Wastewater Operator Certification Program


There are five levels of operator certification (Grades I – V). To receive a certificate, you must meet the minimum experience and education requirements and pass a written test. Please refer to the Certification Requirements for a summary of the experience and education necessary for each grade. For future exam dates and information please refer to the examination schedule. Please direct questions about specific education and experience to the Certification Analyst, Neal Funston at (916) 341-5909 or by email to: wwopcertprogram@waterboards.ca.gov.

Qualifying experience may be acquired in two ways:

  • You may work either part-time or full-time performing operator duties while holding an Operator-in-Training certificate or a wastewater certificate at a lower grade level. Part-time experience will be prorated, e.g. two years of half-time work equals one year of qualifying experience.
  • You may use wastewater experience gained outside California, provided you were a certified wastewater operator and performing duties that would require certification in California.
  • Note: Operations duties in an agricultural, industrial or manufacturing facility or on a ship are not considered qualifying experience for purposes of the Operator Certification Program.

  • Applications