About WQA's Professional Certification Program

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 is a voluntary credentialing program, and to achieve any WQA-certified designation, the candidate must pass a comprehensive exam and agree to abide by the Association's Code of Ethics for the Water Quality Improvement Industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

About how long does it take to become professionally certified by WQA?
It varies by professional situation and desired designation, but in general water treatment professionals should expect to devote about 120 hours toward completing the education and training requirements prior to taking any WQA examination.

How much does certification cost?
The amount will vary depending on the designation, but most certifications cost around $470 per person (for WQA members), including the cost of the exam.

When and where can I take the certification exam?
Certification Exams can be taken at the WQA Headquarters in Lisle, Illinois, and are offered at key industry conferences and trade shows throughout the year. Exams can also be arranged at a testing site in your area by contacting WQA.

For how long is a certification valid?
All WQA professional certifications expire after three years. In order to renew a certification, the professional must attain the required continuing education credits and pay a recertification fee.

Policy Updates

In May 2015, WQA restructured its Professional Certification Program and began offering two advanced-level certifications (Master Water Specialist and Master Service Technician) and four core designations (Certified Water Treatment Representative, Certified Water Specialist, Certified Installer and Certified Service Technician), which is a change from the previous offering of Certified Water Specialist I through VI and Certified Sales Representative.

Certified professionals holding the titles of CWS-V and CWS-VI prior to May 1, 2015 were re-designated as Master Water Specialists. CWS-II, CWS-III and CWS-IV title holders were re-designated as Certified Water Specialists. Sales Representatives title holders prior to May 1, 2015 were redesignated as Certified Water-Treatment Representatives.

Eligibility for certification now requires completion of the Basics and Fundamentals modules and appropriate Core module in WQA's Modular Education Program.