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Benefits of Professional Certification

Professional certification can be found in almost every industry in the United States today. Law, construction, auto repair, nursing, accountancy, information technology training, aerobic instructing, social work, engineering, software development, and association management just scratch the surface of the wide range of professions that have voluntary or mandatory certification.

Certification in the Wastewater Industry
In the wastewater industry every employer has a general obligation to perform due diligence in ensuring the competency of the personnel providing services at public facilities. Wastewater certification provides employers with evidence that the certificate holder has demonstrated a certain level of job-related knowledge, skills and abilities. It provides a documented level of assurance that employees are competent in safe work practices. Certification provides concrete evidence to board members and citizens that the agency is staffed with people who know what they are doing and is competitive in any comparison of quality of service.

CWEA Wastewater Certifications
CWEA, through the Technical Certification Program (TCP), develops and administers competency tests for wastewater personnel in a number of wastewater professions other than plant operations. The tests are being constantly developed and revised by CWEA member subject matter experts. Tests are given throughout the year in the six specialties, with up to four grade levels per specialty, in California, Michigan, and Alaska. Certificates of competence are issued to successful examinees.

Technical Certification Program (TCP)
History of CWEA Certification
Get Certified
Benefits to Employers
For More Information Email:

Certification offered by CWEA:

Certification For Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators

To work in a public wastewater treatment plant or a private wastewater treatment plant regulated by the PUC, you must have a valid wastewater treatment plant operator certificate or an operator-in-training certificate. There are three major things that you must do to get certified:

1. You must take courses in wastewater treatment plant operations.
2. You must pass a written exam.
3. You must meet experience requirements and submit a fee and an application for a certificate.

State Water Resources Control Board
Office of Operator Certification

P.O. Box 944212
Sacramento, CA 94244-2120

Certifications Offered by SWRCB:

  • Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator

Drinking Water Treatment Plant Operator
Drinking water operator certification is separate from wastewater operator certification. Drinking water treatment plant operator certification is required to work as an operator in a treatment plant that produces water for human consumption in homes and businesses.

On July 1, 2014 the Drinking Water Program, including the Drinking Water Treatment and Distribution System Operator Certification Program, transferred from CDPH to the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB). Find out more at http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/drinkingwater/index.shtml. For more information on how this transfer may affect the water treatment and water distribution operators, please review the Frequently Asked Question (PDF).

Certifications offered for drinking water:

  • Drinking water treatment Operator
  • Distribution Operator

Successful Certificate Candidates Need Employer Support
Although certain occupations require certification, and some make it voluntary, all certification programs are designed to encourage professionals to expand their knowledge through training and education and ultimately enhance the safe and effective practices in the field. Employers can encourage participation in professional certification by integrating it as a goal in a training program. Most successful certificate candidates have the support of their employers. Employers provide in-house training, pay for relevant college courses or other training events, supply books and other training materials, and sometimes allow time to study at work. Candidates that do not have employer support, other than being required to become certified, often find it difficult to prepare, have a lower pass rate, and feel that professional development is a low priority for the employer.

Other Wastewater Certification Program

California Nevada Section American Waterworks Association
10574 Acacia St. Suite D6
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
Phone: (909) 481-7200

Certifications Offered by Cal Nevada AWWA:

  • Backflow Prevention
  • Cross-Connection Control
  • Laboratory Analyst
  • Water Conservation
  • Water Distribution