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Become Certified

Step 1: Study

You should be studying 20-30 hours for lower level exams, and 40-50 hours for upper levels. Failing means you will have to wait 30 days and do it all over again.

Get Study Materials

Step 2: Choose your exam

Online Exam
Flexible schedule, state-wide. Results, review,
and a temporary certificate immediately.

Schedule an appointment with Rural Water

Conference Exam
Register and pay for the training with Rural Water.
Register and pay for the exam with Drinking Water.

Conference Exam Dates & Locations

Written Exam
State-wide paper exam in the Spring.

Written Exam Dates & Locations

Exam Application (PDF)

Choosing a Grade Level to Test For

Depending on where you might be working, these are the certification levels needed for water system’s serving these populations:

Distribution Treatment

Small System: 25-500 population

Dist. Grade 1: 501-1,500

Dist. Grade 2: 1,501-5,000

Dist. Grade 3: 5,001-15,000

Dist. Grade 4: > 15,001

Treatment Grade 1: 25-1,500

Treatment Grade 2: 1,501-5,000

Treatment Grade 3: 5,001-15,000

Treatment Grade 4: > 15,001

Step 3: Pass the Exam

Bring to the exam:

  • Calculator (4 function calculator preferred)
  • Driver’s license or government ID
  • #2 pencil and eraser

Items not allowed during the exam:

  • No cellphones, laptops, or devices that can hold text allowed (like programmable calculators)
  • No phones as calculators
  • Books
  • Your own scratch paper or notes

Provided at the exam:

  • Sheet of math formulas and conversions
  • Scratch paper

Arrive 15 minutes early to check in and get instructions.

Step 4: Wait for your results

The state takes about four weeks to process your exam. Results are confidential and cannot be shared via email or phone, only by mail.

Step 5: Maintain your certification

Read our Stay Certified brochure and visit the Resources page to learn about your new responsibilities.

Step 6: Keep your information up-to-date

Water Operator Job Listings:

Exam Feedback Survey

To improve the exam process for future operators, please tell us about your experience. Did you need more training on a specific topic? Have a recommendation? Let us know!


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