One of the goals of the program is to bring more people to the field of plant operations. Another very important goal is to enhance the understanding, awareness and abilities of practicing operators and those who aspire to become operators.

During this program, the operator is exposed to the basic information which one must know in order to become licensed and advance through the various levels of licensure. No attempt is made to structure the short school as a direct prep school for licensure, although the benefits to those taking licensure examinations are evident.


DPOR licensure will be administered at the end of the short school for an additional fee. Participants taking this option will be exempt from the Short School exam. Operators are responsible for making sure they are qualified to sit for the licensure exam.

As the result of a pilot initiative between Virginia Tech, DPOR, DEQ, and VDH, we are excited to announce that the 2023 Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators Short Schools will include an opportunity for students to take the licensing exam (ABC exam).  Those interested in taking the exam will need to register for Short School during early registration.  The exam will be administered using paper/pencil exam (not computer like usual) and you must pay the non-refundable exam fee of $46 when you register for Short School.  On the final day, instead of taking the Short School exam, proctors will be available to administer Classes 1-4 of each exam and students must be approved by the Board for the correct license class.  Students will need to have been approved by the licensing board no more than one year before the exam, making it August 4, 2022 or after for Water Treatment Plant Operators and August 11, 2023 or after for Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators.  If you have not applied or been approved, you will need to get your completed application to DPOR before July 14, 2023*.  Additional details and instructions will be provided to those who sign up for the exam during Short School registration.

* Applications that include certain criminal convictions or disciplinary history, or that require Board review if the education, training, or experience does not appear to meet the regulations, may not be able to be reviewed and approved in time for Short School.  Please contact the Board office at DPOR at (804) 367-8595.

Learner Outcomes

The program is divided into five short courses. The first level or first year is designed to be introductory. A person need not have any prior training or experience to enroll in the first year class. Additionally, one need not have a job at a treatment plant to enroll.
Enroll Now - Select a section to enroll in
Section Title
Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators Short School
M, T, W, Th
8:00AM to 5:00PM
Aug 07, 2023 to Aug 10, 2023
8:00AM to 12:00PM
Aug 11, 2023
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
  • Virginia Tech - Blacksburg (Main Campus)
Fees starting at $800.00
Section Notes

The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center
901 Prices Fork Road
Blacksburg, VA, 24061

Lodging: Reservations for non-commuters will be made in the participant's name at The Inn at Virginia Tech for the nights of August 6th through August 10th, 2023. Check-out will be August 11th, 2023. If registering as a Double Occupancy participant, please note your roommate in the registration questions.  If you wish to check in/out on alternate dates or need special arrangements, please contact Cary Hoge at cdinkins@vt.edu. Hotel reservations will be made at The Inn at Virginia Tech, with overflow at the Hyatt Place Blacksburg. Please keep an eye out for a second confirmation email one week prior to the course for your specific hotel. 

Program Schedule: Course check in will begin Sunday, August 6th 4:00-6:00pm in Latham Foyer at The Inn at Virginia Tech and continue Monday, August 7th at 8:00am. Breakfast will be available Monday and Friday morning. The course begins at 9:00am Monday. The course will wrap up around noon on Friday, August 11th and testing with DPOR will begin in the afternoon.

Refund and Cancellation Policy: Refund requests must be received 14 calendar days prior to the program start date. A $30 administrative fee will be deducted from all refunds. Requests should be sent by email or by initiating a drop request through the student portal in our online registration system. As an alternative to a refund, you may send a substitute at no additional cost. Please contact us at 540-231-5182 or e-mail cpeinfo@vt.edu to request a substitution. Please note: refunds will not be issued for no-shows or for cancellations received on or after the program start date. 

In the unlikely event that this program is cancelled or postponed due to insufficient enrollments or unforeseen circumstances, the university will fully refund registration fees but cannot be held responsible for any other expenses, including cancellation or change charges assessed by airlines, hotels, travel agencies, or other organizations.

Additional Information: Your registration fee includes: breakfast on Monday and Friday, lunch and AM/PM breaks on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and one group social dinner on Wednesday. As well as, all course materials and lectures. You are responsible for all other meals. 

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