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Water Treatment Specialist Licensing

Information about obtaining a license to install water treatment equipment such as water softeners.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) promulgated new and revised rules on September 27, 2007 which will affect many licensing programs.

Please review the URL below to become acquainted with the newly adopted Chapter 30 rules for Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 30, Subchapter H: Water Treatment Specialists, Rules 30.261 - 30.279. Exit the TCEQ 

Water Treatment Specialist (WTS) Licensing Program

The Water Treatment Specialist Program staff can answer routine operator inquiries. Below is the phone number and other means for contacting the program:

  • Location - The first floor in building D of the TCEQ complex located at 12100 Park 35 Circle in Austin, Texas.
  • Office Hours - 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday (excluding Exit the TCEQ holidays).
  • Phone number - 512/239-6133
    • Press #1 for New Applications or Exams
    • Press #2 for Renewals
  • Fax - 512/239-6272
  • Email address - licenses@tceq.texas.gov
  • Mailing Address - TCEQ, Water Treatment Specialist Licensing Program, MC-178, PO Box 13087, Austin, TX 78711-3087

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Water Treatment Specialist

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Why do I need a license?

In accordance with state law, Texas Water Code Chapter 37 and Texas Occupations Code Chapter 1904.052 Exit the TCEQ, any individual who installs and services fixed or portable equipment in public or private systems in the State of Texas for the analysis and treatment of potable water to alter or purify the water or to add or remove a mineral, chemical, or bacterial content must be a Licensed Water Treatment Specialist.

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How do I become licensed?

To become licensed as a Water Treatment Specialist, you must have the required education and experience, complete the related training, pay an application fee, and pass the corresponding Water Treatment Specialist (WTS) licensing examination. More information about taking these exams can be found under computer-based testing and general exam schedule.

Water Treatment Specialist License Information
Water Treatment Specialist License Type & Level Validity Period Application Fee Education Required Experience Required Training Required Exam Required
Class I Water Treatment Specialist 3 Years $111 None None None Yes
Class II Water Treatment Specialist 3 Years $111 Less than High School Diploma
High School diploma or GED
1 Year of College
3 Years





2 Years




1 Year
Basic Water Conditioning Course Yes
Class III Water Treatment Specialist 3 Years $111 High School Diploma or GED
2 years of College
Bachelor's Degree
3 Years





2 Years




1 Year
Basic Water Conditioning Course and the Advanced Water Conditioning Course Yes

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What type of training must I complete for a license?

Required courses are available through TCEQ-approved Training Providers.

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What do I need to know about an application?

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Where can I obtain an application?

Applications are available through the TCEQ's Water Treatment Specialist Program in the Austin central office or at any TCEQ regional office. The application must be completed in full, signed, dated, and submitted with the appropriate application fee (check or money order only). All fees are non-refundable.

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What do I need to provide with an application?

In addition to the standard information (name, address, social security number), you will need to submit supporting documentation such as:

  • copy of certificate of completion for unverified training
  • copy of college transcripts used for experience substitution
  • copy of current out-of-state license (if applying for reciprocity)

All statements and qualifications provided by each applicant are subject to verification.

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When do I pay the application fee?

You must pay the application fee when you arrive to take the Water Treatment Specialist exam. The application fee is valid for one year or four exams, whichever comes first.

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If I qualify for a higher level of license, must I apply for all lower levels first?

No, you may apply for any level of license, as long as you meet the requirements.

What if my application is deficient?

Applicants who are deficient after an initial review by the staff may be asked to submit supplemental information for consideration if the staff determines that the original application did not contain all relevant information. The applicant must submit this information within 120 days of notification of deficiency, or the examination, application and fee will become invalid.

Application fees are not refundable.

What do I need to know for an exam?

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What do I need to study?

Study materials for each type and level of licensing include:

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Where and when are exams held?

Exams are regularly scheduled and administered in the Austin central office and TCEQ regional offices in accordance with an established exam schedule.

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What is the minimum passing score?

All applicants for licensing, except individuals applying for licensing by reciprocity, must pass the appropriate exam with a minimum score of 70 percent. Within four weeks of the exam, applicants can check their exam results on the web. In six weeks, applicants will receive their examination results by mail.

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If I fail, how many times may I retake the test?

You may retake the test a maximum of three times within one year of the original examination date. You may retest as soon as you receive notice of failing the exam, provided TCEQ has an approved application and the testing center can accommodate the retest. After the fourth unsuccessful test in the one-year period, you will need to submit a new application and fee.

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How long do I have to retake the test?

You must retake the test within one year of the original examination date before submitting a new application and fee.

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What is acceptable experience?

Approved areas of work include installation and/or servicing water treatment appliances.

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If I hold a license in another state, can I transfer it to Texas?

Texas issues licenses of reciprocity on a case-by-case basis with all other states.

To be considered for reciprocity:

  • You must hold a current Water Treatment Specialist license
  • Your license must have been obtained by exam
  • The license must be mandatory under the other state's laws
  • The equivalent education, training, experience, and fee requirements for the type and class of Texas license being applied for have been met.

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How do I renew my license?

You will be mailed a renewal notification to the last known address on file at least 60 days before your license expires. This notification will give you instructions for renewing your license using the Texas Online license renewal process.

If you are unable to renew on-line, please contact our office immediately to receive a printed renewal application. You can contact the TCEQ Licensing Section at licenses@tceq.texas.gov or by phone at (512) 239-6133. Please be sure to include your full name and license number with your request. Remember, it is your responsibility to timely submit a renewal application.

Credit is given for attendance at TCEQ-approved training courses, correspondence courses, seminars, and association meetings on the basis of one credit hour per hour of attendance.

To check how many credit hours you currently have on file, click here.

To renew this license class ... You must obtain this much continuing education ... You must pay a renewal fee of ... The license will remain valid for an additional ...
Water Treatment Specialist I,II and III 12 Hours $ 111 3 years

Renewal applications are mailed to the operator's address on file. The TCEQ is not responsible for undelivered mail.

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What are some of my responsibilities to the TCEQ?

The operator is responsible for:

  • Notifying the Austin central office of any address changes;
  • Maintaining personal training records, including:
    • Name of training course
    • Location of training course
    • Name of training provider and
    • Date of training course

I lost my license or pocket card. How do I replace it?

To replace your lost license, you can contact the licensing section at (512) 239-6133 or download the request form. The replacement license is $20.00. Be certain to specify if you are ordering a wall certificate or pocket card (license card).

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