People seek pool cleaning certification for a variety of reasons. Some desire certification to fulfill their job duties at a hotel, apartment complex, or other residential setting. Others hope to work as self-employed individuals offering pool cleaning, repair, and maintenance services. Certification requirements vary by location, but most contain similar elements. There are 21 states nationwide that have no certification requirements regarding pool technicians as of 2010, so check local regulations before pursuing education in this field.
Class requirements vary from one or more classes given over the course of several weeks to more rigorous standards such as those in Florida requiring two years of courses prior to examination. Some classes are available online, though many are provided by the County Health Department at various locations throughout a region. Many areas offer classes on a monthly basis, allowing participants to quickly and easily obtain the education and training necessary to sit for the examination. A list of accredited pool operator training courses approved in many states is available on the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at cdc.gov.
Pool cleaning, maintenance, and technician classes cover a wide variety of subject material. Classes include education on the chemicals, equipment, and materials used in operating, maintaining, and cleaning pools. Training also involves learning to calculate various formulas such as flow rate, water loss, and saturation index. For those looking to start their own businesses, longer courses may include information on business management practices such as taxes, employees, and workplace safety. Contact your state department of health regarding approved classes, locations, dates, and any applicable fees.
Following the completion of classes, participants become eligible to sit for an examination covering all aspects of their training. Examinations fees commonly apply. Those who fail their first examination may be eligible to retake the test after a specified length of time, often a month or more. Successful completion of the examination qualifies students for certification in their state.
Certification allows you to work legally in pool maintenance, repair, and cleaning in the states where such certification is legally required. Certification indicates a professional level of understanding regarding safe practices of pool cleaning and maintenance. Most people with pool technician certification are eligible for entry-level jobs in the pool service industry. Further education and certification as a Certified Pool Operator or Aquatic Facility Operator may be required by some employers or for some positions. Some states require annual recertification and continuing education credits.
The National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) offers courses and certification, and those interested can check www.nspf.org for class information. The American Lifeguard Association (www.americanlifeguard.com) also offers training. The Aquatic Training Institute offers an accredited Certified Pool Technician (CPT) online course, with more information available at www.aquatictraininginstitute.com. Contact your state department of health for specific information regarding the courses approved for certification in your state.