Become a Certified Pool & Spa Maintenance Specialist


Designed for those new to the pool industry or working a pool maintenance route, this course takes you through the PHTA Service Tech Manual and gives you what you need to conform to industry standards.  

After completing this pool maintenance certification course, you will have:

  • Gained a strong understanding of safety, pool circulation and filtration, pool maintenance, and water quality
  • Learned about other important topics such as electrical systems, pool structures and finishes, heaters and controls, and customer service
  • Earned a name for yourself in the pool industry as a maintenance person in the know

Prerequisites to Apply (no industry experience required!)

  • Successful completion of the Certified Maintenance Specialist® (CMS) course or 24 hours of continuing education credit (for those candidates that practice in states that require the CMS for licensing)
  • Pass a 100-question, open book, multiple-choice exam

Exam Information

To become certified as a CMS (Certified Maintenance Specialist®), you must complete the CMS course and take the CMS Exam. An additional registration form and $115 fee for the CMS Exam is required. The CMS Exam is 2.5 hours long, open book, with 100 multiple choice questions. You must score 75% or better to pass (answering at least 75 questions correctly).

Choose How to Take the Exam

  • On a computer at a PSI computer testing center near you. Computer testing gives immediate test results and flexible time to take the exam.
  • On a computer remotely proctored at your convenience. Remote proctored computer testing gives immediate test results and unparalleled flexibility to take the exam.
  • At a PHTA national, regional, or chapter-sponsored testing event. A list of upcoming events can be found here. You will receive your exam results by US Mail approximately 3 weeks after the exam.

Online CMS Course

This self-paced online format is interactive and engaging with videos, quizzes, and exercises. Those who complete the course will earn 24 CEUs, and are eligible to take the CMS certification exam.

Purchase the CMS Course

Please Note:

  • Students who have started and need to finish the course, click here
  • Students who have purchased the course but have not yet started it, click here.

Course Modules:

  • Safety & Health (140 minutes /CEUs: 2.5)
  • Practical Knowledge - Customer Service & Legal (40 minutes/CEUs: .75)
  • Pool Mathematics (1.5 hours/CEUs: 1.5)
  • Water Quality (2 hours and 20 minutes/CEUs: 2.5)
  • Structures & Finishes (1 hour and 35 minutes/CEUs: 1.5)
  • Circulation (1 hour/CEUs: 1.0)
  • Filtration (1 hour/CEUs: 1.0)
  • Electrical Components (1 hour and 50 minutes/CEUs: 2.0)
  • Heaters (2 hours/CEUs: 2.0)
  • Chemical Feeders & Generators (1 hour and 20 minutes/CEUs: 2.0)
  • Control Systems (1 hour and 10 minutes/CEUs: 1.0)
  • Maintenance (2 hours and 25 minutes/CEUs: 2.0)

Information for States Requiring Certification

Due to licensing requirements, some states do not require completion of the CMS course, in which case a candidate must still be able to document completion of 24 hours of continuing education (CEU) and pass the CMS exam.

Testing Options

The CMS certification exam costs $115. Candidates must submit a completed application at least 14 days in advance of their anticipated testing date.

  1. Test at a PHTA national, regional or chapter-sponsored education and testing event: Access a list of upcoming events here.

  2. Test at an accredited community college or university in your area. Additional proctoring fees may cost up to $40. Contact your local community colleges and libraries to find your nearest proctored testing center.

    Additional responsibilities if you test at a college or university:

    • Scheduling an appointment for testing.
    • Providing PHTA University with your name, mailing address and exam date.

Course Materials and Forms

Maintain Your Certification

Learn more about maintaining your status as an PHTA-certified individual and continue to enjoy the associated benefits. Find the recertification application here.

From Our Members

We market the fact that we have certified professionals on our team. It gives us a competitive advantage. We explain to customers that, when you're certified, you agree to abide by a strict code of ethics and a higher commitment to customer care. The added confidence wins business.

– Jack Manilla, CBP | Portofino Pools | Jacksonville, FL


Pool & Hot Tub Strategic Partners:

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