Certified Operators

 As a precautionary response to COVID-19, Ohio EPA is currently operating with most staff working remotely. If you are working with our staff on a current project and you know the name of the employee you are working with, email them at firstname.lastname@epa.ohio.gov or call them directly. The Agency website has contact information for every district, division, and office. In order to reach us, please contact Ohio EPA’s main phone line at (614) 644-3020 or the main line for the division or office you are trying to reach.

After March 23, our district offices and Central Office will be temporarily closed and will have increasingly limited ability to receive deliveries, plans, etc. All entities are encouraged to submit plans, permit applications, etc., electronically where there are existing avenues to do so, such as the eBusiness Center (eBiz). Please refer to the list of available services on the main eBiz webpage. We encourage you to make use of all that apply, even if you have not used eBiz in the past. Plans under 25 MB can be emailed. For large plans over 25 MB, entities should work with the reviewer/division to upload via LiquidFiles. Directions for submitting docs via LiquidFiles is available on YouTube. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you in advance for your understanding. If you wish to send hard copies of documents to any of Ohio EPA’s district offices, the best method to ensure we receive these documents is to send them via U.S. Mail. Since all offices are closed, deliveries outside of U.S. Mail (FedEx, UPS) will likely be returned because the offices are closed and deliveries cannot be made.

To report a spill or environmental emergency, contact the spill hotline (800) 282-9378 or (614) 224-0946

Ohio EPA has canceled the May and November 2020 paper and pencil examinations at the Ohio EXPO Center due to the following factors:

  • Concern regarding Ohio EPA’s ability to ensure your safety and the safety of Ohio EPA staff;
  • Continuing uncertainty with the COVID-19 crisis and ability to hold large gatherings;
  • Franklin County’s Level 3 Public Health emergency; and
  • Concern with The Ohio Expo Center’s ability to reopen by November.

Ohio EPA exams for becoming certified as a professional water or wastewater operator are available through our approved third-party examination provider, the Association of Boards of Certification (ABC). ABC is administering water and wastewater examinations to very small groups in 9 locations throughout the state. All applications for examination go directly through ABC’s examination portal.

You can schedule an exam at this weblink http://online.goamp.com/CandidateHome/CandidateInformation.aspx

Examinations are given 5-6 days per week (depending on site) and an examination can be taken once every 30 days.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Ohio EPA’s operator certification unit at 1-866-411-OPCT (6728) or opcert@epa.ohio.gov.

Ohio EPA is receiving inquiries regarding the cancellation of in person trainings due to precautions being taken to address COVID-19. Operators are asking what options are available to receive training necessary in the event they have a certificate that is due for renewal at the end of this year.

There is a large inventory of either correspondence or online training approved for operators to use. We maintain a list of internet and correspondence training providers at the following link: https://epa.ohio.gov/Portals/28/documents/opcert/Internet_and_Correspondence_training.pdf

If you would like to obtain contact hours during the period precautionary measures are being taken, we would suggest contacting the training providers on the above referenced list. If you wish to develop your own internal or internet based courses you may submit an application for approval through the Ohio EPA ebusiness center. Directions for doing this can be found under the ebusiness tab below. Ohio Administrative Code Rule 3745-7-15 contains the criteria for approval of web based course approvals.

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.

To submit an Ohio EPA Paper and Pencil exam, renewal, third party certification or reciprocity application(s) please visit the Ohio EPA eBusiness Center webpage. For instructions to utilize the eBusiness Center please view the instructions below under the Operator tab.

NEW REQUIRED TRAINING: Starting August 15, 2018, all applicants will need to review the training document below prior to submitting the Ohio EPA exam, third-party exam certification, reciprocity and renewal applications and Operator-in-Training forms. This document will be updated periodically to reflect the current rules, regulations and policies.

NEW RENEWAL GRACE PERIOD: The operator renewal application grace period has been reduced to 6 months. All 2019 renewals must be received by June 30, 2020. If a complete renewal application is not received by June 30, 2020, you must re-take the examination to be certified.

Operator Certification Required Training - Updated Aug. 17, 2018

Access to any services, lists or forms you may need as an operator, or to become an operator, can be found here. Use the eBusiness Center, to submit a variety of applications, access your profile, update contact information and pay fees online.

NEW REQUIRED TRAINING: Starting Aug. 15, 2018, all applicants will need to review the Operator Certification Required Training document prior to submitting the Ohio EPA exam, third-party exam certification, reciprocity and renewal applications and Operator-in-Training forms.

NEW RENEWAL GRACE PERIOD: The operator renewal application grace period has been reduced to 6 months. All 2019 renewals must be received by June 30, 2020. If a complete renewal application is not received by June 30, 2020, you must re-take the examination to be certified.

eBusiness Center

Most operator functions, including exam and renewal applications, are completed through the eBusiness Center. Please ensure you have a valid email as all eBusiness Center correspondence is sent by email. Please click the links below to see instructions for the available services:


Operator-in-Training (OIT)

Interested in becoming a water or wastewater operator but don’t have enough time or experience? If you pass an approved exam (Ohio EPA or third party) prior to obtaining the required operating experience, you will be considered Operator-in-Training* (OIT).

If you pass an Ohio EPA examination, when you obtain the required operating experience you will need to fill out the OIT documentation form (PDF or Word).

If you pass a third-party examination, you will need to submit an application for certification through the eBusiness Center when you have completed the required operating experience. There is a $45 fee for the third-party certification application and the required operating experience must be documented.

* This excludes class III and IV examinations.


Ohio’s certified operators are required to complete contact hour training to renew their certificates. Online renewals will become available on August 1 of your renewal year. It is your responsibility to update your contact information to ensure you receive all correspondence.

Operator Lists

Ohio EPA maintains lists of certified operators and contract operators across the state.

Operator of Record

Operator of Record Lists

Operator of Record (ORC) Notification Form

  • ORC forms (Word) must be submitted within three days of the change. This is the responsibility of both owner and operator.
  • For questions regarding the ORC Notification Form, please contact the following: 
    • Water Supply or Distribution: Contact DDAGW at (614) 644-2752 and ask for the Operations Unit. 
    • Wastewater and Collection: Contact the Division of Surface Water at (614) 644-2001.

Contract operators and contract operations companies work to provide operator services to public water systems or wastewater treatment facilities. Any lists or forms you may need as a contract operator, an owner of a contract operating company or a system in need of an operator can be found here. 

As of Aug. 15, 2018, all contract operators and contract operating companies must submit a completed application for approval by Sept. 15, 2018. Any new contract operators or contract operating companies must submit a completed registration form at least 30 days prior to initiating contract operations. The completed registration form shall include a sample contract. An example contract is provided below. There is no fee for this application. 

All training providers must use the eBusiness Center to apply for course approval, schedule training events, upload attendance and update contact information. Information and instructions regarding all the services available to training providers are provided below. All course approval applications must have a syllabus, agenda and instructor credentials. All approvals must be submitted within 30 days of course completion, and all attendance must be uploaded within 60 days.

  • NEW! Training Calendar - Click here for information about upcoming approved contact hour training events.

eBusiness Center

The eBusiness Center is required for all training provider functions. Please click the links below for instructions on how to get started.

Green Leaf providers have received authority from Ohio EPA to issue their own unique course approval numbers without submitting course approval applications. If you meet the minimum requirements in Ohio Administrative Code 3745-7-15, you can apply for the Green Leaf program. Green Leaf providers must submit training by the first of the month for each month they are conducting training.

Forms and Guidance

Ohio EPA has two exam pathways to offer for obtaining certification. The traditional paper and pencil exam is given in Columbus twice a year. The third-party exam is offered year round at various locations in the state. The exam fact sheet provides a comparison of Ohio EPA’s traditional exam format to ABC’s Third-Party exam format.

For both exam pathways, Operator-in-Training (OIT) designation is available for Class A, I or II, should the applicant pass the exam. If designated as OIT, operating experience must be documented within four years of passing the exam. For more information, please go to the Operator tab and then click on the Operator-in-Training section.

For application instructions, please visit the Operator tab and click on the eBusiness Center section.

NEW REQUIRED TRAINING: Starting Aug. 15, 2018, all applicants will need to review the Operator Certification Required Training document prior to submitting the Ohio EPA exam, third-party exam certification, reciprocity and renewal applications and Operator-in-Training forms.

Paper and Pencil Exam

  • Exam Dates and Deadlines — Applications must be submitted electronically with PIN and payment by the exam deadline. The final step of the process is to mail in a hardcopy of your application with your supervisor’s signature. If you have any questions, please call our office at (866) 411-6728.
    • After you obtain approval to take an examination you will need to print your exam entrance letter. This will be emailed to you and can be found in your Operator Service. You must bring this to the exam.
  • Operator in Training (OIT) Documentation form (Word)

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.


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).


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]

Third-Party Exam Providers

As an alternative to Ohio EPA’s paper and pencil examination, Ohio EPA has approved the Association of Boards of Certification (ABC) as an approved examination provider. Operators may now choose to take ABC examinations and then seek Ohio certification for all levels of certification except Class IV.

Ensure you meet the requirements prior to taking the Class III exam. Operator-in-Training is not available at the Class III level. 

Third-party exams can be taken in Ohio or any other location around the country. Ohio testing locations: Cleveland; Cincinnati; Columbus; Akron; Cambridge; Troy; and Toledo. Locations are subject to change, please click here to find current and out-of-state testing locations. 

Class IV

Training and Experience Credit

Exam Results

Date Results High Scorers Pass List
November 2019 View View View
May 2019 View View View
November 2018 View View View
May 2018 View View View
November 2017 View View View
May 2017 View View View
November 2016 View View View
May 2016 View View View
November 2015 View View View
May 2015 View View View
November 2014 View View View
May 2014 View View View
November 2013 View View View
May 2013 View View View

The July 18, 2020 meeting will be held virtually using Microsoft Teams. If you would like to attend the meeting please use the following link Join Microsoft Teams Meeting or dial 1 614-721-2972 United States, Columbus (Toll) and enter Conference ID: 129 428 381#

The Operator Certification Advisory Council is a group of eight experts in the fields of water and wastewater treatment. The council provides guidance and input to Ohio's water and wastewater operator certification program. More information about the board members and duties, please refer to Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) Rule 3745-7-10.

2020 Council Schedule (PDF)

2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
January January January January January
February February February February February
March March March March March
April April April April April
May May May May May
June June June June June
July July July July July
August August August August August
September September September September September
October October October October October
November November November November November
December December December December December




Water and Wastewater Operator Career Brochure

Job Boards

If you would like to be added to this list, please contact the Operator Certification Unit at (614) 644-2752. 


The United States Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Veterans Affairs have joined forces to help prepare and employ veterans in civilian water and wastewater related careers. While serving in the military, many veterans obtain experience and credentials while assigned to Military Occupation Specialties (M.O.S.). There are several M.O.S. areas that are related to civilian positions within the water and wastewater sectors. The following link provides tips for hiring veterans, as well as M.O.S. that apply to drinking- and wastewater-related jobs. 

Many Veterans have applicable experience for the water and wastewater sector. The following tool kit and resources may help your company effectively recruit Veterans for jobs and maintain a Veteran friendly work place.

High school apprenticeship, career tech, associate degree and certification opportunities

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections

The following correctional facilities have active apprenticeship programs.

  • London Correctional Institute, London, OH 
  • Pickaway Correctional Institute, Orient, OH 
  • Ross Correctional Institute, Chillicothe, OH 

Job Analyses


Wastewater Collection Wastewater Treatment
Class I Operator Class A Operator
Class II Operator Class I Operator
  Class II Operator
  Class III Operator
  Class IV Operator


Water Distribution Water Supply
Class I Operator Class A Operator
Class II Operator Class I Operator
  Class II Operator
  Class III Operator
  Class IV Operator


Operator Workforce Development Summit

On Sept. 19, 2018, Ohio EPA and the Ohio Water Development Authority (OWDA) convened stakeholders at a one-day summit to discuss the challenges associated with developing and retaining qualified plant operators in Ohio and identify strategies to address these challenges. Read the summary of meeting outcomes and deliverables for more information.

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

Email Webmaster

Physical address (use this address for overnight deliveries):
Lazarus Government Center
50 W. Town St., Suite 700
Columbus, OH 43215

Mailing address:
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
Davis, Deidra (614) 644-2029
Consolo, Vanessa (614) 644-2888



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

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