Apply Now

  1. Download the AWTO® Candidate Handbook (exam documents require a confidentiality agreement)
  2. AWTO exam application form

Steps to AWTO Certification

Way to go - you're taking steps towards working at an advanced water treatment facility and using the latest technologies. AWT Operators work on complex systems. Municipal water agencies and industrial facilities rely on highly skilled operators to manage the systems reliably.

Many AWTFs are providing their communities with clean, pure drinking water. A critical resource in California and Nevada where are experiencing more frequent droughts.

Professional certification is not easy to obtain, but it's worth it. Obtaining AWTO certification can help you prepare to work at an AWTF;  get ready for a promotion; and help you to advance up a career ladder.

The AWT Operator certification was developed by water professionals, for water professionals. It is jointly managed by CA-NV AWWA and CWEA.

Here are the steps to obtaining AWTO certification:

  1. Read the Candidate Handbook
  2. Fill-out the Application Form
  3. Wait for the CA-NV AWWA staff person to confirm your state-issued operator certification/license to qualify for the AWT3™ exam (for AWT4™ and AWT5™ a volunteer committee member will review your experience).
  4. Watch for the confirmation and exam approval email
  5. Watch for a message from the testing center explaining the exam sign-up process
  6. Schedule your exam on the testing center's website using the invitation code they emailed you. Please read their exam instructions carefully
  7. Exam results are instantaneous at the testing center

Minimum Qualifications

  • AWT3 – Currently hold a Grade 3 certification for Wastewater Treatment Operator or Water Treatment Operator in California or Nevada
  • AWT4 – pass the Grade 3 exam and 2 years of experience with one or more AWT processes
  • AWT5 – pass the Grade 4 exam and 3 years of experience ( 2 years experience with one AWT process and 1 additional year with a least 2 AWT processes)


  • $275 for CA-NV AWWA and CWEA members
  • $375 for non-members


  • Keeping up with industry knowledge is key to certificants maintaining and growing your expertise
  • Renewals are every 3 years
  • Demonstrate 24 continuing education hours for advanced water treatment (no more than 25% can be safety related)
  • Renewal pricing is $225 for members / $275 for non-members
  • Visit the Renewal Process page to download the renewal form

Questions? Please contact us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.