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About WQA Professional Certification

The WQA Professional Certification program helps consumers and employers identify individuals in the point-of-use/point-of-entry water quality improvement industry who have demonstrated a certified level of professional expertise and are dedicated to high professional standards.

WQA certification is a voluntary credentialing process. To achieve any WQA-certified title, the candidate must pass a comprehensive exam and accept the WQA Code of Ethics for the Water Quality Improvement Industry.


Download the WQA Professional Certification Brochure


List of Currently Certified Personnel


Benefits of Certification to the Water Treatment Professional

NB: WQA Certification seals are registered marks and may only be used by WQA-Certified personnel with current certification status and in the manner described by WQA's Logo Policy Brochure. Misuse of these marks may be subject to legal action.

Levels of WQA Certification

  • Certified Water Specialist (CWS)
    • For individuals involved in sales, installation, and/or manufacturing of water treatment products, or who manage a water treatment business.
    • Six possible levels, CWS-I through CWS-VI
    • CWS Emeritus (Must be retired from financially compensated work in the water industry. Contact the WQA Education department for complete guidelines.)
  • Certified Installer (CI)
    • For individuals responsible for planning, installing, and/or servicing water quality improvement products.
  • Certified Sales Representative (CSR)
    • For individuals responsible for sale of water quality improvement products.
  • Certified Contractual Operator (CCO) for Very Small Systems
    • For individuals responsible for operation of water systems serving less than 500 people.
    • Requires high school diploma or GED certificate.
    • Must complete courses specifically related to operations of small drinking water systems.
    • Requires letters of endorsement from appropriate regulatory or water treatment officials.

To achieve any WQA-certified title (CWS, CI, CSR), a person must pass a lengthy exam and agree to abide by the WQA Code of Ethics for the Water Quality Improvement Industry.

Who can become WQA-certified?
WQA's program tests and certifies only individuals, not dealerships or companies. WQA membership is not required for certification.

How do I prepare for a WQA certification exam?
Most people prepare for exams through home study. Click here for a list of suggested study materials for the exams.

Where can I take a WQA certification exam?
Go to the Upcoming Exams page for more information, including exam pricing and guidelines.

How long is my certification valid?
All certifications are valid for 3 years. Certified personnel must recertify by obtaining continuing education credits. The process and policies are explained in detail in the Recertification area.