Wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) serve an essential function to protect public health and the environment from contaminated water leaving homes and businesses. Competent, trained, and certified operators must run these plants. We assure qualified operators fill this role through evaluating certification requirements and ongoing professional training.
You have one year to take and pass the exam from our review date. If you don't pass, you can retake the exam after 14 days.
Relevant substitutions for post high school education
Relevant substitutions for experience
Up to 1.5 years
(67.5 CEUs or college credits)
1 year = 1 year
Up to 2 years
(90 excess CEU/college credits)
Up to 2 years based on:
Up to 90 CEU/credits based on:
1st 45 CEU/credits = 1 year experience
2nd 45 credits = 3 years experience
1st 90 CEU/credits = year experience
2nd 90 CEU/credits = years experience
Included but not limited to:
To substitute education for operating experience, education credits or Continuing Education Units (CEUs) must be in excess of the required education.
1. Education: You will qualify for an Operator in Training with 3 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or college credits relevant to wastewater.
2. Gain experience through:
The current professional growth cycle is Jan. 1, 2016 to Dec. 31, 2018.
View professional growth transcripts anytime by logging into SecureAccess Washington.
See our approved course list.
Approved trainers offering Continuing Education Units (CEUs):
We do not offer a training program, only certification. Some colleges and treatment plants have training or internships to become an operator. See "Where can I get CEUs?" or internships under "How do I get certified with no operating experience?"
Association of Boards of Certification (ABC) (exam developers)
Treatment Plant Operator (TPO) magazine
American Water Works Association (AWWA)
You may qualify for a license exchange if we have reciprocity with the state in which you are currently certified.
To qualify for reciprocity you must:
Department of Ecology
Wastewater Operator Certification
PO Box 47696
Olympia, WA 98504-7696
Department of Ecology
PO Box 47611
Olympia, WA 98504-7611
Operator Certification Program Coordinator
Operator Certification Program Assistant