Certified Operators

Certified water and wastewater operators are essential for the protection of public health and the environment. Ohio EPA's Operator Certification program has certified more than 12,000 operators, ensuring public water and wastewater systems are operated by properly trained and qualified individuals. Learn how to become a certified water or wastewater operator.

The Operator Certification Unit is excited to announce the launch of our services in the Ohio EPA eBusiness Center. Training Providers can now electronically submit Contact Hour Course applications, schedule upcoming courses, and document operator attendance at their approved courses. This is a brand new feature for Operator Certification, please see the "eBiz" tab below for more information or click here for some of our most frequently asked questions.

Online access to our more popular applications, payments and features streamlines the paperwork process and provides the most information in the least amount of time to Ohio’s operators and training providers. Visit the eBusiness Center and use the following links to get started.

  • How do I get an eBusiness account?
    NOTE: If you are a training provider that had valid contact hour course approval numbers on or before Aug. 1, 2014 you may already have an account. Please contact the operator certification unit at 1-866-411-OPCT (6728) before creating a new account.
  • How do I request a PIN?
  • How do I request a service?
    • Operator Service
      NOTE: If you have a certificate, or if you have ever applied for an exam, certificate, or OIT status with Ohio EPA, you have a Core Person ID number. Your core person ID is the middle seven digits of your certification number. If you are not sure of your core person ID please contact the operator certification unit at 1-866-411-OPCT (6728) before selecting "No" and creating a new Core Person ID number.
    • Training Provider Service
    • Exam Provider Service
  • How do I update my Contact information?

Operators

Through Ohio EPA's eBusiness Center, operators can access their operator profile, update contact information, view completed courses, submit a variety of applications and even pay program fees electronically.

How to apply for Water/Wastewater Certification:

  • Ohio EPA Paper and Pencil Examination (PDF, Video)
  • Application for Certification Through an Approved Exam Provider (PDF, Video)
  • Reciprocity Application (PDF, Video)
    Note: Upon approval of your application, certificates are issued after verification of employment in Ohio.

​How do I Renew my Ohio EPA Operator's Certificate? (PDF, Video) — For answers to Commonly Asked Questions concerning operator certificate renewals, please click here.

​How to Obtain Contact Hour Approval — Operator's Application for Ohio EPA Contact Hour Course Approval (PDF, Video)
Note: Applications must be submitted within 30 days of course completion.

Ohio EPA Training Providers

Training Providers will be able to update program contact information, apply for courses, upload course schedules and course attendance information for operators. The following eBusiness Center links should be used by new training providers and those training providers who currently submit Contact Hour Course Approval Applications to Ohio EPA for each course. These course approval numbers are generated by Ohio EPA with the "OEPA" prefix and can be found on the approved course list on our website.

  • Apply for Ohio EPA Contact Hour Course Approval (PDF, Video)
  • Schedule Training Dates for "OEPA" Prefix Courses (PDF, Video)
  • ​Upload Attendance for Courses with "OEPA" Prefix Approval Numbers (PDF, Video)
    Note: Attendance should be uploaded within 30 days of course completion. You will need the Core Person ID number for each operator in attendance.

Approved Contact Hour Training Providers

Approved Contact Hour Training Providers (ACHTPs) are training providers who have received authority from Ohio EPA to issue their own unique course approval numbers without having to submit individual course applications. Training providers will be given the option to apply for the ACHTP program in eBusiness Center once they have provided a minimum of 12 Ohio EPA-approved contact hours for at least three years. ACHTPs submit monthly training calendars to Ohio EPA by the first of the month for each month they are conducting training.

  • Apply for the ACHTP Program
  • Upload ACHTP Unique Prefix Course Schedules (PDF, Video)
    Note: Schedules must be uploaded by the first of the month. These schedules will contain ACHTP unique approval numbers and may contain any "OEPA" numbers your organization has been approved to use. You may upload course schedules for more than one course at a time. 
  • Upload Attendance for ACHTP Unique Prefix Courses (PDF, Video)
    Note: Attendance should be uploaded within 30 days of course completion. You may upload attendance for more than one course at a time. You will need the Core Person ID number for each operator in attendance.

Ohio EPA Paper and Pencil Exams

Filling in answers on an answer sheetExam entrance letters are emailed to applicants once the application is approved by the Operator Certification Unit. Please check your email for your letter. Exam entrance letters can also be found in your Operator Profile in the eBusiness Center’s Operator Service. You will need a hard copy of your Exam entrance letter to enter the exams.
  • 2017 Ohio EPA Exam Dates and Deadlines
    IMPORTANT: Applications must be SUBMITTED with PIN and payment in the eBusiness Center by the exam application deadline. Submissions after the exam application deadline will not be accepted. If you have any questions, please call our office at (866) 411-6728.
  • Class A, I, II and III Application Instructions for Ohio EPA Exams
    IMPORTANT: All currently certified operators must include their supervisor's information and signature in the "Supervisor Information" portion of the exam application. Any applications received without this information will automatically be considered for an operator in training (OIT).

Approved Examination Providers

Ohio EPA is pleased to announce alternative water and wastewater operator certification examinations, which are available more frequently and in more locations than Ohio EPA’s traditional paper and pencil testing.

The State of Ohio has approved the Association of Boards of Certification (ABC) as an approved examination provider. Operators may now choose to take an ABC examination and then seek State of Ohio certification for all levels of certification except Class IV.

ABC examinations will be offered in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton and Toledo. Ohio EPA will continue to offer paper and pencil examinations in Columbus in the spring and fall of each year.

Applications for the traditional paper and pencil testing are available here. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the operator certification unit at 1-866-411-OPCT (6728) or by email. To find out more about the ABC certification program, please visit ABC's Ohio Certification website.

Class IV Certified Operator Exam Information

Training Courses and Experience Credit

Study Materials

Need-to-know Criteria

The following documents provide need-to know criteria that test-takers will be expected to know for each type of certified operator exam.

Formulas

Those taking the certified operator exam will be expected to know the formulas provided in the appropriate document below (e.g., those taking the wastewater operator certification exam should consult the "wastewater formulas" document).

References

A number of helpful references have been compiled to assist those studying for Ohio EPA operator certification exams. These references are only intended as a resource and are not required to be purchased in order for individuals to pass their exams. 

Anyone Can Submit an Exam Question Suggestion

The Division of Drinking and Ground Waters accepts exam question suggestions. Complete and submit the Ohio EPA Operator Certification Exam Question Submittal Form provided below.  Instructions for submitting the form are included in the document.

  • Ohio EPA Operator Certification Exam Question Submittal Form [PDF] or [Word]

Important reminder: At least half of the contact hours for renewals of certificates must be directly related to operations and maintenance (OM). For answers to more contact hour and renewal questions, please review the Contact Hour and Renewal Applications - Frequently Asked Questions document.

Wastewater

Certification
Type
Certification
Class
Number of
Contract Hours
Required
Wastewater
Treatment
A
8
1 12
2 24
3 24
4 24
Wastewater
Collection
1 12
2 12
     

If an operator holds more than one valid and active certificate, then a reduction of 25% can be applied to the required contact hours.

Drinking Water

Certification
Type
Certification
Class
Number of
Contract Hours
Required
Water
Supply
A
8
1 12
2 24
3 24
4 24
Water
Distribution
1 12
2 12
     

If an operator holds more than one valid and active certificate, then a reduction of 25% can be applied to the required contact hours.

Contact Hour Forms

  • Contact Hour Course Approval Application
    Attention Training Providers
    : As of April 1, 2015, Ohio EPA no longer accepts paper Contact Hour Course Approval Applications. Please go the eBusiness Center tab for instructions on how to set up an eBusiness Center account and apply for contact hours.
  • Example Course Completion Certificate (PDF)
  • Example Sign-in Sheet (PDF)
  • Renewal Form Back Page (Word) (PDF)

Approved Courses

Ohio’s certified operators are required to complete contact hour training to renew their certificates. A number of courses have been pre-approved by Ohio EPA and have “OEPA” numbers generated by our Agency for contact hour use. Courses are also being approved by our Approved Contact Hour Training Providers (ACHTPs). Both course approval types will appear on the following lists.

Note:

  • Effective April 21, 2017, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) courses approved through Ohio EPA DDAGW Central Office will no longer be accepted for Operation & Maintenance (OM) hours. These course will still be accepted for Other (X) hours. Please refer to the above lists for the new approval numbers for the associated courses.
  • Effective Jan. 1, 2014, we will no longer accept Montana State University CD-ROM courses for contact hour credit. Most of these courses are 10 years old or older, there is no technical support for them and operators have experienced significant difficulties tracking the hours they have completed. If you need additional contact hours for your operator certification renewal, please view our approved course lists above for options or take a look at the free Class A Water Supply training.

Training Providers

Approved Contact Hour Training Providers (ACHTPs) have received authority from Ohio EPA to conduct contact hour courses without having to submit a Contact Hour Course Approval application to the Operator Certification Unit for each course. These ACHTPs have the ability to assign their own unique approval number and contact hours to each course they offer. Training providers who are not included in the List of Approved Contact Hour Training Providers may still provide contact hour courses by getting each individual course approved by the Ohio EPA.

Click on a date below to see that month's operator certification exam results, high scorers list and pass list. Individual scores will be mailed approximately 30 days after the exam. The overall results, high scorers list and pass list will be posted below approximately five to six weeks following the exam.

Important Reminder: No scores will be provided over the phone at any time.   

Phone: (614) 644-2752
Fax: (614) 644-2909

Email Webmaster

Physical address:
Ohio EPA - DDAGW
Lazarus Government Center
50 W. Town St., Suite 700
Columbus, OH 43215

Mailing address:
Ohio EPA - DDAGW
Lazarus Government Center
50 W. Town St., Suite 700
P.O. Box 1049
Columbus, OH 43216-1049 

Operator Certification Contacts 
Operator Certification Hotline (866) 411-6728
Courlas, Tanushree
(614) 705-1142
Davis, Deidra (614) 644-2029
Jarrell, Kevin
(614) 728-1226
Parkins, Susan (614) 644-2888


 

People participating in a meeting

The Operator Certification Advisory Council is a group of experts in the fields of water and wastewater treatment established by Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) Rule 3745-7-10. The council provides guidance and input to Ohio's water and wastewater operator certification program. Members of the council include four Class III or IV operators (i.e., two water supply and two wastewater treatment), two actively employed sanitary or environmental engineers and two Ohio EPA members (i.e., one representing public water systems and one representing wastewater systems).

Meeting Schedule

All council meetings are held at 9 a.m. at the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Lazarus Government Center, 50 W. Town St., Columbus, OH. 

Meeting Minutes

Certified and Contract Operator Lists

Man recording data

Ohio EPA maintains lists of certified operators, contract operators and expired operator certificates across the state.

Operator of Record Lists

Ohio EPA also keeps a list of the operators of record for the following systems:

 

Rules and Enforcement

Operator certification rules can be found in Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) Chapter 3745-7. To view recent operator certification enforcement actions taken by the Division of Drinking and Ground Waters, please visit the Enforcement page

Forms and Resources

  • Operator in Training (OIT) Documentation Form [PDF or Word or Word Fill-in
  • Reciprocity Application — Use this form to apply for reciprocity. The Director may grant certification by reciprocity to an applicant holding a valid certificate or license from another state or province. 
  • Operator of Record (ORC) Notification Form [PDF or Word
  • Request for Public Water System (PWS) Reclassification [PDF or Word]
  • Minimum Staffing Reduction Request Form [PDF or Word]
  • Fee Schedule — This document includes a variety of fees assessed by Ohio EPA. The fees related to public water systems, including operator certification fees, begin on page 18.
  • Information is available to assist operators in reviewing and optimizing treatment for protection against waterborne diseases.

Water and Wastewater Career Opportunities

Are you interested in a career in water or wastewater? Ohio needs water and wastewater operators and more jobs are available every day. There are many utilities and professional organizations that maintain lists of current job postings — see our list of water and wastewater career opportunity websites.

You may also wish to search postings for your city, county, township or other wastewater or public water systems in your area by contacting those utilities directly. If you are a business or municipality who would like to add your job search website to this list, please contact the Operator Certification Unit. (Note: We are not posting individual job opportunities at this time.)

Operator Job Analyses

The following documents include general knowledge and skills that certified operators should have at each classification level. 

Important Dates

July 1

Update Your Contact Information

This Week

Renewal Postcards Mailed

Aug. 10 and 11

Ohio Exam Application Deadlines

August 1

Online Renewals Available

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QUESTIONS?

Call the Operator Certification Hotline at 1-866-411-OPCT (6728) or email us.

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