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.
REQUIRED TRAINING: Starting Aug. 15, 2018, all applicants will need to review the Ohio EPA Professional Operator Certification 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
Ohio EPA will be transitioning out of hosting paper and pencil examinations for the near future. The final paper and pencil exams will be held on December 1, 2022 and May 3, 2023. Both exams will be held at the Lausche Building, located at 717 East 17th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio. To submit an exam application, applicants must apply electronically through the eBusiness center (made available through the OHID portal).
A completed exam application for the December 1, 2022 exam must be submitted to Ohio EPA no later than September 2, 2022.
A completed exam application for the May 3, 2023 exam must be submitted to Ohio EPA no later than February 2, 2023. Registration for the May exam will be made available through the eBusiness Center in December of 2022.
Applications must be submitted electronically with PIN and payment by the exam deadline. The final step of the process is to email 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.
Exams will be held in 2 sessions. A morning session for drinking water related certifications and an afternoon session for wastewater related certifications.
- Session 1 Drinking Water: Doors will open at 8:30 AM. The exam will begin at 9:00 AM and end at 12:00 PM.
- Session 2 Wastewater: Doors will open at 1:00 PM. The exam will begin at 1:30 PM and end at 4:30 PM.
To be successful on the Ohio EPA exam it is highly recommended that you study the references provided in the Ohio EPA exam reference document and use the Need-to-Know criteria for the exam you applied for as an outline of what to study. Both the exam references and Need-to-know criteria can be found below.
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.
Third-Party Exam Providers
As an alternative to Ohio EPA’s paper and pencil examination, Ohio EPA has approved the Water Professionals International (WPI), formerly the Association of Boards of Certification (ABC), as an approved examination provider. Operators may now choose to take WPI 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.
- Schedule an Examination through WPI
- WPI’s Ohio EPA information page — Study material for the WPI exam can be found in the orange box on the left side.
- Apply for certification after passing a third-party examination — Ensure you have met the experience requirements prior to applying. No refunds will be awarded for the $45 application review fee.
- Ohio EPA and WPI exam equivalency chart
WPI/ABC Need To Know Criteria
Please note that the title on WPI’s Need to Know Criteria may be a different exam level than the Ohio EPA certification you are seeking. When you are applying through WPI’s provider, once you select Ohio EPA certification, you will select the Ohio EPA certificate level you are seeking and the appropriate WPI test is selected.
- Class 1 Water Distribution
- Class 2 Water Distribution
- Class A Water Supply (see Drinking Water Class A)
- Class 1 Water Supply
- Class 2 Water Supply
- Class 3 Water Supply
- Class 1 Wastewater Collection
- Class 2 Wastewater Collection
- Class A Wastewater Treatment
- Class 1 Wastewater Treatment
- Class 2 Wastewater Treatment
- Class 3 Wastewater Treatment
ABC Reference Material
- Class IV Eligibility Requirements
- Class IV Exam Application
- Be sure to indicate classification of plant when filling out experience information.
- Be sure to include Table of Organization and an official Position Description signed by supervisor.
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Policy statement, Guidance and Examination
- Advisory Council Class IV exam review checklists
Training and Experience Credit
- Courses and Experience Credit — These courses can be taken to reduce operating experience requirements. Only courses which are in the field for which you are applying can used for experience credit. Please contact the Operator Certification Unit with any questions.
- Free Class A Water Operator Training
- Free Class A Wastewater Operator Training — Note: This course is not approved for contact hours. This course can be used to assist in preparing for the Class A Wastewater exam.
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