A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Certified Pool Operator

certified pool operator reviewing a test strip

According to reports, more than 50% of Americans are thinking about switching careers. 

Are you part of this number and considering a career in the pool industry? Becoming a certified pool operator is the best way to break into the business. 

Alternatively, maybe you’re already a pool operator, but you want to gain a competitive edge and stand out from the crowd. Certified pool operators look more professional in clients’ eyes. 

If you’re running your own business, a CPO certification can set you apart from your competitors. If you’re applying for a job as a pool technician, it will help you stand out to employers. 

In some states, it’s also mandatory to hold a CPO certification as a pool technician. 

Fortunately, becoming a certified pool operator isn’t hard. You just need to know what steps to follow. Keep reading to find out how to get your CPO certification in two easy steps. 

Step 1: Sign Up for a CPO Course

The first step to becoming a certified pool operator is to find an accredited CPO class or course that will prepare you for the exam. Most classes run over a couple of days. 

Make sure you sign up with a provider that is accredited by the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA).

Completing a course won’t just set you up to pass your CPO exam, it will also equip you with vital knowledge for operating pools and hot tubs. 

Most courses teach both practical skills and technical knowledge and cover pool water chemistry, safety guidelines, and filtration systems. 

Before signing up for a course, you’ll also want to decide whether you want in-person classes or online CPO certification classes.

In-Person Classes

In-person classes can be great if you want hands-on training. They can also be a networking opportunity, as you’ll be able to meet other pool technicians in your area. 

But in-person classes can also be expensive and inconvenient. You may have to travel some distance to attend an in-person CPO certification class.

If you have to travel from your home town or city, you’ll need to cover accommodation costs. 

You’ll also need to fit in with the course schedule. This could mean having to take time off work. 

Online CPO Certification Classes

Online CPO certifications are usually cheaper and more convenient. They’re easier to complete, as you can work through the material at your own pace. 

Instead of having to take time away from your schedule to physically attend a 2-day, in-person training session, you can study the course material in your off time. 

We believe that getting your CPO certification doesn’t have to be complicated. We offer fully online CPO certification courses that walk you through everything you need to not only pass your CPO exam, but also operate a pool like a pro. 

Our online CPO certification courses cover:

  • Pool and spa management
  • Water chemistry
  • Essential calculations for chemicals
  • Chemical feed
  • Chemical control
  • Chemical testing
  • Water balance
  • Disinfection practices
  • Filtration
  • Heating
  • Air circulation
  • Pool and spa troubleshooting
  • Pool safety
  • Guidelines and regulations

Our course contains 8-10 hours of self-paced e-learning. You can work through the material entirely at your own pace. If you want to complete the course in a day, you can. If you want to space it over a few weeks, no problem. 

When you have completed the online course, you can then schedule your review and exam day. Before the exam, you’ll receive a 5-hour, one-on-one review session with Chad Bland, a Certified CPO Instructor.

He will answer any questions you might have and walk you through the most critical areas where you need to be taking notes for the exam. 

Step 2: Sit Your CPO Certification Exam

Once you have completed your CPO certification coursework, all that’s left to do is sit your exam. 

If you take our virtual CPO certification course, you will sit the exam after your review session. It is an open-book, open-note exam containing 50 multiple-choice questions. You will have three hours to complete the exam and the pass rate is 75%.

Here at Pool Certs, we have a 98% success rate. In other words, if you utilize our online course and carry out the review, you’re almost guaranteed to pass.

Once you’ve passed the exam, you will receive your national CPO certification within 4-6 weeks. In the meantime, if you need proof of your certification, you can print your results. 

Tips for Passing Your CPO Certification Exam

Worried about passing your CPO certification exam? Here are a couple of tips. 

Take as many notes as you can while working through the course. This will help you cement key areas of knowledge and allow you to summarize important takeaways. 

If you can, try to prioritize a healthy sleep schedule while working through the course and leading up to the exam. If you’re trying to squeeze your CPO certification in after hours, it can be tempting to skip out on sleep in exchange for studying. 

But, research shows that swapping sleep for study time can impact memory and retention, and decrease test performance. 

Finally, pick a great CPO certification course. One that’s comprehensive, convenient, and comes with an instructor who can walk you through the most important areas and prep you like a pro so you can pass the first time. 

You Will Need to Retake the Exam After Five Years

To remain a certified pool operator, you will need to take the CPO certification exam every five years. Retaking the exam isn’t hard, especially if you’ve been an active pool technician over that time. 

If you signed up for a course with Pool Certs, you will also receive a hardcopy manual, which you can use to recap when the time comes to renew your certification. 

Are You Looking To Become a Certified Pool Operator?

Whether you want to run your own business or get hired, becoming a certified pool operator can do wonders for your career as a pool technician. 

Getting certified isn’t hard, especially if you take advantage of a fully online course like ours. Within a few days, you could become a fully-fledged pool technician. 

Take the first step towards becoming a certified pool operator today and register for a CPO class with us. 

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