Wastewater Treatment Plant

Wastewater Operator Certification Program

Wastewater Operator Certification Program

When wastewater treatment plants are properly operated, public health and the state's waters are protected. This certification program is working to help ensure that operators meet the established requirements and are competent to operate and maintain wastewater treatment plants.

Our growing population creates a greater need for wastewater treatment every day. If you're interested in protecting Washington's water and want to become certified, you've come to the right website.

Who to Contact for Assistance
For more information please contact Ecology's Wastewater Operator Certification Program:

Poppy Carre
Wastewater Operator Certification Program Coordinator
360-407-6449
or 1-800-633-6193 (toll free within the state)
360-407-6426 fax
Email: opcert@ecy.wa.gov


Email, fax, or mail all correspondence and professional growth documents to:
Email:
opcert@ecy.wa.gov
Fax: 360-407-6426
Mail: Department of Ecology
Wastewater Operator Certification
PO Box 47696
Olympia, WA 98504-7696

Mail all payments to:
Department of Ecology
Cashiering Section
PO Box 47611
Olympia, WA 98504-7611


Exam Deadlines: None - Computer-based exams are administered Monday through Friday, twice a day. There are no scheduled exam dates or application deadlines. Applicants can apply for the exam when they meet the qualifications.

Qualification Requirements for Operator Certification
There are five levels of wastewater certification in Washington - Operator in Training (OIT) - Group IV. Each level of certification has education and experience requirements and requires the applicant to take and pass an exam. All certification levels require a high school diploma or GED, in addition:

OIT – requires 3 months of domestic wastewater treatment plant operating experience, 3 relevant college credits or continuing education units (CEU) can be used to substitute the operating experience.

Group I – requires 1 year of domestic wastewater treatment plant operating experience, there is no substitution for the operating experience. (When upgrading from the OIT level after 1 year of experience, you must apply to receive the upgrade).

Group II – requires 3 years of domestic wastewater treatment plant operating experience, up to half (one year and six months) can be substituted with relevant experience or education.

Group III – requires 90 relevant credits/CEUs and 4 years of domestic wastewater treatment plant operating experience with at least 2 years at a Class II or higher plant. Excess operating experience can be used to substitute for the education at a rate of 1 year of excess experience for the first 45 credits and 3 years of excess experience for the second 45 credits. (8 years total operating experience is needed to substitute for all education.) Up to half (two years) of the operating experience can be substituted with relevant experience or excess education as long as 2 years of operating experience is at a Class II or higher plant.

Group IV – requires 180 relevant credits/CEUs and 4 years of domestic wastewater treatment plant operating experience with at least 2 years at a Class III or higher plant. Excess operating experience can be used to substitute for the education at a rate of 1 year each of excess experience for the first 90 credits and 3 years each of excess experience for the second 90 credits. (12 years total operating experience is needed to substitute for all education.) Up to half (two years) of the operating experience can be substituted with relevant experience or excess education as long as 2 years of operating experience is at a Class III or higher plant.

Last updated March 2016

New item Interested in income earning potential as a Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator? See the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators.

The current Professional Growth Period ended 12/31/2015: The new professional growth period began 1/1/16 and goes through 12/31/18.

Stay updated on your Professional Growth: View your PG transcripts through SecureAccess Washington (SAW). If you haven’t created a SAW account, the registration instructions are on the Training & CEUs page. After each course, Email, mail or fax a copy of your certificate of completion or transcript. Be sure to provide your certification number.

Approved Course List- These courses are preapproved for Wastewater Operator CEUs.

If your address has changed, you can update your information here: Address/Employer
Change