Voluntary Collection Systems Certification Program – Grade IV

This is a voluntary certification program for Collection Systems – Grade IV.  There are four grade levels for the Collection Systems Certification Program.  Membership in NEWEA is not required for certification.  The exam may be taken independent of a training course.

All wastewater collection systems personnel, including those in subordinate positions, are encouraged to:

  • Apply for certification in the highest grade consistent with their present qualifications, regardless of whether or not the qualifications established for their present position could be satisfied by a person holding a lower grade of certification; and
  • Strive for increased knowledge, training and experience to permit future advancement in their grade of certification.

This program provides certification for personnel whose duties are confined to work, or supervision of work on sewer maintenance or construction, or pumping stations.


All applicants for Grade IV must submit satisfactory evidence of seven years’ experience in a level of responsibility in the operation of a collection system in Grade III or higher, or at least six years’ experience in the operation of a collection systems in Grade IV; and must have an educational equivalent of at least a high school graduate with mechanical aptitude.  Higher education may be substituted for no more than three years’ experience.  Applicants shall also meet the following general requirements:

  • Be able to read and write the English language;
  • Be in satisfactory physical condition; and
  • Be able to maintain desirable logs and records of operation and maintenance in a collection system of classification consistent with the grade applied for.

Education may be substituted for a portion of the experience as indicated:

  • Grade I – No substitution
  • Grade II, III or IV – Bachelor of Science Degree – 3 years,  Associates Degree – 2 years,  Graduation from High School – 1 year

Various other educational and experience equivalents will be considered as experience to the degree adjudged by the Certification Committee.

Your exam grade level is also based on a point system classification:

Grade I       1 – 20 points

Grade II     21 – 39 points

Grade III    40 – 55 points

Grade IV    55 –  > points

To determine your points and eligible grade level, please refer to the Collection Systems Point System.


Exams are held throughout the year, usually given after a training class.  Training classes are not a prerequisite.

The passing grade on all examinations is a minimum of 70%.  Tests are comprised of a 100 multiple-choice question and essay examination.

In the event an applicant fails to pass an examination, he/she may apply for re-examination.  The normal $50.00 fee must accompany the application.

Applications need to be submitted in a reasonable time in advance of the examination. All applications will be screened to ascertain whether the applicant meets the education and experience requirements for the grade level.

The Certification Committee may, at its discretion, waive examination for applicants holding certificates or licenses issued by other states or associations having equivalent standards as determined by the Certification Committee.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you have a disability and need testing accommodations, please contact the NEWEA office so that appropriate arrangements can be made.


The fee for certification in each grade is $50.00 payable to the NEWEA.
Fees shall accompany all applications for certificates.
Fees for all applicants whose applications are rejected, or who fail to pass the examination will not be returned.
Exam results will not be released until payment has been received.


  1. Download and complete the Exam Application (PDF).
  2. To determine your grade level eligibility, download the CS Point System (PDF)
  3. Return application with examination fee of $50.00, made payable to NEWEA, to the NEWEA office (address listed on application).
  4. Download the Brochure for supplemental information.


Certificates will be issued upon successful completion of the examination.  Certificates will be permanent unless revoked for proper cause.


The following resources may be used to obtain study materials:
Office of Water Programs – California State University, Sacramento
Telephone: (916) 278-6142
Email: wateroffice@owp.csus.edu

Water Environment Federation
Telephone: (800) 666-0206
Email: pubs@wef.org