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How to Get a License for Septic Pumping

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Septic tanks are used to contain and eliminate waste from homes and other buildings in areas where sewers are not available. Those who service septic tanks work to clean and repair septic tanks, drains and pipes. Job duties also include handling paperwork, operating plumbing and sewer equipment, and diagnosing problems within septic systems. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this field is expected to grow much faster than the average over the next few years. The median salary is $16.03 per hour or $33,350 per year.

Check license requirements, which vary state by state. Contact the state department of environmental services, licensing board for contractors, or department of health to determine if a license is necessary to work as a septic system technician. Cities may also have specific septic pumping regulations, so check with the municipal department of health, local zoning board, or local building inspector when planning to work within city or town limits.

Find more information about the examination process to earn the license from your state government office. Ask if you need to have a certain amount of work experience in order to be eligible to take the examination.

Check if there is more than one license to work on septic systems in your state. For example, Oregon has one license for septic tank installers, and another license for those who maintain septic tanks. Each license has different training requirements.

Become certified in your state. This occurs when you pass certification courses, or apprentice under a licensed septic system employer. Some states do not offer certification, but if they do, it enhances your credibility and opportunity to be hired.


Even if your state or municipality does not mandate a license or certificate, consider obtaining one. It will enhance your credentials.