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  • Writer's pictureMark Hearon

Skyrocket Your Career With This TCEQ License Hack

For water and wastewater operators in Texas, filling a TCEQ license gap should be as easy as taking one or more core/continuing education (CE) courses. And while it is that easy, it's not at the same time. What do I mean?

Getting that coveted Class C Surface Water Operator license, for example, isn't as straightforward as it sounds. First, you have to find TCEQ license progression information buried within the bureaucratic bowels of the TCEQ website. Then comes the task of choosing a preferred course before finding a provider that:

  • hosts the course.

  • offers it in your preferred medium (e.g., on-demand)

As ever, H2Online Training is here to help! Navigating the TCEQ website can be a challenge, so we'll cut right to the relevant page(s). From there, we'll step you through how to find the core/continuing education (CE) courses you need. By the end, I think you'll agree this lives up to hack status, and man, will it ever help you get where you're going faster.

So, let's begin, shall we?

1. Follow the URL

Determining your TCEQ license gap starts with a trip to the Occupational Licensing Division on the TCEQ website. To get there, you can follow this ridiculous pathway of mouse clicks to the appropriate page:

  • TCEQ Home > Licenses > Training Courses > License Requirements Web Pages

The Occupational Licensing and Registration Requirements for Each License Type page on the TCEQ website
That's a rather long page name. And in proper title case, too!

Or, you can begin your journey by visiting the Occupational Licensing and Registration Requirements for Each License Type page.

Seriously, for the love of water, just click the link.

2. Choose Your License Type

As of January 2022, H2Online Training services the following licenses types:

  • Wastewater Collection

  • Wastewater Operator

  • Water Operator

These license types also have a graded system, and some even have subtypes. This enables licensees to upgrade and differentiate themselves throughout their careers.

For example, a water operator starts their career at a Class D license level and may progress to a Class A license. Along the way, they'll pass through the Class C and Class B types with the option of specializing in subtypes such as surface water, groundwater, or distribution. Sounds complicated, right?

A list of categories for TCEQ license requirements
If only what we look for was always highlighted.

Your situation will, naturally, be unique to you. So to keep the momentum up, I'll avoid getting into individual license progressions and maintain a process-oriented approach.

Scroll to the Requirements for Each License Type sub-section and select your license type (e.g., Wastewater Collection Operators, Wastewater Operators, or Water Operators).

3. Choose Your Desired License Class

A list of different requirements for various TCEQ licenses

This is the point where things can get a little dense, but it's also where the greatest value lies. So, let's dive in!

Let's say you hold a Class D Water License. You've got your college credits and/or time-in-industry requirements handled. All that's left is to complete TCEQ education requirements before applying for a Class C Water Operator license.

Click the Class C bullet shown in the image to the left.

Your screen will now display a table that looks like the one shown below, only without the highlights.

A table outlining the requirements for becoming a Class C Water Operator
It doesn't get much more straightforward than this.

A Class C Water Operator has the option to differentiate into three separate subtypes. Regardless of which subtype you might choose, one theme is consistent: core requirements and elective requirements. This will be the case even for licenses that don't have subtypes, such as Class A Water Operator and Class A Wastewater Operator.

Notice each license subtype has a list of core classes. They aren't identical, but they do share one commonality: Basic Waterworks Operation. If you happen to be a water or wastewater operator, you may recall taking that class (or its equivalent, Basic Wastewater) to earn your Class D license.

To earn your Class C Water Operator license (the next highest), you don't need to re-take Basic Waterworks Operation. All that's required is the remaining courses under the Core section. In some cases (e.g., Class C Groundwater and Class C Distribution), an elective must be completed as well.


H2Online Training is committed to providing TCEQ-approved, on-demand training courses that help fast-track our hero(in)es through TCEQ license progression. Notice that in the case of a Class C Groundwater license candidate, you can take Valve and Hydrant Maintenance as an elective. While this satisfies the Class C Groundwater requirements, this course does not count as a core course for a Class B Groundwater license.

A table outlining the requirements for a Class B Water Operator license
Are you starting to notice a pattern?

Why Is This Important?

Core courses need only be taken once in your career to count toward license advancement. While Valve and Hydrant Maintenance might sound like an interesting course to take, those courses highlighted in red (above) count as core courses for a Class B license (right).

A Shameless Plug

We're committed to helping you progress quickly and efficiently in your respective careers. H2Online Training will offer both Water Utility Safety (Spring 2022) and Water Laboratory (TBD) in on-demand formats soon. It just so happens these courses expedite your journey from a Class C Water Operator to a Class B Water Operator.

We'd love to help you accomplish your goals. Patterns like the one mentioned above are prevalent across the TCEQ license progression schema. Regardless of whether you train with us or not, we hope calling these intricacies out will help you make more informed decisions that fast-track your progress.

If you need help creating your perfect TCEQ license learning path, we offer free consulting. Simply reach out for additional information.

4. Fill In the Gaps

An outline of required courses for becoming a Class C Groundwater Operator
Electives are alluring. Pick the ones that help you get ahead.

Now that you've chosen your desired license class, it's time to fill in the gaps. In our example to the left, we've chosen Class C Groundwater. As mentioned before, don't sweat Basic Waterworks Operation because you've already taken it if you're a Water Operator.

Groundwater Production, of course, is a core requirement, so plan on scheduling that course as soon as possible. Where electives are concerned, choose any from the list shown. Only, do some research to make certain your choice will count toward core requirements for the next license level—failing to do so can result in a self-inflicted loss of time and money.

The Wrap

Filling a TCEQ license gap is easy and, well, not so easy. Navigating the TCEQ website presents challenges all its own, but once its secrets are revealed, next comes the interpretive work. Thankfully, this is what H2Online Training excels at, and we're happy to help you hack your career progression.

As ever, the next step is yours. Flow onward, and make 2022 your best year yet.


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