Overview

Want a career that makes a difference? The Environmental Technology program will give you the skills and knowledge you need to work in the lab or field.

As an Environmental Technologist, you’ll work to protect, conserve and preserve our natural environment. You can work in government, transportation, water treatment or chemical manufacturing.

Our classes cover sampling, site reclamation, waste management and more.

Our graduates find work in environmental protection, conservation and preservation of natural resources, as well as environmental education, communication and research. 

We recommend you have high grades and or recent upgrading in Math 30 (Pure Math) and Chemistry 30.

You should have good work ethic and communication skills.

The opportunity to advance your education by transferring into this program or gain credit for previous postsecondary courses may be available.

There may also be opportunities to further your education by transferring to another institution once you graduate, including the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Environmental Practice degree at Royal Roads University.

Learn more about program and institution transfer options.

You'll participate in a week-long environmental work practicum where you'll apply the skills you've learned in the program to real-world situations with a local employer. 

You'll also participate in an environmental field school where you'll travel to various sites in Kananaskis, west of Calgary, to collect and analyze soil and water samples.

This program is accredited by the Environmental Careers Organization of Canada (EOC Canada.)

Graduates are eligible for membership in the following professional associations:

  • Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET)
  • ECO Canada
  • Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC)

After successfully completing this program, graduates will receive a SAIT diploma in Environmental Technology.

Download program info

Careers and opportunities

Each year, SAIT conducts a survey between February and April to determine the employment rate, salary and satisfaction of our newest SAIT alumni. 

people icon 90% graduate employment rate

salary icon $52,000 average starting salary

Find out more about our graduate employment statistics >

Our graduates may work in the following occupations. Some careers require additional experience and education.

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Career counselling and support

Unsure which career path is for you? SAIT offers career planning services to help you decide your future.

You can also get started by taking our online career finder quiz, which can help you narrow down your search based on your current skills and interests.

Finally, you can also head to Alberta alis for various tools and resources, including additional quizzes and labour market information to help you narrow down a career path.

Services and workshops

Courses

The Environmental Technology diploma requires 60 credits (33 courses) to complete.

The program spans two years, with two semesters each year.

View classes by semester

Course Credits

This course will provide the student with an introduction to ecology and ecological concepts and how they apply to industrial situations. Topics addressed include ecosystem components, interrelationships of living organisms, ecosystem energy and matter cycles, and industrial ecology. Industrial case studies will be used to illustrate the various ecological concepts.

1.5

The course is an introduction to the fundamental chemical principles and is organized to show how these principles apply to the chemistry of the environment. Topics include the nature of atoms and molecules, bonding, interactions of light and matter, the kinetic and thermodynamic control of chemical and physical processes.

3

This course teaches basic laboratory techniques that will enable the learner to become competent in the following techniques: laboratory safety, identifying equipment, reading instruments and measuring devices, selecting and cleaning glassware, weighing, use of volumetric glassware, temperature measurement, filtration techniques, electrical conductivity, pH, extraction techniques, solution preparation, titration techniques, spectrophotometer analysis, and proper labeling and disposal of chemicals.

1.5

This course is designed to develop technical writing and presentation skills to ensure workplace readiness. Students will learn how to evaluate communication situations, analyze documents, assess research sources and develop organizational skills to apply in their work. They will learn about and practice designing, formatting and writing a range of professional documents. Students will also develop confidence (through practice) in the development and delivery of effective and engaging presentations.

3

Risk communication involves more than just explaining risk. It is an approach to communication that takes into consideration the perceptions and needs of the people involved, as opposed to the statistical science of risk assessment. According to the World Health Organization, “Risk communication refers to the exchange of real-time information, advice and opinions between experts and people facing threats to their health, economic or social well-being. The ultimate purpose of risk communication is to enable people at risk to take informed decisions to protect themselves and their loved ones.” This course will provide the student with an understanding of risk communication theory and the principles required for effective risk communication, its application in various stakeholder communication settings, and practical experience in risk communication situations.

3

This applied computer course provides students with critical electronic communications, data and file management skills, along with a strong focus on using common productivity applications to format, calculate, analyze, visualize, and present or report data and information.

Equivalents:
  • COMP 264
1.5

The course provides an introduction to statistical methods. Topics to be covered include organizing, presenting, comparing and summarizing data, basic data distributions, sampling theory, inference tests on paired data; linear curve fitting (regression) and correlation analysis.

Pre-requisites:
  • MATH 237
1.5

This course explores the petroleum, mining and exploration, agriculture, and pulp and paper industries, with a focus on Industry in Alberta. The approach is to divide each industry into the processes involved and to discuss methods of pollution control and environmental mitigation.

Equivalents:
  • CHEM 330
1.5

This course will provide learners with the basic terminology of both organic and biochemistry as they relate to the environment. Topics will include structure and bonding, the identification and naming of organic molecules, and the classification of physical and chemical properties based on functional group analysis. Examples will be taken from our everyday lives, industry, living organisms, contaminants and the environment in order to illustrate these points.

Equivalents:
  • ENVS 245
1.5

This course in Environmental Law and Regulation is designed to provide the student with an enhanced awareness and understanding of the development of environmental law and the practical application of federal and provincial environmental legislation. Emphasis will be placed on those laws that pertain to environmental activities in the Province of Alberta.

1.5

This course will teach the students the key elements of an environmental impact assessment, environmental assessment techniques, and development process for an environmental impact assessment. The course will implement extensive use of case studies.

1.5

Provides environmental technology students with a broad introduction to field hazards, safety problems and safe practices which would be encountered in the various industries during day-to-day fieldwork. Hydrogen Sulfide Safety(ENFORM H2S Alive) and First Aid course (all current Red Cross and St. Johns Ambulance First Aid courses include CPR) are offered as optional extras as required.

1.5

This course will provide the student with an introduction to air pollution, effects of air pollution, pollution measurement methods, control technologies and regulations governing air pollution in a practical manner. Use of computer sessions and field trips will provide a practical perspective on measurement methods and control technologies.

1.5

This course will focus on basic risk concepts that apply to health and the environment. It will go through the process of risk assessment with identification and assessment of risk characterization and management. The components of a cost benefit analysis will be identified and toxicology and epidemiology will be discussed. Case studies will be used to illustrate and summarize main points and relate them to actual problems.

Equivalents:
  • ENVS 240
1.5

This course will explore the theoretical basis and application of techniques used for sensing, recording, analyzing and displaying the effects of the interaction of electromagnetic radiation with the Earth’s surface features. The approach is to develop an understanding of what kind of information can be extracted through remote sensing, and most importantly, what the limitations are for a range of environmental design problems.

Equivalents:
  • ENVS 244
1.5

This course applies stoichiometry, thermodynamics, and kinetics to physical and chemical changes that affect environmental water, Antarctic stratospheric ozone, and ground level air chemistry.

Pre-requisites:
  • CHEM 213
1.5

Societies face enormous clean-up costs and public health issues as a result of site contamination. Choice of remediation strategies depends on several technical and social issues. ENVS 300 will provide you with a fundamental understanding of how to conduct a vadose system investigation.

1.5

This course provides the student with the knowledge and techniques relating to environmental management systems (EMS) and EMS auditing. Topics to be covered include: the benefits of an EMS and EMS auditing, a description and discussion of the various ISO standards, the main elements of an EMS, and EMS auditing (audit principles, elements, tools, and techniques). Industry examples and case studies will be used to illustrate the key points.

Equivalents:
  • ENVS 223
1.5

As the focus towards the environment increases, the need for accurate data also increases. Unless a sample submitted for analysis truly reflects the environment from which it was obtained, the results of any analytical tests are meaningless. This course will teach the student sampling techniques that are accurate, precise and that maintain sample integrity. Students will also use a variety of analytical instrumentation in an analytical laboratory to analyze environmental samples.

Pre-requisites:
  • CHEM 276
Corequsites:
  • ENVS 330
Equivalents:
  • ENVS 242
3

This course provides an introduction to field sampling and analysis methods used in Environmental Technology. Students travel to various sites in Kananaskis where they have the opportunity to apply field methods in collecting and analyzing soil samples and water samples. Students also learn to identify common vegetation and wildlife habitats found in Kananaskis and to apply this knowledge to vegetation sampling. Students learn to identify common types of scat found in the area and apply this knowledge by collecting pellet counts in the field. Data collected from this field school is used in classroom activities throughout the ensuing fall and winter terms of their program, and include statistical testing and biodiversity investigations.

Pre-requisites:
  • MATH 237
  • BIOL 201
  • CHEM 213
  • CHEM 276
  • COMM 238
  • COMP 261
  • ENVS 222
  • ENVS 252
  • ENVS 251
  • ENVS 254
  • ENVS 260
  • ENVS 344
  • GEOL 230
  • ENVS 250
  • ENVS 219
  • COMM 270
Corequsites:
  • ENVS 304
3

This is a basic water treatment laboratory course with emphasis on environmental applications. The unit operations of coagulation and flocculation will be maximized with standard jar test procedures. The unit operation of disinfection will be studied by standard chlorine demand testing. A brine water will be analyzed, calculated, balanced, reported and commented on. Specific tests like ORP pH, buffer capacity, alkalinity, conductivity/resistivity, density, refractive index, chloride, hardness, sulphate and iron on real environmental samples will be determined. Removal of chromium at the mg/L will be studied. Partition coefficients of organic pollutants with varying hydrophobic/hydrophilic character. Kinetics of pollutants in the environment will be studied. Dissolved oxygen, biological oxygen demand and chemical oxidation demand will be determined. Determination of ammonia, chloride and fluoride by specific ion electrode. Ion exchange, distillation and reverse osmosis treatments will be studied.

Pre-requisites:
  • CHEM 276
Corequsites:
  • ENVS 359
3

This course is an introduction to GIS technology, aimed at individuals involved in the environmental field. The course is divided into three sections: GIS theory; data collection (involving positional and feature attribute data) with the use of hand held Global Positioning System (GPS) and survey equipment; and GIS mapping making use of a GIS desktop mapping application.

3

On completion of ENVS 354 students will be able to outline the current development models that have shaped our urban areas over the past century. Students will also be able to summarize the environmental impacts caused by our current development models. Finally, students will be able to recommend design changes required to move urban development toward sustainability.

Equivalents:
  • ENVS 315
1.5

This course introduces a variety of topics in solid waste management including: the classification of hazardous waste for transport in Alberta, recycling, landfills, disposal wells, sewage management, radioactive wastes and an overview of the Swan Hills Treatment Facility.

Equivalents:
  • ENVS 325
1.5

This is a basic water treatment course with emphasis on water produced for industrial, oil and gas, and municipal waters, as well as waste streams from these industries. The course focuses both on the background aquatic chemistry and the relevant aqueous analytical techniques used to monitor our water as well as approaches to modeling and predicting problems arising from produced and wastewater. The course includes a survey of problems that occur in Alberta’s waters as well as current solutions to these problems.

Corequsites:
  • ENVS 343
1.5

This course is an overview of global warming giving an overview of the enhanced greenhouse effect, global and national energy use, as well as political and scientific approaches to reducing the problem.

Pre-requisites:
  • CHEM 213
1.5

This course will provide the student with an introduction to project management concepts as they apply to environmental projects. Environmental projects will be used as examples throughout and specific considerations relevant to environmental projects will be discussed.

Pre-requisites:
  • COMP 261
Equivalents:
  • ENVS 238
1.5

This course acts as a capstone course. It will allow learners to integrate previously acquired data and information to make critical decisions pertaining to environmental and sustainability issues.

Pre-requisites:
  • ENVS 330
1.5

This introductory course in microbiology takes students from foundational concepts to advanced environmental issues. The theory component highlights the complex and powerful roles microbes play in different environments. The laboratory component reviews basic skills required to safely perform microbiological procedures, with emphasis placed on techniques commonly used in environmental and industrial settings.

1.5

An introduction to basic geological principles and their influence on surface water and groundwater; topics include: aquifers, basic contour mapping, depositional environments, identification of hand specimens of common rocks, rocks and their origin, soils, structural geology, subsidence, and vertical profiles.

1.5

The hydrogeology and hydrology course will provide instruction in practical hydrogeology and groundwater development, including an overview of well construction and monitoring techniques for water investigation and supply, and investigations of contaminated sites.

Pre-requisites:
  • GEOL 230
Equivalents:
  • GEOL 235
1.5

Mathematics for Technologists will provide learners with concepts in algebra, trigonometry, arithmetic of complex numbers, linear algebra, exponential and logarithmic functions, rates of change and statistics. This course provides foundational mathematics skills for engineering technologists. It covers a variety of mathematical models for solving application problems.

3

The environmental practicum is an opportunity for learners to apply skills by completing work in the environment industry. The work may consist of tasks or a project that is relevant to the environment industry. This is a 5-day work practicum near the end of the 4th semester. The week is normally unpaid and activities during the week may include research, site visits, report writing, job shadowing, collecting field data or other tasks and activities.

Pre-requisites:
  • BIOL 201
  • CHEM 213
  • CHEM 276
  • COMM 238
  • COMP 261
  • ENVS 222
  • MATH 237
  • COMM 270
  • ENVS 219
  • ENVS 252
  • ENVS 251
  • ENVS 254
  • ENVS 250
  • ENVS 260
  • ENVS 344
  • GEOL 230
  • DATA 201
  • ENVS 229
  • ENVS 236
  • ENVS 300
  • ENVS 303
  • ENVS 304
  • ENVS 330
  • ENVS 360
1.5

Progression

Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.

Review our grading and progression procedure >

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Explore your options!

Some courses in this program are available through Open Studies. You can complete courses via Open Studies to get a head start on your education, reduce your course load once accepted into a credentialed program, or determine which career path best suits you before you fully commit. 

You may also take courses for general interest or personal and professional development.

Available Open Studies courses

Admission requirements

Applicants educated in Canada

All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency and meet the following requirements or equivalents.

  • at least 60% in Math 30-1, AND,
  • at least 50% in English Language Arts 30-1, or at least 60% in English Language Arts 30-2, AND,
  • at least 60% in Chemistry 30

SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission for applicants educated outside Alberta.

All applicants who were educated outside of Canada must demonstrate English Language proficiency and provide proof they meet the program admission requirements with an international document assessment. Find out what educational documents are accepted and assessment options.

SAIT may also accept courses completed at certain international post-secondary institutions.

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Academic Upgrading

Missing an admission requirement for this program? Upgrade your prior education to help you receive admission into one of SAIT's career programs.

Upgrade
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English language proficiency

All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

Learn more

Available intakes

Fall 2024

Start dates:

Domestic students: Open
  • Application deadline: June 28, 2024
International students: Open
  • Application deadline: May 29, 2024

Costs

2023/24 tuition and fees

The following costs are effective as of July 1, 2023. They are an estimate of tuition and fees based on the recommended course load per year.

Domestic students

Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 2 $5,640 $1,570 $7,210
2 2 $5,640 $1,570 $7,210
Total cost:
$14,420

Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 2 $19,322.10 $1,570 $20,892.10
2 2 $19,322.10 $1,570 $20,892.10
Total cost:
$41,784.20

Books and supplies are approximately $1,800 per full-time year.

This is a bring-your-own-device program with a standard computer hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page.

Find your booklist on the SAIT Bookstore's website. The booklist will be available closer to the program start date. Can’t find your program or course? The bookstore didn't receive a textbook list. Contact your program directly to determine if they’re still refining course details or if you're in luck; no textbook purchase is required this term.

Required personal protective equipment (PPE)

The industry-approved PPE you'll need for labs, including a lab coat and CSA-approved safety glasses (with UVEX and side shields), will be discussed during your first few days of classes. 

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Financial aid

Paying for your education may feel overwhelming, but we have resources and programs that can help, including information about payment options, student loans, grants and scholarships.

Learn more

Application process

Ready to apply?

Follow our step-by-step guide to submitting a successful application.

Learn how to apply

Communication during admission

Email is the primary source of communication during the selection process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. We recommend you add the macphail.students@sait.ca domain to your safe senders' list or you risk missing critical email messages.

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Begin your application

Apply now using the online application portal. 

Ensure you have a valid Visa or Mastercard to pay the non-refundable application fee of $120 for domestic applicants or $150 for international applicants. 

Apply now

Information sessions

Prepare for a strong start in your chosen program or get the details you need to decide your future path.

Our expert staff and faculty are ready to answer your questions and provide information about the following:

  • What sets SAIT apart
  • An introduction to the program and area of study
  • Admission requirements
  • Future career paths
  • Information on the earning potential and graduate employment rates.

Contact us

MacPhail School of Energy

Phone
403.284.8451
Email
macphail.students@sait.ca

International Student Advising

Phone
403.284.8852
Email
international@sait.ca