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Wastewater Operator Certification and Continuing Education

The Wastewater Certification and Continuing Education page can help keep you up to date with Operator Certification requirements.  This website includes an overview of the Operator Certification Program, IDEM contact information, the Operator Certification Application, and information on how you can ensure that you keep your certification status.

Wastewater Operators are strongly encouraged to renew their certification license online. Online renewal is only available from May 1 through July 1.

Certification and Exam Information

This page provides answers to questions that you may have concerning the workings of the wastewater operator certification program, including how to apply, how IDEM reviews applications, what the test is like, Ivy Tech, apprentice operators, provisional operators, what to study, training course providers, and more:

Study Guides and Other Exam Reference Materials

IDEM has prepared study guides for each of the exams.  It is important to be prepared prior to sitting for the exam.  These study guides are designed to provide you with knowledge that is not only useful in preparing for the exam but also in the actual performance of your job as an operator.  This page also has links to three other useful documents, including the Wastewater Operator Certification Book List, a Formula Sheet containing many formulas that you may need on your job (some of which you will also need for the exam), and a Basic Conversion Sheet that you may find useful in converting various measures from one system to another:

Availability of the Wastewater Operator Exam

The IDEM exams are administered by Ivy Tech.  Ivy Tech offers the exam most business days throughout the year.  This is a computerized exam.  After submitting a complete application and $30 application fee to IDEM to sit for the wastewater certification exam, each applicant who is approved will receive an exam admission letter containing the IVY Tech web address, a list of participating IVY Tech locations, and their phone numbers.  Approved applicants may schedule an exam any time prior to the admission letter expiration (180 days from the date of the letter).  Ivy Tech charges an additional fee payable to them for use of their facility.  More details on this topic can be found on the Certification Information page.

Exam Training Courses

IDEM encourages prospective operators to learn as much as they can about the wastewater treatment profession, as well as adequate preparation be done prior to sitting for the exam.  This may be accomplished either through individual study or participating in an organized class.  Several private parties and organizations offer courses designed to prepare candidates to sit for the wastewater operator exams.  These classes are offered at various times and locations throughout the year and may vary in degree of engagement and cost.  While IDEM does not recommend or endorse any specific provider, it does include a listing here of course providers that we know are available.

In addition, the new wastewater operator certification rule 327 IAC 5-23, includes a provision that if an applicant fails the wastewater certified operator exam three times, they must attend and pass an operator certification examination preparation class.  This class must include at least 8 hours of technical content directly related to wastewater.  IDEM is currently working on a class in house.  The list below is a list of providers that have indicated they have classes available to meet this requirement.  If you believe you have a class that would satisfy this requirement and would like to be included in the list, please contact Rebecca McMonigle,

Continuing Education Information

As an operator, you need to keep track of the number of contact hours you have earned through each renewal cycle. It is important that all your hours are reported to IDEM so that your application for renewal can be approved when the time comes.

The rule requires that earned hours be reported to IDEM within 90 days.  You will not get credit for hours which are reported late.  If you earn hours close to your renewal date, you need to get them reported right away.

The number of hours credited to every licensed operator are tracked by IDEM and recorded on the page linked below.  This list is updated monthly.  You are encouraged to check this list periodically to be sure the hours you have earned have been reported to and recorded by IDEM.

Forms, Applications and Publications

The IDEM web site includes all the application forms an operator or prospective operator needs, including the application to become an operator, an apprentice operator, a provisional operator, and the forms used to report credit hours earned (credit report).

Questions and Concerns?

If after reviewing the material on this web site you still have questions, please contact the Certification Staff (found under “Wastewater Operator Certification Program”).

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