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Certification Information

Wastewater and Industrial Treatment Certification

Requirements for GA Wastewater Treatment Operator License and GA Industrial Treatment Operator License

To obtain either a GA Wastewater Treatment Operator License (also known as a Biological Wastewater Treatment System Operator License) or a GA Industrial Treatment Operator License, you must obtain the required amount of experience, take the appropriate course work, take and pass the state exam, and apply for your license. To help you with this process, we've compiled information on each of the steps that you will need to take in order to receive your license.

If you'd like to print out these steps, we have PDF documents available.

CERTIFICATION PROCESS

To obtain a Wastewater Treatment Operator License Certification, please follow these five steps.

STEP 1

Determine the level of certification you need

The level of certification required is determined by the size and operation of your wastewater treatment facility. In Georgia, all certificates must be obtained sequentially. This means that every operator in Georgia either starts at Class IV or Class III. According to GA Rules for Water Quality Control 391-3-6-.12, the Class IV level is reserved for operators of “Biological, waste stabilization ponds and constructed wetlands."

The Class IV certification does not apply to industrial or industrial pretreatment facilities. If you are working at an industrial or industrial pretreatment facility, please see the Steps to Obtaining a GA Industrial Operator License below. The table below summarizes the current certification required prior to taking an examination for the next level of certification.

Certificate Applied ForCurrent Certificate
Class IVNo prior certificate required
Class IIILevel III certificate required
Class IIClass III required
Class IClass II required

STEP 2

Obtain Experience

According to GA Board Rulesa 750-3.04, the applicant for the Wastewater Treatment Operator Class II and Class I licenses “must have completed experience in the actual system operation prior to taking an examination.” The amount of experience required for each classification level is listed in the table below.

According to GA Board Rulesa 750-3.04, applicants for the Wastewater Treatment Operator Class IV and Class III licenses “may take the exam before the experience requirement is met, but they shall not apply for the license until they have completed the requisite experience in the actual system operation.” In other words, the candidate can take exam prior to getting the experience. Keep in mind that once a certification exam is passed, there is a time limit for when the exam has to be submitted for certification. Otherwise, the exam will have to be retaken.

Certification LevelExperience required / High School Grad.*Experience required / BS Degree**
Class IV1 month1 month
Class III3 months3 months
Class II2 years1 year
Class I3 years2 years

*Experience required with High School Diploma or GED Certificate
**Experience required with accredited BS Degree or higher in Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, or equivalent. Also applies if you have a current Class I certificate in Wastewater Treatment.

The applicant will be required to document work history that includes the type of work performed and the approximate dates of employment.

STEP 3

Obtain Training

According to GA Board Rulesa 750-3.04, the applicant “must have completed the required course work prior to taking the examination and provide proof of completion of course work when they submit their application for certificate to the Board.” The course work requirements for each classification level are listed below, as well as the GWWI course that will satisfy that requirement.

Certification LevelRequired Course WorkEquivalent GWWI Course
Class IV6 hours basic water operator course workClass IV Drinking Water Treatment
Class III40 hours basic water operator course workClass III Drinking Water Treatment
Class II48 hours of advanced water operator course workClass II Drinking Water Treatment plus (+) either Class II Drinking Water Laboratory or Drinking Water Laboratory Analyst
Class INo required course work

STEP 4

Take and Pass the State Examination

For Wastewater Treatment Class IV and Class III Licenses, please note that Georgia law requires that at least the course work be completed prior to taking the exam. However, as noted above, the experience requirement only needs to be satisfied prior to applying for certification.

For Wastewater Class II and Class I Licenses, please note that Georgia law requires that steps 2 and 3 be accomplished prior to taking the exam. While many people accomplish step 2 before step 3, this is not required.

The applicant must register for the exam through Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc. online or by calling 913-859-4600. All exams are proctored, computer-based exams and are given at many testing centers throughout Georgia and the United States. Check the website for exam schedules and the exam location nearest to you. Exams are not given online. Grades will be given to the examinee prior to leaving the testing location.

STEP 5

Apply to the GA Certification Board

The applicant can find applications for certification online through Georgia Online Application Services. The applicant must fill out the state application and provide documented proof that steps 1–4 have been completed. The application may take several weeks to process. The applicant can also follow the status of their application online.

CERTIFICATION PROCESS

To obtain a GA Industrial Treatment Operator License certification, please follow these five steps.

STEP 1

Obtain Training

The type of certification required is determined by the type of treatment of your industrial or industrial pretreatment facility. According to the GA Rules for Water Quality Control 391-3-6-.12, operators working at industrial treatment facilities may obtain an Industrial License or Class I, II, or III License. The Class IV license is not appropriate for industrial treatment facilities. Note 1 of the rule states that “if the industrial treatment system is a biological system, it is recommended that the operator obtain a biological certification." In Georgia, the biological certifications are the Class I, II, or III certifications. However, “those industries who have a physical/chemical treatment system should have their operators obtain a Class Industrial certification.”

Certificate Applied ForCurrent Certificate
IndustrialNo prior certification required

STEP 2

Obtain Experience

According to GA Board Rulesa 750-3.04, applicants for the Industrial Treatment Operator License “may take the exam before the experience requirement is met, but they shall not apply for the license until they have completed the requisite experience in the actual system operation.” In other words, the candidate can take exam prior to getting the experience. Keep in mind that once a certification exam is passed, there is a time limit for when the exam has to be submitted for certification. Otherwise, the exam will have to be retaken.

Certification LevelExperience required/High School Grad.*Experience required/ BS Degree**
Industrial3 months3 months

STEP 3

Obtain Training

According to GA Board Rulesa 750-3.04, the applicant “must have completed the required course work prior to taking the examination and provide proof of completion of course work when they submit their application for certificate to the Board.” The course work requirements for each classification level are listed below, as well as the GWWI course that will satisfy that requirement.

Certification LevelRequired Course WorkEquivalent GWWI Course
Class IV6 hours basic water operator course workClass IV Drinking Water Treatment
Class III40 hours basic water operator course workClass III Drinking Water Treatment
Class II48 hours of advanced water operator course workClass II Drinking Water Treatment plus (+) either Class II Drinking Water Laboratory or Drinking Water Laboratory Analyst
Class INo required course work

*Experience required with High School Diploma or GED Certificate
**Experience required with accredited BS Degree or higher in Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, or equivalent. Also applies if you have a current Class I certificate in Wastewater Treatment.

STEP 4

Take and Pass the State Examination

Please note that Georgia law requires that at least the course work be completed prior to taking the exam. However, as noted above, the experience requirement only needs to be satisfied prior to applying for certification (not necessarily prior to taking the exam).

The applicant must register for the exam through Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc. online or by calling 913-859-4600. All exams are proctored, computer-based exams and are given at many testing centers throughout Georgia and the United States. Check the website for exam schedules and the exam location nearest to you. Exams are not given online. Grades will be given to the examinee prior to leaving the testing location.

STEP 5

Apply to the GA Certification Board

The applicant can find applications for certification online through Georgia Online Application Services. The applicant must fill out the state application and provide documented proof that steps 1–4 have been completed. The application may take several weeks to process. The applicant can also follow the status of their application online.

a. Georgia Rules of State Board of Examiners For Certification of Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators and Laboratory Analysts. This can be found at http://rules.sos.ga.gov/gac/750