Each wastewater treatment plant, including government-owned municipal plants, must have at least one licensed operator. The state has its own Wastewater Operator Licensing Program. This is a very large program. According to a search that I did in May of 2016, there were 4131 active licensees in the system. That included all levels. You can actually do your own search below if you want to check up on someone’s license status.
There are 4 classes of operators (I, II, III, an IV) for municipal wastewater treatment plants. But for private outfits, there are 2 levels – Basic and Advanced. I mentioned over 4000 licensees above. But it should be clarified that the actual number of people is somewhat lower than that. The reason for this is a person can get licensed for both private and municipal plants at the same time. And such a person is listed twice in the database because he or she has two licenses.
There is a training course and an exam for each wastewater treatment plant operator level. The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality approves courses and administers the exams in various locations throughout the state. You can use the page listed below to find an upcoming operator course and test schedule. There are some online training courses for those who prefer a self-study type of situation or who can’t make a live class. There are some additional courses, as well. Examples are Treatment of Poultry Wastewater, Advanced Activated Sludge, and Safety at Wastewater Plants.
The typical fee for the application and exam is $40, with a $40 renewal fee once every 2 years. Both municipal and industrial license categories have an apprentice license. This is only $10. The apprentice license is for total beginners who have never been licensed. So it does not apply to higher levels of licensing. And it only lasts for 6 months, allowing you to work and get ready for certification testing during that time.
The main licensing page has sections for each type of license. And the sections include application forms.
Note that higher classes of licenses on the municipal side require work experience. But the Class I and Basic and Advanced licenses do not require experience.