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Wastewater treatment facility personnel in California require certification before working in public water treatment plants. Grade II certification as a plant operator requires experience and education beyond entry-level requirements. Earning this certification shows employers that you have advanced skills and experience, leading to better employment opportunities.
Requirements for Grade II Certification
Wastewater plant operators choose from three different paths when upgrading their certification to Grade II. One option is to have a high school diploma, nine educational points and 18 months of approved full-time experience as a Grade I operator. Another option is a combination of a high school diploma, 12 educational points and two years of full-time experience. The third option requires one year of full-time experience and an associate's degree or 60 college semester units with at least 15 units in science. Educational points represent the completion of different types of approved educational programs related to wastewater plant work. The points awarded for finishing courses depend on the length and type of curriculum completed. For example, an approved three-unit semester course is worth eight educational points, while taking a one-unit continuing education program is worth one point.
Grade II Certification Exam
After earning the minimum requirements to advance to Grade II, you submit your credentials, an application and an exam fee to complete the certification process. These exams typically take place in April and October at several locations around California. The Grade II exam costs $60 as of 2014, while the certificate itself costs $70. Certificates must be renewed every two years at a cost of $70.
- California Water Environment Association: How to Become Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator
- CEPA: State Water Resources Control Board: Operator Certification Requirements Table
- CEPA: State Water Resources Control Board: Operator Certification Wastewater Training Directory
- CEPA: State Water Resources Control Board: Wastewater Operator Certification Information
- California Water Environment Association: Wastewater Training Directory
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