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Indiana Department of Environmental Management

IDEM > Compliance > Water Compliance > Wastewater Operator Certification & Continuing Education > Wastewater Certification Information > Wastewater Operator Certification Program Overview Wastewater Operator Certification Program Overview

Wastewater Operator Certification Examinations are given twice annually in the spring and fall of the year at three or more testing sites. Exams for the five different classifications of municipal wastewater operators are held in the morning, and exams for the five different classifications of industrial wastewater operators are held in the afternoon.

The latest version of 327-IAC 5-22, effective March 18, 2008 includes a new classification designation of “Wastewater Apprentice”. The Apprentice classification allows persons with no experience at a wastewater treatment facility to take the same Certification Examination taken by those wishing to obtain certification. The person need only complete the short Apprentice exam form. Having passed the exam might allow an apprentice to more easily get a job in the wastewater industry and acquire the necessary experience to then apply for certification.

State rule 327 IAC 5-22-11(b)(2) requires that persons submit their application to take the exam at least 45 days before the exam is held. However, applicants are encouraged to submit their applications at least 60 days in advance, if at all possible. Exam dates are announced on IDEM's web site, in local newspapers and in trade association newsletters. Potential applicants may access this web site for everything necessary to apply for the exam and determine the necessary materials needed to study for the exam. Links are here to the application (with instructions), a study guide, and a book list.

When applications are received they are reviewed to determine whether the applicant has the educational level and experience necessary to qualify for one of the ten exams being offered. Applicants must denote which of the ten exams they wish to take, but also may indicate their interest in taking a lower level exam in the event they do not qualify to sit for the exam for which they initially applied. NOTE: These qualifications do not apply to those wishing to take the exam as an apprentice. Applicants who qualify will be sent an eligibility letter with the assigned test location and time. Letters are also sent to applicants who do not qualify to take the upcoming exam. Approximately 6 to 8% of applicants are ineligible for the exam. Such agency decisions of ineligibility of the applicant to sit for an exam may be appealed.

State rule 327 IAC 5-22-11(e)(2) allows IDEM a period of no more than two (2) months after the exam to notify the applicant of their examination results. Seventy percent is a passing score, and whether an applicant passes or fails is public information. Individual scores are confidential. IDEM maintains a question bank, or list of all possible questions, from which the 50 questions for 2 exams and 100 questions for the other 8 exams are drawn.