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Top 11 Utility Worker Certifications

This article outlines the top certifications for utility workers, including their benefits and requirements.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are important for utility workers in the job market because they demonstrate that a worker has the necessary knowledge and skills to perform a particular job. Having certifications can also help workers stand out from other applicants and show potential employers that they have a commitment to their profession. Certifications provide proof of competency and show employers that an individual is dedicated to their chosen field. Additionally, certifications may be required for certain positions or organizations, so having them can be essential when applying for jobs.

The purpose of the article is to provide an overview of certifications that can help utility workers advance their careers and increase their job prospects.

What are Utility Worker Certifications?

Utility worker certification is a program designed to recognize and certify individuals who have completed specialized training and achieved a level of proficiency in their job related skills. This certification demonstrates that the individual has successfully completed rigorous training, has gained valuable experience in the field, and has demonstrated a commitment to excellence in their work.

The utility worker certification program provides employers with an objective measure of an individual's qualifications and helps them make informed decisions when hiring or promoting employees. It also helps ensure that workers are qualified to safely perform the duties required of them. Utility workers must complete several levels of training in order to become certified, including safety training, electrical theory and applications, instrumentation, power distribution systems, and more.

In addition to providing employers with an objective measure of a candidate’s qualifications, having a utility worker certification can help individuals advance their careers by opening up opportunities for promotions or new positions within the field. Certification can also be beneficial for those seeking to transfer into another organization as it shows potential employers that the applicant is knowledgeable about industry standards and practices. Furthermore, having this certification may qualify individuals for higher wages as employers are often willing to pay more for those who have achieved this level of expertise.

Pro Tip: Always make sure to stay up to date on your utility worker certification. Many states require workers to become certified and renew their certification every few years. Keeping up with certifications helps ensure that you are properly trained and qualified to do the job correctly and safely.

Related: What does a Utility Worker do?

Top 11 Utility Worker Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Utility Workers today.

1. Certified Utility Worker (CUW)

Certified Utility Worker (CUW) is a certification program offered by the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC). It is designed to provide water and wastewater utility professionals with the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to perform their duties safely and effectively. The CUW program consists of three levels: Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced.

The Basic level provides an introduction to the industry and covers topics such as safety, customer service, regulations, operations, maintenance, and more. The Intermediate level focuses on more advanced topics such as water chemistry, process control, system design and troubleshooting. The Advanced level covers topics such as energy management, asset management, environmental compliance and sustainability.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete all three levels of the CUW program depending on how quickly you can study and complete the required coursework. To get started in the program you will need to register with NAWC for a fee of $250 USD. After registering you will be able to access all of the materials necessary for completing each level including online courses, textbooks, exams and other resources.

Once you have completed all three levels of the program you will receive your official CUW certificate from NAWC which demonstrates that you have achieved a high level of knowledge in water utility operations.

2. Certified Water Operator (CWO)

A Certified Water Operator (CWO) is a professional who has been certified by the state in which they work to operate, maintain, and manage water treatment plants. This certification is required for those who wish to work in the field of water treatment and distribution.

In order to become a CWO, an individual must complete a training program approved by the state in which they are working. Generally, this program consists of classroom instruction and hands-on experience at a water treatment plant. The length of the program varies from state to state but typically takes between one and two years to complete.

Once the training program is completed, applicants must pass an exam administered by their state’s department of health or environmental protection agency. The exam covers topics such as water chemistry, microbiology, safety procedures, and regulations related to drinking water quality standards.

The cost of becoming a CWO varies depending on the state in which you are applying for certification. Most states charge a fee for taking the exam as well as any additional fees associated with attending classes or completing other requirements necessary for certification. Additionally, some states may require that applicants pay an annual renewal fee to maintain their certification status.

3. Certified Wastewater Operator (CWRO)

A Certified Wastewater Operator (CWRO) is a professional certification program that is designed to recognize wastewater operators who have demonstrated competency in the operation and maintenance of wastewater treatment systems. The CWRO certification is awarded by the National Environmental Training Accreditation Program (NETAP).

To become a CWRO, applicants must meet certain educational, experience, and testing requirements. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent and at least two years of experience in the operation and maintenance of wastewater treatment systems. They must also complete a NETAP-approved training course and pass an examination.

The cost of becoming a CWRO varies depending on the type of training course taken and other factors. Generally, it costs between $500-$1,000 to become certified. It usually takes about three months to complete all the requirements for certification.

4. Certified Gas Technician (CGT)

A Certified Gas Technician (CGT) is a professional who is trained and certified to install, inspect, maintain, repair, and service gas-fired appliances and systems. This certification is required by law in many jurisdictions in order to work on natural gas or propane systems.

The certification process typically takes several months to complete and involves both classroom instruction and field experience. The curriculum covers topics such as safety regulations, installation procedures, maintenance techniques, troubleshooting methods, and more.

To become a CGT, you must first complete an approved training program. These programs are offered by various trade schools, colleges, universities, or private organizations. After completing the program, you must pass a written exam administered by the provincial government or a recognized certifying body.

The cost of becoming a CGT will vary depending on the specific program you choose to take. Generally speaking, it can range from $500-$1500 for tuition alone. Additional costs may include books/materials fees and exam fees.

5. Certified Electrical Technician (CET)

Certified Electrical Technician (CET) is a professional certification program that recognizes the competency of individuals in the field of electrical installation and maintenance. The certification is granted by the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET).

To become a CET, an individual must pass an exam administered by ISCET. The exam consists of two parts: a written portion and a practical portion. The written portion covers topics such as electrical theory, safety practices, codes and standards, and installation techniques. The practical portion requires candidates to demonstrate their knowledge through hands-on activities.

The CET exam typically takes about four hours to complete. Candidates must score at least 70% on both portions of the exam in order to pass.

In order to be eligible for the CET exam, applicants must have at least two years of experience in the field or have completed an approved educational program related to electronics technology. Applicants also need to submit proof of their experience or education along with their application for the exam.

The cost of taking the CET exam varies depending on where it is taken and who administers it. Generally speaking, it costs between $75-$150 USD to take the exam.

6. Certified Energy Auditor (CEA)

A Certified Energy Auditor (CEA) is a professional who has been trained and certified to assess the energy efficiency of buildings and homes. CEAs are knowledgeable in building science, energy efficiency technologies, and energy auditing techniques. They use specialized tools to measure and analyze the energy performance of a building or home, and then provide recommendations for improving its efficiency.

It typically takes two years of study to become a CEA. The first year involves taking courses in building science, energy efficiency technologies, and energy auditing techniques. The second year is spent completing an internship with an experienced CEA or other qualified professional. After completing the coursework and internship requirements, applicants must pass a certification exam administered by the Building Performance Institute (BPI).

To get certified as a CEA, applicants must have at least two years of experience in the construction industry or related field; be able to demonstrate knowledge of building science principles; have completed an approved training program; and have passed the BPI certification exam.

The cost for becoming a CEA varies depending on the training program chosen by the applicant. Generally speaking, it can range from $2,000 - $5,000 USD for tuition fees alone. Additional costs may include travel expenses for attending classes or workshops, textbooks or other materials needed for studying, and any fees associated with taking the BPI certification exam.

7. Certified HVAC Technician (CHT)

A Certified HVAC Technician (CHT) is an individual who has completed a specialized program and achieved certification in the field of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC/R). This certification is offered by several organizations, including the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), the Heating, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI), and the North American Technician Excellence (NATE).

The length of time required to become certified as a CHT varies depending on which organization you are working with. Generally speaking, it takes around three to four years to complete the necessary coursework and obtain certification. However, some organizations offer accelerated programs that can be completed in as little as one year.

To become certified as a CHT, you must first meet certain educational requirements such as completing an accredited HVAC/R program or having at least two years of experience in the field. You must then pass an exam administered by your chosen organization. The exam covers topics such as safety procedures, installation techniques, troubleshooting methods, and customer service skills.

The cost of becoming certified as a CHT varies depending on which organization you choose to work with. Generally speaking, the cost ranges from $200-$500 for registration fees and exam costs.

8. National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) Level I/II/III Certifications

The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) is a nationally recognized certification program that provides professional recognition to individuals who demonstrate proficiency in the engineering technology field. The NICET Level I/II/III certifications are designed to measure and validate an individual’s knowledge, skills, and abilities related to specific disciplines of engineering technology.

NICET Level I certification is the entry-level certification for those new to the engineering technology field. This certification requires a minimum of two years of experience in the relevant discipline and successful completion of a written exam. It typically takes about four months to complete the process, depending on how quickly you can study for and take the exam. The cost for this certification ranges from $200-$400, depending on your state or jurisdiction.

NICET Level II certification is intended for those with more advanced knowledge and experience in their chosen engineering technology discipline. This level requires at least three years of experience in the relevant discipline and successful completion of both a written exam and practical demonstration of competency. It typically takes six months or longer to complete this process due to the additional requirements needed for practical demonstration. The cost for this certification also ranges from $200-$400, depending on your state or jurisdiction.

NICET Level III certification is intended for experienced professionals who have achieved mastery in their chosen engineering technology discipline. This level requires at least five years of experience in the relevant discipline as well as successful completion of both a written exam and extensive practical demonstration of competency. It typically takes nine months or longer to complete this process due to the additional requirements needed for practical demonstration. The cost for this certification also ranges from $200-$400, depending on your state or jurisdiction.

Overall, obtaining any one of these certifications can be beneficial when looking for employment opportunities within the engineering technology field as it demonstrates an individual’s commitment to their profession and expertise in their chosen area(s).

9. OSHA 10-Hour Construction Safety and Health Course

The OSHA 10-Hour Construction Safety and Health Course is a training program developed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to provide workers with an understanding of how to identify, reduce, and eliminate safety and health hazards in the workplace. The course covers topics such as fall protection, scaffolding, electrical safety, personal protective equipment, hazard communication, and more.

The course typically takes ten hours to complete and is available online or through classroom instruction. Online courses are self-paced and can be completed at your own convenience. Classroom courses are offered by approved OSHA Outreach Training Program instructors across the country.

The cost of the course varies depending on the provider. Generally speaking, online courses range from $50-$200 while classroom courses range from $100-$300.

10. EPA 608 Universal Refrigerant Handling Certification

EPA 608 Universal Refrigerant Handling Certification is a certification program administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that requires technicians to be trained and certified in handling refrigerants. This certification ensures that technicians are knowledgeable about the safe handling of refrigerants and their proper disposal.

The EPA 608 certification consists of four parts: Core, Type I, Type II, and Type III. The Core portion covers general information about refrigerants, regulations, safety practices, and environmental protection. The Type I portion covers servicing small appliances such as window air conditioners and dehumidifiers. The Type II portion covers high-pressure systems such as commercial refrigeration equipment and air conditioning systems. The Type III portion covers low-pressure systems such as domestic refrigerator/freezers.

The EPA 608 certification can be obtained through online courses or in-person classes offered by accredited training centers. It typically takes between 8 to 16 hours to complete the coursework depending on the type of certification desired.

The cost of obtaining an EPA 608 Universal Refrigerant Handling Certification varies depending on the type of certification desired and the provider offering it. Generally speaking, it costs between $50-$150 for each type of certification needed (Core, Type I, Type II, or Type III).

11. American Society of Sanitary Engineering (ASSE) Professional Plumbing Inspector Certification

The American Society of Sanitary Engineering (ASSE) Professional Plumbing Inspector Certification is a certification program designed to evaluate the knowledge and skills of plumbing inspectors. The certification is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated that they possess the necessary knowledge and skills to properly inspect, diagnose, and recommend solutions for plumbing systems.

In order to obtain the ASSE Professional Plumbing Inspector Certification, applicants must pass an exam which covers topics such as water supply systems, drainage systems, waste disposal systems, venting systems, and safety regulations. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and takes approximately three hours to complete.

Applicants must also demonstrate that they have at least two years of experience in plumbing inspection or related fields. Additionally, applicants must complete a minimum of 24 hours of continuing education in plumbing inspection within the last five years prior to applying for the certification.

The cost for taking the ASSE Professional Plumbing Inspector Certification exam is $250 USD. The cost for renewing the certification every three years is $100 USD.

Do You Really Need a Utility Worker Certificate?

No, you do not need a Utility Worker Certificate to be employed as a utility worker. The certificate may be beneficial for those who want to demonstrate their knowledge of the industry and commitment to safety, but it is not required for employment.

Most employers will require prospective utility workers to have some experience in the industry and a valid driver's license. Depending on the type of work they are doing, they may also need special certification or training. However, these requirements vary from employer to employer and depend on the exact job duties that they will be performing.

In addition, many employers prefer to hire workers who have already obtained certifications or licenses related to the industry. Having a Utility Worker Certificate can help demonstrate an individual’s knowledge of the industry and commitment to safety, which can make them more appealing to potential employers.

Ultimately, obtaining a Utility Worker Certificate can give individuals an edge when it comes time to apply for jobs in the field, but it is not necessary for employment as a utility worker.

Related: Utility Worker Resume Examples

FAQs About Utility Worker Certifications

1. What is a Utility Worker Certification?

Answer: A Utility Worker Certification is a nationally recognized certification that demonstrates knowledge and proficiency in the installation, operation, and maintenance of utility systems. It is designed to provide individuals with the skills needed to work safely and efficiently in the utility industry.

2. How do I get a Utility Worker Certification?

Answer: To obtain a Utility Worker Certification, you must complete an approved training program and pass an exam administered by a certified testing agency. You may also need to meet additional requirements such as completing on-the-job training or obtaining additional certifications.

3. What types of jobs require a Utility Worker Certification?

Answer: Many different types of jobs in the utility industry require a Utility Worker Certification, including line workers, technicians, system operators, inspectors, and more.

4. How long does it take to get a Utility Worker Certification?

Answer: The amount of time it takes to get your certification will vary depending on the type of certification you are seeking and the specific requirements for that certification. Generally speaking, most certifications can be obtained within 6 months to 1 year of starting your training program.

5. Is there any way to renew my Utility Worker Certification?

Answer: Yes! Most certifications must be renewed every three years through continuing education courses or other activities related to the utility industry.