• AWT3™ – Currently hold a Grade 3 certification for Wastewater Treatment Operator or Water Treatment Operator in California or Nevada
  • AWT4™ – Pass the Grade 3 exam and 2 years of experience with one or more AWT processes
  • AWT5™ – Pass the Grade 4 exam and 3 years of experience ( 2 years experience with one AWT process and 1 additional year with a least 2 AWT processes)

There are currently three AWTO Grade levels and a typical career ladder:

  • AWT1™ – not in use by the program right now
  • AWT2™ – not in use by the program right now
  • AWT3 – Journey Level
  • AWT4 – Advanced Journey Level or Lead
  • AWT5 – Supervisor or Manager

The AWTO certification program was steered forward by a diverse leadership team made up of volunteers from CWEA and CA-NV AWWA, as well as representatives from the California State Water Board and other stakeholders. Funding for the program was provided by:

  • City of San Diego
  • Eastern Municipal Water District
  • Inland Empire Utilities Agency
  • Irvine Ranch Water District
  • Los Angeles Sanitation & Environment
  • Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
  • Orange County Water District
  • San Diego County Water Authority
  • San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
  • Valley Water
  • Ventura Water
  • WaterReuse California
  • West Basin Municipal Water District


AWTO Candidate Handbook
To get started on your path to becoming a certified advance water treatment operator, download and read the candidate handbook.
How to Apply
We will walk you through the process step-by-step to help you become AWTO certified.
AWTO Grade 5 Exam Launched
Latest update
The exams for AWTO Grades 3, 4 and 5 are now available.