Training and Examinations

Maryland law requires operators and superintendents of Water-Treatment Plants be certified. There are seven different class certifications which require different levels of experience and education.


To become certified you can find testing locations and dates here:

2022 Examination Schedule: Board of Waterworks and Waste Systems Operators

In order to take the exam, you must have an active Operator in Training Certificate, and send in an examination application 21 days prior to the exam along with the $50 examination fee.

Submit the fee with application to:

Maryland Department of the Environment
P.O. Box 2057
Baltimore, MD 21203-2057

For questions, contact:

Water Supply Program
(410) 537-3167  

ABC's Online Very Small Water System Operator Certification Practice Exam
Click here for information

The ABC practice exam is a great tool to prepare you for the format and layout of the certification exams. The exam consists of 50 questions and you have 30 days to complete it, in which time you may access the exam an unlimited number of times until you submit it. The exam costs $20 and covers the same content that is on the actual exam.

Computer Based Testing

Computer-based examinations are available for all categories at select locations in the area.  This project is coordinated through the Association of Boards of Certification (ABC).  The Board completed work with ABC and a third-party contractor to provide examinations for operators at approved third-party sites.  ABC allows approved third-party contractors to administer the examinations.  This type of testing arrangement is used routinely in other industries such as real estate, tax preparation, and education.  It is beneficial to the examinee, because they can take the exam in a location near them at their convenience, and they know if they passed prior to leaving the testing facility. 

Paper examinations will continue to be offered to those applicants who are more comfortable with this format, the Board has stated that a quickly growing majority of test takers each year seems to express a preference for computer-based testing.  There are additional fees associated with the computer-based testing. The computer-based testing facility charges between $46 and $82 for an electronic exam, depending on the amount of time allotted for the examination.  The testing site fee is the responsibility of the applicant, and it is not covered by MDE.  There are three locations that are available for electronic testing: Anne Arundel County (Glen Burnie), Baltimore County (Randallstown), and the District of Columbia.  The Board has been working with stakeholders to promote the use of the electronic testing. 


The State of Maryland offers training classes in various locations around the state for prospective or current water treatment operators. The price for training classes depends on each program. Recommended training programs include:

MRWA Training Program The Maryland Rural Water Association offers classes sponsored by the MDE in addition to general classes and water sampler classes.

MCET Training Program The Maryland Center for Environmental Training has classes specifically focused on preparation for certification exams.

DelTech Environment Training Center Program Delaware Technical Community College offers noncredit courses to help prepare operators for certification exams. They also have credit courses so students can get their Associate of Applied Science Degree in water or wastewater technology.

Training Information for Maryland and Delaware though WWOA and CWEA (under the pull down menu for "Resources")

Training Programs for Operators/Superi​ntendents​ Maryland Board of Waterworks and Waste System Operators

Training Courses Online

EPA Drinking Water Academy Online training and information for water professionals and the public on how to protect our drinking water supply.

EPA Technical Assistance Center Netw​ork (TACNET)​ TAC works with state and federal agencies to promote safe drinking water. This site offers training and other resources for small systems to meet the protection goals of the SDWA.

EPA Watershed Academy Web This site offers training that takes you through a series of modules on watershed management.

The Office of Water Programs at Sacramento State University offers video series to provide necessary training.

Small Water Systems Video Information Series

Water System Operation and Maintenance Video Course

The American Water Works Association has published material related to drinking water and water quality. Please visit their bookstore to find books, CDs and videos.


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