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Incinerator operator certification

Wisconsin Administrative Code ch. NR 499 was created as authorized by ss. 285.51, Wis. Stats., which establishes a program for the department to develop a program of certification for persons participating in, or responsible for, the operation of solid waste treatment facilities.

Each solid waste treatment facility (incinerator) is required to employ at least one certified operator.

  1. Chief facility operator
    • Examination: Yes (score 75% or better)
    • Exam fee: $50.00
    • Duration of certification: one year
  2. Certified operator
    • Examination: Yes (score 75% or better)
    • Exam Fee: $50.00
    • Duration of certification: one year
  3. Interim facility manager/interim certified operator
    • Examination: No
    • Fee: No fee
    • Duration of certification:
  4. Interim facility and site operator certifications are provided temporarily to personnel while waiting for a scheduled certification exam or in special circumstances where a chief facility manager or certified operator is unable to perform duties under ch. NR 499, Wis. Adm. Code. This certification is not eligible to be renewed.

To become a chief facility manager or certified operator, you must pass an exam. Certification exams are given after completion of department-approved training.

A score of 75% or higher is a passing score on each exam. Applicants who have failed a written exam may apply to re–take the exam the next time the training class and exam are offered. There is no restriction regarding the number of times an applicant may take the exam.

Interim Operator application fee
No fee
Shift Operator certification
$50 exam fee
Chief Facility Operator certification
$50 exam fee
Certification renewal
No fee.
Incidental costs
Continuing education class fees (varies)

Continuing education & renewals

Ch. NR 499, Wis. Adm. Code requires an operator to earn continuing education credits in order to maintain an active certification. This continuing education requirement is designed to help you keep current on new requirements and technical innovations. Continuing education also assists in acquiring additional knowledge and skills.

Certified Facility Managers and Site Operator are required to obtain continuing education credits during the term of certification as follows:

  • Chief Facility Operators — 4 hours of continuing education every year
  • Shift Operators — 4 hours of continuing education every year

Those who want to renew their certificate need to electronically submit the Operator Training Report Form, found on the Forms & applications page. Once the training is uploaded, it will display on an operator's Training History Report. This report is found on the Operator Certification Look–up. To renew, the operator must submit a signed copy of their Training History Report to:

Wisconsin DNR
Incinerator Operator Certification EAS/7
PO Box 7921
Madison WI 53707–7921

How to track certifications

Several features of the Operator Certification Program facilitate tracking of certifications:

  • The Operator Certification Look-up, which is found on the Operator Certification Program homepage. Located on the Look-up are operators' Training History Report and a wallet card.
  • The renewal reminder letter mailed approximately 6 weeks prior to a certification expiring. Renewal reminder letters are strictly a courtesy and are mailed to last known address saved in the Operator Certification Program's database.
  • The certificate mailed to operators after they pass an exam or renew, which listed the certification type, expiration date, and required number of credits for renewal.

Acceptance of continuing education documentation by the department will be based on its relevance to: incinerator operations, health and safety training while performing incinerator operation duties, incinerator management issues and incinerator design and construction. Training may be provided by the department, facilities, or independent sponsors.

For additional training and event opportunities, visit the Operator Certification Program Training Calendar or see our list of contacts.

Incinerator contacts
Office Location Coordinator name
Wisconsin DNR
PO Box 7921
Madison, WI 53707
Maria Hill
NR Program Coordinator
Wisconsin DNR
PO Box 7921
Madison, WI 53707
Taylor Schutz
Operator certification program coordinator
Statewide View county contacts