Becoming a Licensed Alabama Water (Or Wastewater) Treatment Operator; Exam Info Included

A water treatment operator is a controller of machines or equipment that is used to treat or transfer water or other liquid waste. There are approximately 3000 such licensed individuals in Alabama. Experienced water treatment operators were making close to $50,000 per year, in 2014.

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management has several “grade” levels for this licensed occupation. But all applicants must be at least 21 years of age and have a high school diploma or GED.

Qualifications include either experience or a combination of classroom training and experience, as follows:

Grade IC and I: 12 months of full-time work or 6 months and 30 hours of classroom training
Grade II: 18 months of full-time work or 9 months and 45 hours of classroom training
Grade III and IV: 24 months of full-time work or 12 months and 60 hours of classroom training

But all applicants must also take and pass a water treatment operator exam. The test fee is about $270, and the certification fee is about $105.

The exam application form is available here:

You should ask an employer, a teacher if you are taking classes, or the Board about additional information on preparing for the test. The form suggests that a number of people do fail these tests and have to retake them. So you want to talk to as many people as possible who are already in the business about how they got ready for their license test.

The following forms page has other forms that might apply to your situation, such as experience verification, reciprocal licensing, etc. This is a long list of multiple kinds of Department of Environmental Management forms, so you need to scroll down to the “Water and Wastewater” forms:

How To Become a Licensed Merchant Mariner In Alabama (Water Transportation Personnel)

In 2014, the Alabama Department of Labor reported that there were about 4800 credentialed merchant mariners living in the state. These water transportation personnel are authorized to supervise the operation of watercraft, such as ferryboats and tugboats. The designation is also referred to as “MMC,” which is Merchant Mariner Credential.

There is no state agency that licenses or provides credential to merchant mariners in Alabama. Rather, the Coast Guard is the federal agency that provides this credential. They do this through their National Maritime Center.

Those seeking this type of license will have to pass a background check and be medically fit for the job. Also, a combination of experience and testing is required before applicants can receive the credential.

Applications are sent to a Coast Guard Regional Exam Center. Here is the contact information for the center that is applicable to Alabama residents:

United States Coast Guard
4250 Highway 22; Suite F
Manderville, LA 70471

To apply for merchant mariner credentialing, you can get all the application information and procedures on the following page:

You can submit an application online these days, but it’s possible to also submit through snail mail. Fees run around $50 to $100 for evaluations, exams, and license issuance. Lastly, it is possible to appear in person. But that requires an appointment.

How to Become a Licensed Veterinary Technician In Alabama

A veterinary technician assists veterinarians in much the same way as a physician assistant helps doctors. While this job doesn’t pay as much as a regular vet, it is much easier to become a veterinarian technician. Many of the accredited schools are at community colleges. So you do not even need a 4-year degree to become a vet tech. In 2014, experienced vet techs were making about $32,000 in this state.

In Alabama, this profession has a licensing requirement through the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medicine Examiners. The Board’s contact information is 8 Commerce Street, Suite 910, Montgomery, AL 36130. The phone number is 334-262-8716. The website is located at

Candidates for an Alabama license must first complete an accredited veterinary technology degree program. These are accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. A full list is available here:

As of 2014, the 2 Alabama programs were located at Faulkner State Community College and Jefferson State Community College.

A candidate must also pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination. This is a test administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards. The test is usually taken at a Prometric testing center. You can get all the details on the test here:

Note on Education: There is a growing number of vet tech programs at various colleges and universities. Some may not have had time to get accredited yet. The Board, at its own discretion, may accept completion of a non-accredited program. But there is no guarantee that it will be accepted.

The Board’s forms can be found on this page:

At the time of this writing, the link for the Alabama veterinarian technician application was entitled “LVT Application.” Fill out this form when you are about ready to take the test. You will then get an authorization to test if your application is otherwise accepted.

How to Get a Veterinarian License In Alabama

About 1600 people work as active veterinarians in the state of Alabama. This is a potentially lucrative profession for animal lovers, with experienced vets in this state earning around $100,000, according to the Alabama Department of Labor (as of 2014).

Alabama regulates vets and provides licenses through the State Board of Veterinary Medicine Examiners. I have included some pertinent details here on how to get a vet license in Alabama. But here is some contact information for the Board in case you have further questions:

8 Commerce Street
Suite 910
Montgomery, AL 36130

You need to graduate from an approved school first to become a veterinarian in Alabama. Auburn and the Tuskegee Institute are the two in-state accredited programs. The accrediting agency is the American Veterinary Medical Association.

You can visit the following page to search for a complete list of accredited veterinary schools in the US and Canada. Choose “View All” from the drop-down menu to see all of them.

Prospective licensees must also take and pass one of 3 tests (not all 3). So you have the option of taking the National Board Examination, the North American Veterinary License Examination, or the Clinical Competency Test.

Update: The NAVLE has replaced the National Board Examination and the Clinical Competency Test. So the NAVLE is probably the test that you are going to be taking to get your Alabama license.

Here is some registration info on the NAVLE, on the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners website. It is ridiculously complicated, so read that page and work through it to determine the registration process:

Even if you are already licensed in a different state, the Department of Labor says you have to take a test again to show current competency for this profession before you will be granted an Alabama veterinarian license.

The application fee was $250, as of 2014. When opening a vet’s office, you would have some additional fees, such as $35 for a controlled substance registration fee, and an inspection fee of $100. But you then have to pay about $200 per year to keep an active license and $200 to maintain authorization for your office premises.

How to Become a Licensed Tree Surgeon In Alabama

The licensed profession of tree surgeon had only about 13 licensees in 2014, according to the Alabama Department of Labor. So while it’s a small field, the qualifications are easier than many other licensed occupations. Experienced individuals in this field were said to make around $38,000.

According to the Department of Labor, the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries does not require any kind of formal education for this job. But you do have to pass an exam to show that you have the knowledge necessary to do the work.

Practically speaking, you need some sort of experience to get this license. The Board wants to see a written statement from applicants that documents real-life experience.

Separately, an applicant must get a Professional Services Permit to operate as a tree surgeon in Alabama.

Interested parties should contact the Department of Agriculture and Industries to find out about application forms and when and where you can take the licensing test. Here is some contact information:

PO Box 3336
Montgomery, AL 36109

You will have to pay around $75 to take the test and $175 each year to maintain a Professional Services Permit.

This particular agency has a poorly designed website, so it’s hard to find things online. Your best option is probably to call on the phone to get the information. The only clearly accessible thing I could find is the application for a Professional Services Permit:

How to Get Your Classroom Teacher License (Certificate) In Alabama

There are a number of ways in which you can become a licensed school teacher in Alabama. The Alabama State Department of Education provides certificates to teachers in this state.

There are so many different ways to qualify for a certificate in Alabama that it can’t be easily summarized. So the best thing to do is to use tools on the Department of Education’s website to assist you in the fastest way you can qualify to get licensed, based upon your current status.

The basic requirements to become a teacher in Alabama include completion of at least a bachelor’s degree plus an educator preparation program. Some applicants might be able to get certified through an alternative certification program. You must also pass state and federal background checks to qualify for a certificate.

A good place to find out how to start working towards your license is the Educator Certification page on the Department of Education’s website:

Once you are on that page, a good place to start your research is the “I Want to Be a Teacher” page. On that page, there are multiple sections which may describe your situation. Click on the one that applies to you, and that section will expand to give you some guidance on how you may proceed to get your teacher’s license in Alabama. For example, if you do not yet have a bachelor’s degree, then the Department recommends that you enroll in an Alabama college or university’s bachelor-level educator preparation program. Conversely, if you have earned a non-education bachelor’s degree, you can enroll in an educator preparation program at the master’s degree level.

You might also need to take a Praxis test and an AECAP basic skills assessment. These tests are administered by ETS. You should be learning the content to be expected on the basic skills test through your educator preparation program. If you have to take a Praxis subject test, then you may need additional study in that subject area.

How to Get a License For a Speech Pathologist In Alabama

There are close to 2000 licensed speech pathologists in Alabama. They are licensed by the Alabama Board of Examiners For Speech-Language Pathology And Audiology. The qualifications are not easy for this occupation. Applicants must have substantial education and clinical training. They also must pass a national exam.

Candidates need at least a master’s degree in speech pathology. Some equivalent degree of education might qualify. But you would have to ask the Board about that on an individual basis.

You will also need a clinical practicum that lasts at least 9 months. In addition to the practicum, a Clinical Fellowship Year is required. As long as you are with an accredited degree program, then you should have opportunities through that program to get hooked up with necessary practicums and internships.

Alabama uses the National Examination In Speech-Language Pathology to gauge candidates’ knowledge of the field before granting a license. This is administered by the Educational Testing Service, which is ETS.

The application and license fees, when combined together, were $275, in 2014. There is a separate $200 fee to register for the Clinical Fellowship Year.

Links to the license application from and Clinical Fellowship Year registration form can be found using this link:

Use the following information if you need to contact the Board:

Alabama Board of Examiners For Speech-Language Pathology And Audiology
PO Box 304760
Montgomery, AL 36130

When you pass the ETS/Praxis test, you also receive ASHA certification. So as long as you have met all other requirements, then you can get certified as a speech pathologist through ASHA and also get your Alabama speech pathology license.

Use the following page on the ETS website to find out how to register for and take the Speech-Language Pathology certification exam:

How to Prepare For And Take The Alabama Professional Soil Classifier Exam (ALPSC Test)

Applicants for an Alabama professional soil classifier license must take an exam. This test is administered by the State Board of Registration for Professional Soil Classifiers. It is sometimes referred to as the PSC exam or ALPSC exam.

One inconvenient aspect of the test is that it is only given once every June, currently on the 3rd Tuesday. Also, you must submit your application by May 1st. The Board’s application is also the test application:

If the above link is not working, then you can probably find the license and exam application link here:

According to the Board, the exam most covers basic pedology, including soil morphology, soil classification, and soil genesis. Soil surveys and applied interpretations are also included. This is also an open-book test. However, my first would be to not take the test too lightly just because of that. Some of the hardest tests I took in law school were actually open-book tests. That is because they would test every little minute detail since the book was available. So make sure you actually study the references thoroughly even though you can take them into the test room.

Speaking of references, there is a full list of references provided by the Board on this page:

So I recommend purchasing the references listed on the page above and thoroughly studying them before the test. And this applies even though you can use the books on exam day.

You could also supplement the references you had to purchase for your college classes. And since you will have to work for some licensed soil classifiers to “earn” your reference letters, you can also ask them for any additional tips on how to pass the Alabama PSC exam.

How to Become a Licensed Alabama Professional Soil Classifier

As of 2014, there were about 65 licensed professional soil classifiers in Alabama. This job type is regulated by the State Board of Registration For Professional Soil Classifiers. According to the Department of Labor, experienced licensees in this area make about $80,000.

There are 3 kinds of qualifications to get this license. They are education, experience, and a test. The amount of experience you need depends on the type of college degree you get. But there is only one license for all applicants.

If you have a bachelor’s degree (BS) and major in a soils curriculum, then you need 1 year of experience in soil classification of a grade and character. If you have a BS in a different field or major, then you will need 2 years of experience instead of just 1.

Assuming you have the relevant education and experience, then you will need to pass a PSC exam, which is administered by the Board. You will need to plan well in advance for this because it is only once a year. At the time of this writing, it is the 3rd Tuesday in June, with an application deadline of May 1.

The Department of Labor says that you are going to need 5 reference letters to get a license. Although 2 are character references, 3 must be from professional soil classifiers. So you are going to have to work for, intern with, or otherwise associate with 3 currently licensed individuals.

Here is some information on the soil classifier license exam, which is on the Board’s website:

Here is the application form and related instructions:

Here is some contact information for the Board:

P.O. Box 304800
Montgomery, Alabama 36130-4800

How to Get a Bachelor, Graduate, Or Certified Social Worker License In Alabama

Alabama has 3 kinds of licenses for social workers, depending on the level of education and experience. As of 2014, there were about 5000 social workers in Alabama, with about 1500 of them having the highest level of license. That is a certified social worker. The first level is a bachelor social worker, and there were about 2000 of those. The middle level is a graduate social worker, and there were about 1500 of them.

A bachelor social worker applicant needs only a bachelor’s degree in social work. There is no experience requirement. A graduate social worker applicant needs a master’s degree or doctoral degree in social work, with no experience requirement. A certified social worker must also have a master’s degree or doctorate, plus two years of supervised work experience under a certified social worker.

Note: A degree must be accredited or at least in a candidate status to be accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The page below has a list of accredited programs:

At the time of this writing, there were 20 accredited social work programs in Alabama. So there is no shortage of educational opportunities in this state for aspiring social workers.

But in addition to the college educational requirements, all applicants must pass an Association of Social Work Boards Examination. There is a different test for each level. Make sure you take the correct test. There are 4 different tests given by the Association, and the Alabama board can tell you which one to take if you are confused at the time you receive authorization to take the test.

The licensing agency is the Alabama State Board of Social Work Examiners. They are located in Montgomery, at 100 North Union Street, Suite 736. The phone number is 334-242-5860. And the website is

The Board has online and paper applications once you are ready to register for a test or apply for a license. Here is the page for these social worker applications:

After the Board approves your application, you can then apply with the Association of Social Work Boards to take the test. These exams are given on a year-round basis. So you just register and then take the test a few days or weeks later.