Certification Exam Schedule
State Board of Certification of Water and Wastewater System Operators
Contact the Exam Provider to sign up for Operator Certification Exams, NOT DEP.
For ease of viewing and printing, the Examination Schedule is now contained in a PDF file. To view the examination schedule, click here (PDF).
To read and print a PDF file, you must have Adobe® Acrobat® Reader installed on your PC. You can download a version suitable for your system, free of charge, from Adobe.
All Operators taking exams should read the following:
- DEP’s goal is to grant all interested operators the opportunity to register for an exam and to obtain certification.
- FOR EXAM STUDY MATERIAL, go to the “Preparing for the Exams” webpage.
- To register for a particular exam, contact the “Authorized Exam Provider (AEP)” as listed in the PDF document (exam schedule). DEP cannot schedule you for a particular exam date. The AEP will charge an exam session fee, which varies depending on the exam provider. DEP charges $35 for each exam session however the operator does not need to pay DEP until they apply for certification or until their fifth exam session. If an operator signs up for a fifth (5th) exam, DEP will notify them by letter and a phone call that they must bring a check or money order to the exam.
- The exams you take will vary depending on your classification and the treatment technology at your system. Operators need to know the treatment technologies their plant uses so they can take the proper exams to be in compliance. To take the proper exam(s) and receive the appropriate certificate, operators should check with their plant supervisor, NPDES or PWS Permit or DEP sanitarian to obtain the class size of the plant (flows/gallons per day) and/or treatment technologies (subclasses).
||Can combine with Subclass
||Part 1 General Exam
||Part 2 Technology specific Exam
||Class A, B, C, and D
||Class E (collection system)
||subclass 4 ONLY
||X (can be taken with Wastewater A, B, C, or D)
||Wastewater class E has only one technology (subclass 4).|
||Class A, B, C, and D
||Class E (Distribution and consecutive water systems)
||X (can be taken with Drinking water A, B, C, or D)
||Drinking Water Class E General Exam can be combined with Technology subclasses 7-14.|
||X (SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN WITH OTHER EXAMS)
||X (SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN WITH OTHER EXAMS)|
For drinking water classes A, B, C and D an operator must pass both the General Exam and a technology-specific subclass exam to become certified. The same rule applies to wastewater classes A, B, C and D. Only standalone exams exist for drinking water classes E, Dc, and Dn as well as wastewater class E.
* Dc certification must meet following conditions: (1) System serves less than 500 people or has no more than 150 connections (whichever is less), (2) Source of water for the system is exclusively groundwater, (3) Requires only disinfection treatment and (4) is not in violation of DEP regulations. Includes subclasses 11, 12, 13 and distribution.
** Dn certification must meet all the conditions of the WDC except requirement (3) - there must be no treatment.
***A WDC or WDN certificate is not transferable to a facility that does not meet the criteria. We recommend that operators take the Part 1 General Exam and subclasses and apply for certification so they are not limited to working at a WDC or WDN facility. You cannot upgrade these type licenses. Prior to signing up for the WDC or WDN, contact Cheri Sansoni at 717-772-5158 to verify that you work at a WDC or WDN system. There are very few systems designated as WDN.
- Ensure all information is complete on the registration form. If you have a client ID, write it on the exam registration form. The client ID is on previous exam results letters or on your operator certificate if you are already certified. Ensure you complete the exam registration form legibly, including your current address, cell and/or work phone number in case Operator Certification staff need to contact you regarding the exam session.
- Operators can take up to 8 tests in one 4 hour exam session. The exam time on the exam registration form is ONLY a suggested time guideline.
- If you need to cancel or change exams, contact the exam provider or DEP’s Operator Certification Program number. No additions/changes will be accepted one week prior to the exam unless Operator Certification approves them. DEP exam fees will be waived for cancellations within 24 hours of the exam or in case of emergency. You will be charged by the exam provider and DEP if you do not show up to the exam session.
- Do NOT contact DEP Operator Certification for your exam scores until one month after the exam. If you move, you must notify us immediately at the above number or you may not receive your certification paperwork. Operators must keep their address and contact information current with DEP or you will not receive operator paperwork.
- Operator In Training - Operators may take exams without experience. The Board will approve as an Operator in Training if you pass the exams and apply. Once you meet the experience requirement, the supervisor needs to write us a letter verifying the experience etc. The certificate will be issued without having to wait for another Board approval.
- Laboratory Supervisor - To qualify for this certification, you must take and pass the exam, already be a certified operator and have two years of experience in the testing and analysis of environmental samples for water and wastewater systems. For Laboratory Supervisor qualifications, please contact the Bureau of Labs at 717-346-7200.
- Upgrade Class Size and/or subclass(es) - Operators do not need to take exams to upgrade the class certificate (size of plant A, B, C, D). Operators do need to take subclass exams to upgrade subclass treatment technologies and apply to upgrade current certificates. To obtain an application for certification upgrade or downgrade contact the Operator Certification staff or download from the webpage at http://www.elibrary.dep.state.pa.us/dsweb/View/Collection-10763.
- You can transfer class A, B, C, or D certificates to other facilities as long as your certificate class matches or is higher than the class of the facility where you are employed. To be an available operator, you must have a certificate matching the class size (or higher class size) and subclass(es) of the facility where you are employed.
CONTACT OPERATOR CERTIFICATION STAFF at 717.787.5236 if you have exam and certification questions.