Here’s How it Works
Operators can join a community of mentors and peers, grow as professionals, show commitment to public health, and increase mobility, all in a process that can take as little as a few weeks.
PO certification is offered to operators in four levels (from Class I through Class IV) for water treatment, water distribution, wastewater collection, and wastewater treatment. The PO program grows with the operator as they gain experience and grow professionally. Many POs hold multiple disciplines or class levels as they move through their careers.
Each PO certification level has professional and education criteria that must be met. It is very important to understand all eligibility criteria prior to submitting your applications and fees.
The simple application process requires only a few steps, but the PO designation creates lasting impact. Applications are processed on a first-in, first-reviewed basis with the goal of processing each application within 30 days of receipt.
- Gather Documentation
All education and experience claims must be accompanied by official supporting documentation. Gather documentation for general education and continuing education prior to beginning your application. You will also need to collect the best email for your supervisor or HR representative, as you will need to enter their information into the experience step so that they can verify and approve your experience submissions.
- Create Your PO Profile
Log into the PO Certification Portal (Certemy) and outline your work and education history to ensure basic qualifications are met. The portal is a free service to everyone and is often used as a place to store important documents and transcripts as well.
- Submit An Application
Once a profile is complete, including all information and documentation required, an application for the PO certification program can be submitted, and payment can be made through the PO Certification Portal (Certemy).
- Pass Your Exam
Once approved to complete the examination, our testing partner PSI will reach out with information about how to schedule an exam. An exam must be completed and passed within a 180-day eligibility period. Exams may be attempted as often as every 30 days during this time.
Application and Exam Fees
In order to become a PO, application, and exam administration fees will be collected. State or local taxes may apply, and all fees are non-refundable, non-transferable, and subject to change without notice.
Application Fee – $145
Application fees are payable to WPI at the time of application submission. We ask that application fees are paid through the link provided on the Certemy “Application Fee” step. Additional fees may apply for payment outside of Certemy, payment by check, or payment by money order.
Exam Administration Fee – $69
Certification exam administration fee is payable to PSI at the time of exam scheduling. This fee is collected for each exam attempt. Fees may vary for exams outside of the US.
Code of Conduct
All applicants of the Professional Operator program must agree to upholding a code of conduct throughout the application process and lifetime of the certification once earned.
Awards and Recognition
Professional Operator certification is no minor feat. To showcase and celebrate the achievement, PO’s are provided with several awards and documents.
PO Certification Pin
Pin your lapel and show your pride as a Professional Operator. Water drop PO pins reference the PO designation and indicate the class level of the PO’s certification with one to four blue gems running along the right side.
PO Certificates and Wallet Cards
Hang your certificate in your office and carry your it with you in the form of a wallet card. Both the certificate and wallet card include name, a unique certification number, the type/class of certification, and certification effective/expiration dates.
We love honoring you and want to help showcase your accomplishment! Like other designations for nurses or engineers, WPI hosts a variety of pinning ceremonies throughout the year. The pinning ceremony is a unique and special ceremony for the water community. Many operators hold the pinning ceremony in higher regard than a school commencement. The pinning symbolizes the operator’s hard work and dedication towards experience, education, and passing of the standardized exam. Like graduation, it Is an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishment of the operator; however, unlike graduation, it symbolizes the first step they have taken in their certification journey and their continued commitment to the field.
Certificants gain the ability to tell everyone they are certified Professional Operators by adding a PO after their name.
The Professional Operator certification program is a voluntary offering for water and wastewater operators. To find information on mandatory licensure or for information on governmental licensing requirements, please contact your local licensing body.