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New Jersey Requirement for Certified Installer of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems – Advanced Level

What you can find on this page:


New Jersey Regulations

The New Jersey state regulations regarding this credential are available online (PDF).

For questions about the New Jersey regulation, contact your local health department or the state program at the Department of Environmental Protection:

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Application for Credential

The first step in earning this credential is to apply. You can find an application here (PDF).

Do I need the Basic or Advanced Credential?
For NJ regulations, the only credential accepted is the Advanced Level, Certified Installer of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems.

What are the eligibility requirements?
For the advanced level examination, candidates must be 18 years of age or older, have a high school diploma or GED and provide a work history that contains AT LEAST two years experience installing onsite wastewater treatment systems.

What if I can’t find my high school diploma?
High school transcripts, military service records or college transcripts are allowable substitutes for a copy of a high school diploma. You can contact your school district for records if you do not have a copy.

What if I do not have a high school diploma or GED?
At this time, a high school diploma or GED is required to obtain the CIOWTS-Advanced Level Credential. If you do not have a high school diploma or GED, you can apply for the credential and then petition the NEHA Board of Directors for an exception to the requirement. If you will be applying, and do not have a High School Diploma, you should submit a letter of appeal to NEHA explaining your situation and providing as much documentation as possible to support your case. This can include proof of your work history doing installations, information on how many systems you’ve installed, any complaint history, letter(s) from regulators who are familiar with your work, copies of other relevant certifications, etc. Please address all letters to: NEHA Credentialing Petition, 720 S. Colorado Blvd., Suite 1000-N, Denver, CO 80246.

Who can verify my work experience?
There are different ways to verify your work experience: your employer, local regulator or business license.

What are the fees associated with the credential exam?
The CIOWTS-Advanced Level Credential examination fee is $170 for non-NEHA members and $145 for NEHA members. There is a $45 expedite fee if your application is received less than four weeks before exam date. There is a $100 fee for taking the exam at a Pearson-Vue testing center. Taking the exam at a testing center allows you to schedule the exam at your convenience and provides instant results from the exam.

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Exam Preparation

What is covered on the exam?
An exam content outline is available online here. This outline provides the basis from which all questions on the exam were written.

How many questions are on the exam?
Advanced Level: The exam contains 125 questions involving the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully install an onsite wastewater system. The questions contain more difficult scenarios than the basic level, and require the test-taker to apply their knowledge to different situations. Passing score is 70% correct.

How long do I have to take the exam?
Three hours is allowed for the Advanced Level Exam.

What is the exam format?
All exam questions are multiple choice.

What is the passing score?
The passing score for the Advanced Level exam is 70%.

How long does it take to get my results?
If you take the pen and paper version of the exam, please allow 4-6 weeks to receive your results. If you choose to take the exam at a testing center, you receive the results as soon as you have completed the examination.

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Study References and Order Form

To prepare for the exam, NEHA recommends reference materials that were used in the creation of the exam as well as a training manual that is often used in conjunction with installer training. Online you can find a list of reference materials. The training manual, Installation of Onsite Wastewater Systems, is one that is highly recommended to prepare for the advanced level exam. This manual is available for purchase through the NEHA Bookstore or by downloading the pdf form.

NEHA recommends taking the exam outline, identifying areas that you need assistance with, and using the Installer Manual to expand your knowledge in those areas.

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Exam Administration and Testing Locations

Credential candidates can take the exam at their convenience at Pearson-n-Vue testing centers or at an authorized exam administrations. To find the most current list of exam administrations, please visit the CIOWTS Credential page.

Please be aware that applications are due no less than 30 days prior to exam administration.

How often can I take the exam?
Credential candidates must wait 90 days between exam administrations. If you take the CIOWTS-A examination and do not pass, you will receive a packet of information from NEHA that will explain the re-take options.

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ADA Accommodations

NEHA is committed to ensuring that no individual is deprived of the opportunity to take a credentialing examination solely by reason of a disability or impairment. All test centers are fully accessible and compliant with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

To make a request for special accommodations you must complete the Accommodation Request Form and Documentation of Disability Related Needs Form (PDF) including the specific diagnosis of your disability; medical records, or other written proof of the diagnosis by an appropriate licensed professional; and the type of accommodation being requested. Both forms must be returned to NEHA at least 30 days prior to the scheduled test date.

If the forms are not returned to NEHA within 30 days prior to the scheduled test date your request for special accommodations may not be honored.


With respect to all matters related to testing accommodations, NEHA will only communicate with the candidate, professionals knowledgeable about the candidate’s disability or impairment, and the candidate’s authorized representative (if applicable).

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Contact Information

For information about apply for the credential, credential exams and other related questions, please contact:

NEHA Credentialing Specialist
Tel: (303) 756-9090 x328

To order the Installation of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems contact:

Tel: (303) 756-9090 x0
Any member of our customer service team will be happy to take your order.

For questions about the New Jersey regulation, contact your local health department or the state program at the Department of Environmental Protection:

Eleanor Krukowski
Tel: (609) 633-7021

Mark Miller
Tel: (609) 633-7021

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