Education and Experience Requirements

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Education Requirements

All operator certification classifications require a minimum of completion of high school or high school equivalency—no college education is required. Some, but not all, of the superintendent certification classifications require college credit in science, engineering or management. See Education, Experience and Renewal Training Tables in the Education and Experience Requirements for Each Classification PDF.


Experience Requirements

All operator and superintendent certification classifications require minimum amounts of on-the-job experience. Experience gained in a facility of the same classification for which you want to be certified is eligible to be credited on an hour for an hour basis. Other types of experience may be eligible for crediting, although probably not on an hour for an hour basis. “Other” types of experience that might qualify toward operator certification include experience as an operator in a different class of works or in another state, or experience that was not as an operator but involved job duties related to those of an operator. For superintendents, “other” types of experience could include management experience acceptable to the Board. For measuring experience, the regulations use both “hours of actual work experience” and “calendar years of experience,” whichever is longer. See Education, Experience and Renewal Training Tables in the Education and Experience Requirements for Each Classification PDF.



Education and Experience Substitution Options:

The certification regulations allow limited substitution of experience for education and education for experience. Not all classifications have this option. Contact the Board for details.

Education for Experience:

Operators and superintendents who lack the minimum amount of experience needed for a specific certification classification may substitute up to one year of “appropriate” college study for one year of experience. The maximum substitution is one year. College courses in science or engineering leading toward a degree are considered appropriate. Other types of job-related training or education also may be substituted for experience, as determined by the Board on a case-by-case basis.

Experience for Education:

Superintendents who lack the minimum amount of college education needed for a specific certification classification may substitute one year of experience acceptable to the Board for one year of college.

Note: Experience cannot be substituted for the completion of high school or equivalency requirements.



Certificate Renewal Training Requirements:

All operators and superintendents are required to obtain “State-approved” training during each three-year period in order to renew their certificates (except Industrial Wastewater Treatment Classes 1 & 2). Only State-approved training, approved for the specific classification of your certificate, may be used to meet this requirement. Each classification of certificate has its own specific renewal training requirements. The Board uses “units” to designate the amount of training required. A “unit” equals one hour of training. However, when you attend a course and pass its final exam, each hour of training is worth 1.5 units. See Education, Experience and Renewal Training Tables in the Education and Experience Requirements for Each Classification PDF to determine how many units of training your certificate requires for renewal.


Operators

For operators who have more than one classification or category of certificate (for example, Wastewater Treatment Classes 5A or Water Distribution and Wastewater Collection Class 2), the total number of training units needed to renew is added together. However, the units earned must be from training courses that have been specifically approved for those particular classifications. The units earned from training courses that have been approved for more than one classification may be applied to any and all of those classifications for which you are certified.

For example, if you have a Wastewater Treatment Class 5A certificate and you attend a course that is approved for six units for all Wastewater Treatment classifications, you will earn six units towards renewing your Class 5 and six units towards renewing your Class A certificate. Additionally, if the approved course has a final examination and you pass it, you earn 1.5 times these units (in this example, a total of nine units is earned for each of the Class 5 and the Class A).

A particular training course may be used for renewal only once during any three-year renewal period, regardless of how many times you attend it. However, you may attend the same course again in a different three-year renewal period and apply it toward your certificate renewal.


Superintendents

Superintendents will need to renew both their Operator and Superintendent Certificates, which have similar although different renewal training requirements. The Operator Certificate renewal training requirement is detailed on the previous page. The training used to renew the Superintendent Certificate must be specifically approved for your category of Superintendent Certificate (for example, Wastewater Treatment or Water Distribution).

All Superintendent Certificates (except Industrial Wastewater Treatment Classes 1 & 2) require seven units of State-approved “superintendent training” to renew. If you have more than one category of Superintendent Certificate (for example, Water Treatment and Water Distribution), you must obtain seven units of approved superintendent training for each category of Superintendent Certificate you have. As in the case for renewing your Operator Certificate, the units earned from training courses that have been approved for more than one superintendent category may be applied to any and all of those superintendent categories for which you are certified.

Note: Certification renewal training units from a course approved for both operators and superintendents may only be used for either your Operator or your Superintendent Certificate renewal. You may not use the units toward renewing both certificates within the same 3-year period.


Instructors

Certified operators and superintendents who instruct State-approved training also earn units for certificate renewal at the rate of 1.5 times the number of hours of instruction.