Certified Operators

Submit Your Exam Question Today!
Montana State University CD-ROM Courses No Longer Accepted

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.

Exam Information

Filling in answers on an answer sheet

Exam Dates and Deadlines


Class I, II, and III Applications for Water and Wastewater Certification

    • 2014 Class I, II, and III exam application for traditional paper and pencil examination.
    • Important exam application reminder:
      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 above.  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" test-takers will be expected to know for each type of certified operator exam.

Young man taking a test


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]

Contact Hours and Renewals Information

Important reminder: At least half of the contact hours for renewals of certificates must be directly related to operations and maintenance (OM).

Contact Hours Forms 

    • Completed Contact Hour List (Back page of Renewal Form) PDF or Word
    • Course Approval Forms
      • Contact Hour Application PDF or Word
      • Example Course Completion Certificate (Form E) [Word]

Approved Courses

A number of courses have been pre-approved by Ohio EPA.  Certified operators may count these courses towards their total contact hours. 

Notice: Effective January 1, 2014, we will no longer be accepting Montana State University CD-ROM courses for contact hour credit. Most of these courses are 10+ years old, 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 and Class 1 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.

Contact Hours - Frequently Asked Questions

Operator Lists

Certified and Contract Operator Lists

Man recording data

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

To request to be added to the contract operator list, complete the request form below and submit the completed form via email, fax, or mail to the contact listed in the form.

    • Request to be included in Ohio EPA's List of Contract Operators PDF or Word

Operator of Record Lists

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


Operator Certification Advisory CouncilPeople participating in a meeting

The Operator Certification Advisory Council (Council) is a group of experts in the fields of water and wastewater treatment established by Ohio Administrative Code 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).

2014 Meeting Schedule

All Council meetings are held at 9:00am at the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Lazarus Government Center, 50 W. Town Street, Columbus, Ohio. The Council meeting schedule is available.

Meeting Minutes


Rules and Enforcement

Operator certification rules can be found in Ohio Administrative Code 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
      • Use this form to document work experience as an operator in training.
    • Reciprocity application PDF or Word or Word Fill-In
      • 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
      • Use this form to update Ohio EPA with operator of record information (e.g., hired a new ORC, hired an additional ORC, remove a previous ORC, make changes to an existing ORC's information). 
    • Request for public water system (PWS) reclassification PDF or Word
    • Minimum Staffing Reduction Request Form PDF or Word
      • Use this form to request a reduction in minimum staffing hours.

Operator Job Analyses

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

Operator Certification Hotline 866-411-6728
Andrew Barienbrock
Deidra Davis 614-644-2029
Susan Parkins 614-644-2888
Jessica Dingman 614-728-1226



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

Want to Receive Updates?

Subscribe to the Operator Certification Mailing List