Licensure Requirements
and How Education Can Be Used

 

Full-Time Experience or Equivalent

For the purposes of this part, experience requirements are expressed in terms of calendar periods of full-time employment as an operator or as an operator-in-training at a waterworks or wastewater works in the same category for which licensure is sought pursuant to this chapter.

  1. A year of full-time employment is defined as a minimum of 1,760 hours during a 12-month period or a minimum of 220 workdays in a 12-month period. A workday is defined as attendance at a waterworks or wastewater works to the extent required for proper operation. More than 1,760 hours or 220 workdays during a 12-month period will not be considered as more than one year of full-time employment.

  2. Partial credit may be given for actual hours of work experience if the applicant works as an operator or as an operator-in-training less than full time.

 

 

Qualifications for Examination Approval

A. An applicant for licensure as a waterworks or wastewater works operator shall furnish acceptable documentation that one of the following qualifications has been met.



Waterworks and Wastewater Works Operator Experience and Education

 

Classes

Education Required

Current License

Minimum Experience

Facility Type

Experience with Substitutions

Class 6
(Waterworks Operator Only)

High school diploma or GED

N/A

Six months

Class 6 or higher facility

N/A

No high school diploma or GED

N/A

One year

Class 6 or higher facility

N/A

Class 5
(Waterworks Operator Only)

High school diploma or GED

N/A

Six months

Class 5 or higher facility

N/A

No high school diploma or GED

N/A

One year

Class 5 or higher facility

N/A

Class 4

High school diploma or GED

N/A

Six months

Class 4 or higher facility

N/A

No high school diploma or GED

N/A

One year

Class 4 or higher facility

N/A

Class 3

Bachelor's or master's degree

N/A

Six months

Class 4 or higher facility

N/A

Associate's degree

N/A

Nine months

Class 4 or higher facility

Six months

High school diploma or GED

N/A

One year

Class 4 or higher facility

Six months

No high school diploma or GED

Class 4 license

Three years

Class 3 or higher facility

One and one-half years

Class 2

Bachelor's or master's degree

N/A

One year

Class 3 or higher facility

Six months

Associate's degree

N/A

18 months

Class 3 or higher facility

Nine months

High school diploma or GED

N/A

Two years

Class 3 or higher facility

One year

No High school diploma or GED

Class 3 license

Five years

Class 2 or higher facility

Three and one-half years

Class 1

Bachelor's or master's degree

Class 2 license

Two years

Class 2 or higher facility

One year

Associate's degree

Class 2 license

Three years

Class 2 or higher facility

One and one-half years

High school diploma or GED

Class 2 license

Four years

Class 2 or higher facility

Two years

No high school diploma or GED

Class 2 license

Nine years

Class 2 or higher facility

Four and one-half years

Where applicable, the current license held, minimum experience, and the facility type must coincide with the category of license for which the application is being submitted.

B. The direct supervisor shall certify the experience on the application form as accurate and relevant to the classification and category of license for which is being submitted. In the event that a licensed operator is not available to certify the experience of the applicant, the experience may be certified by a representative of the facility owner with first-hand knowledge of the applicant's experience.

 

Provisional Licensure for Nonclassified Facility Operation

An applicant for licensure as a provisional waterworks or wastewater works operator shall furnish acceptable documentation of having met all of the requirements of 18VAC160-30-110 except that the experience requirement may be met through experience gained as an operator or operator-in-training of a nonclassified facility. Such experience must be gained under the following conditions:

  1. The experience is obtained at a nonclassified facility that is comparable in size and in treatment process as described in 18VAC160-30-360 and 18VAC160-30-370, as applicable.

  2. The experience is obtained while performing nonclassified facility operation duties that provide experience comparable to that obtained at a classified facility. Experience operating and maintaining water distribution systems shall only be considered for a Class 5 or Class 6 provisional waterworks operator license. Experience limited solely to the operation and maintenance of wastewater collection system, laboratory work, plant maintenance, and other nonoperating duties shall not be counted as experience as a provisional operator or operator-in-training.

  3. Any individual holding a provisional license may apply for licensure by submitting evidence of having met 50% of the experience required by 18VAC160-30-110 and submitting the appropriate application.

 

 

Experience Substitutions

A. Experience obtained as a licensed alternative onsite sewage system operator before April 1, 2017, or a master alternative onsite sewage system operator may be substituted for the Class 4 wastewater works operator-in-training experience requirements.

B. 18VAC160-30-110 A provides the maximum experience substitutions that may be applied for each applicable class of license.

  1. Experience gained in either waterworks or wastewater works operations may be substituted for up to one-half of the required experience in the alternate category so long as the experience was gained in an equivalent or higher class of facility.

  2. Education may substitute for part of the required experience in the category of license applied for at a rate of one month of experience credit for each semester hour of college credit. Coursework must be relevant to the category and classification of the license being sought. The college credit must be from an accredited college or university that is approved or accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, a regional or national accreditation association, or by an accreditation agency that is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.

  3. Board-approved waterworks or wastewater works operator training courses may be utilized for experience at a rate of one month experience for each training credit approved by the board.

    C. Substitutions shall not exceed 50% of the total experience required for licensure.

 

 

Education

A. Applicants seeking to qualify for licensure based on completion of an associate's, bachelor's, or master's degree shall submit an official transcript from the school where the applicable degree was obtained. Only degrees from an accredited college or university that is approved or accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, a regional or national accreditation association, or by an accrediting agency that is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education will be considered. Formal education used to meet a specific education requirement for license entry cannot also be used as a training credit for experience substitution.

B. The following degrees shall be considered to qualify in accordance with 18VAC160-30-110:

  1. Bachelor's or master's degree in engineering or engineering technology in a related physical, biological, environmental, or chemical science;

  2. Bachelor's degree in a related physical, biological, environmental, or chemical science that includes a minimum 40 semester credit hours in any combination of science and math;

  3. Master's degree in a related physical, biological, environmental, or chemical science, and a bachelor's degree in any major such that the combined degrees include a minimum 40 semester credit hours in any combination of science and math; or

  4. Associate's degree in waterworks, in wastewater works, or in a related physical, biological, environmental, or chemical science that includes a minimum of 20 credit hours in any combination of science and math.