Water Treatment Plant Operations Specialist Certificate Program

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Water Treatment Plant Operations Specialist
Certificate Program


The ready availability of a clean, safe drinking water supply is expected in the United States. The people responsible for consistently providing that drinking water supply are the operators of water treatment plants and water distribution systems.

Water treatment plant operators must be licensed by their state, which tests operators for competence and verifies their work experience prior to licensing them to treat water for public consumption.

This program educates prospective water treatment plant operators and provides continuing education for experienced operators.  The Water Treatment Plant Operation Specialist program is designed to provide participants with the technical, scientific and applied background necessary to obtain licensure, and the knowledge, skills and abilities to work in the water treatment industry.


  • Prepare for a career as a water treatment professionals, with all of the consummate skills and knowledge required to provide the public with a reliable, safe water supply
  • Explore the origins, risks and assessment of water contaminants
  • Learn about technologies for removing contaminants from water, and the operational and maintenance techniques necessary to effectively utilize those technologies
  • Realize the risks associated with chemicals and equipment used in water treatment and the proper techniques and procedures necessary to protect yourself, co-workers and the public


  • Entry-level employees pursuing a career in water treatment
  • Experienced water treatment operators seeking to enhance fundamental skills
  • Experienced wastewater treatment plant operators seeking licensure for water treatment
  • Engineers and other professionals working in the water treatment industry


The Water Treatment Plant Operations Specialist certificate consists of three 90-hour courses, for a total of 270 hours and 18 units of academic credit. The correspondence format enables participants to work at their own pace and to schedule their studies around other commitments.

Courses include:

  • Water Treatment Plant Operation I (6 units)
  • Water Treatment Plant Operation II (6 units)
  • Small Water System Operation and Maintenance (6 units)

Participants must complete all three courses to earn a Certificate of Academic Achievement. Those who do not wish to earn a certificate are encouraged to enroll in one or more courses individually for professional development, preparation for certification exams or to earn academic credit toward re-licensure.

These courses serve as excellent training preparation for state certification exams and also satisfy the new “specialized training” and continuing education contact hour requirements for water treatment and distribution licensing.