Important Information from PA DEP: “Maintaining Continuing Education for Operators”  


Important Information from PA DEP

“Maintaining Continuing Education for Operators” 

Current course offerings for drinking water = 309 approved courses for a total of 1,463 contact hours.  Links to web-based training providers are included as well.  Finally, information is provided for operators that may need to request an extension.



Message from the State Board of Certification of Water and Wastewater Operators:


The Board recognizes that these are extraordinary times for water and wastewater industry professionals with a variety of extenuating circumstances potentially impacting you, your family, and your coworkers. Maintaining your certification and training distinguishes you as an especially critical resource to our industry during these challenging times!


  1. To the extent feasible under current circumstances, the Board encourages you to please consider online (e.g. web-based and correspondence) training courses to maintain your continuing education credits. Please note that there are currently an abundance of approved online training course options, including the following:
  • a. A drinking water operator in Pennsylvania can choose from 309 DEP-approved online courses which offer a total of 1,463 contact hours;
  • b. A wastewater operator in Pennsylvania can choose from 317 DEP-approved online courses which offer a total of 1,261 contact hours; and
  • c. For web-based and correspondence course options, please carefully review the “Message from DEP’s Operator Certification Training Section – Distance Learning Options for Continuing Education.”


  1. Operators whose water and/or wastewater license expires on June 30, 2020 and are unable to obtain continuing education due to extenuating circumstances caused by COVID-19 must submit a request for extension until August 31, 2020. Upon submission of a valid request, DEP will grant the requested and limited extension to obtain all necessary continuing education credits. Extenuating COVID-19 circumstances include working extra hours, substituting for other operators, you or a family member experiencing illness, and/or limited internet access to online training courses. The Board is offering this extension option in order to assist you in maintaining your license. If you choose to apply this continuing education extension to your license, you must send an email with a short summary documenting your request along with your Client ID and Certificate number to [email protected] prior to June 30, 2020. Additional fees will not be charged for this continuing education extension. Please be aware that continuing education credits obtained from June 30, 2020 through August 31, 2020 will only be applied to your current cycle; these same credits will not be applied to your next license cycle which would end on June 30, 2023. If you have questions, please call the Operator Certification Board Secretary Laura Chambers at 717-772-5158.


Please note that the Operator Certification Board may update this message if necessary as the COVID-19 situation evolves.  Please check this website routinely for updates.


Message from DEP’s Operator Certification Training Section – Distance Learning Options for Continuing Education

Below is a summary list of training providers who offer DEP-approved distance learning for PA-certified drinking water and wastewater operators. This list will be updated as DEP receives additional training approval applications and receives clarifications from providers on their current offerings.

DEP does not recommend a specific training provider or course; you are encouraged to work with the training provider(s) of your choice to identify DEP-approved distance learning courses most suited to your continuing education needs. Costs vary and are established by the training provider.  The FEMA NIMS training is free, costs for other courses generally range between approximately $14 to $30 per contact hour.


You can find the complete DEP-approved course catalog and verify that a specific course is DEP-approved by using the search criteria in the Earthwise catalog.


Web-based Course Providers:

Correspondence Course Providers:


Note: DEP created the lists above using the approved course report from the training approval data system.  If you find any inaccuracies with the list, please email [email protected].