Certification FAQ

Certification FAQ


If I must be employed as an operator before I can apply for certification, how can I get a job as an operator until I am certified?

  • The Board doesn’t require you to be certified to get a job as an operator; however, you must apply for a Temporary Certificate as soon as you obtain employment.

What is a “Temporary Certificate”?

  • This is a certificate issued to a person who is performing the duties of an operator, but has not yet met the requirements to obtain an Operator Certificate. A Temporary Certificate holder may work only under the direction of an Operator or Superintendent Certificate holder.

What are the requirements for obtaining a “Temporary Certificate”?

  • The applicant must be employed to perform the duties of an operator and must submit an “Application for a Temporary Certificate,” verified by your employer.

What are the requirements and specific training needed to obtain an “Operator Certificate”?

  • The Board has set education, experience and examination requirements for each of the 24 certification classifications. There is no training requirement to obtain an Operator Certificate.

Which certification exam must I take?

  • Take the exam for the classification of the facility where you are employed and for which you are required to obtain an Operator Certificate.

I am a newly-hired operator. When can I apply to take the certification exam?

  • As soon as you receive your Temporary Certificate.

When and where is the certification exam given?

  • The exams are offered each month in the Baltimore-Washington-Annapolis area and twice a year in other parts of Maryland.

What should I study to prepare for the certification exam?

  • Contact the Board, MCET or any of the other organizations listed in the “Resources” section of this Guide for suggested study materials.

Can I get an old copy of the certification exam from which to study?

  • No. The exam questions are not changed after each use so giving out “old” exams would compromise the exam process.

Is there a limit to the number of times I can take the certification exam? And if I fail the certification exam, how soon may I test again.

  • There is no limit to the number of times you can examine, but a separate application must be submitted each time. You can be scheduled to take the exam again as soon as you submit another examination application.

When I pass the certification exam, will the Board send me my Operator certificate?

  • No. Passing the exam is only one of the requirements for obtaining an Operator Certificate. After all of the requirements are met, submit an “Application for an Operator Certificate,” which is included with your notice of passing the exam

I have a wastewater Operator Certificate, and I want to take a water exam. Do I need a Temporary Certificate in water to take the exam?

  • No. If you have any valid certificate from the Board you can take any of the exams.

If a training course is approved for “all categories and classifications,” can I use it to renew all of my Operator and Superintendent Certificates?

  • No. While you can use this training to renew all of your Operator Certificates, unless the training is specifically approved for superintendents it cannot be used to renew Superintendent Certificates. Also, if training is approved for both operators and superintendents, you cannot use the same training units to renew both certificates.

Will the Board send me a certificate renewal application, or do I have to request one?

  • Currently the Board sends out renewal notices about two months before your certificate’s expiration date. However, it is the certificate holder’s responsibility to renew the certificate even if the renewal notice is not received. If you haven’t received the renewal notice by one month prior to the expiration date, contact the board.

How do I get invited to the superintendent’s certification training course?

  • Submit to the Board a “Superintendent Certificate Application.” After the Board verifies your eligibility, you will be invited to the next offering of the course.

Since college education can be substituted for part of the experience requirement for certification, can other non-college training qualify?

  • Normally only “appropriate college work” in science or engineering leading to a degree is accepted for education substitution. However, the Board can consider other training on a case-by-case basis.

What is a “Limited Certificate,” and how can one be obtained?

  • Limited Certificates were issued only to those operators who applied to the Board on or before July 1, 1982 and therefore cannot now be obtained. All mention of this certificate was removed from COMAR on October 1, 2014.
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