Simcoe County and surrounding regions, though Georgian students have worked worldwide. 

Many opportunities are available in municipal services (e.g. water utilities, wastewater treatment, storm water management, solid waste operations, engineering), as well as environmental management, environmental conservation, and construction or aggregate sectors.

Can I further my studies and earn a degree once I complete this program?Georgian College Chevron

The Environmental Technician and Environmental Technology programs have excellent pathway opportunities to earn a degree locally, nationally or internationally.

The type of degree and curriculum focus varies by offering institution. We encourage you to review options based on your interests.

Check out the Credit Transfer Centre website for more details, and contact your program co-ordinator with specific questions.

My career goal is to become a conservation officer. Will this program prepare me for this career?Georgian College Chevron

The Environmental Technician and Environmental Technology programs focus on developing an in-depth knowledge of the natural environment. This knowledge is important learning for a conservation officer. These programs may be eligible to meet the admission requirements for further studies in a conservation and environmental law enforcement program.

I want to work with fish and wildlife upon graduation. Does this program include courses about fish and wildlife?Georgian College Chevron

The Environmental Technician and Environmental Technology programs focus on the natural environment including water, soil and air, as well as the industrial aspects of monitoring and regulating the environment. These programs do not examine specifics about fish and wildlife.  

What is the MECP water curriculum?Georgian College Chevron

The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) regulates drinking water systems and wastewater facilities management within the province of Ontario. Operators of drinking water systems or wastewater facilities are required to be certified. Details on the various levels of certification for various systems can be found with the Ontario Water Wastewater Certification Office.

Within the Environmental Technician and Environmental Technology programs at Georgian, you will have the opportunity to complete the Entry-Level Drinking Water Operator Course (ELC), which is a mandatory course for those working in drinking water operations.

You are also encouraged to write the Operator-in-Training (OIT)certification tests during the first six months of the program to support co-op work term applications. Georgian is here to support you with this process.

Why is a full driver’s licence recommended for this program?Georgian College Chevron

Many co-op work terms and graduate employment opportunities require a valid driver’s licence as part of the position requirements. Some opportunities are not located within municipalities or public transportation may not be available. Others require employees to drive company vehicles to get to various locations, which requires a valid driver’s licence. 

Can I take this program part-time?Georgian College Chevron

Georgian’s Environmental Technician program is available on a part-time basis. There is a recommended sequence of courses, averaging three to four courses per semester over a period of four years.

If you wish to complete the Environmental Technology program part-time, you can request a program change. We encourage you to consider full-time studies, if possible.

Do you have questions about Environmental Technician? Contact us!

Thinking about applying to Georgian?

Contact our student recruitment team to explore your study options.

Already applied to Georgian?

Connect with the Office of the Registrar for admissions-related questions.

Are you an international student?

Contact our international recruitment team to learn more about studying at Georgian. 

Ways to connect

blue circle that says Virtual Open House in white font

Join us for Virtual Open House!
Saturday, Nov. 13 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Learn more and RSVP

One-on-one appointments text overlaying a green circle

Book a phone appointment
with a recruitment specialist.
Learn more

Join our mailing list text overlaying a navy blue circle

Join our email list for event updates, contest information and more.
Sign up for Georgian updates