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CST for Pool Technicians



PHTA CST Manual and Logo


Become a Certified Pool & Spa Service TechnicianSM 

After completing this pool technician certification course, you will be able to: 

  • Explain common problems with pool finishes and how to repair them 

  • Keep pools running more efficiently with a better understanding of circulation, filtration, hydraulics and electricity 

  • Grow your practical knowledge and gain troubleshooting skills and resources 

  • Distinguish yourself as an experienced and knowledgeable service technician 


Who Should Apply? 

Prerequisites include: 

  • 1–2 years of industry experience 

  • 24 hours of continuing education credit 

  • Pass 100-question, open book, multiple-choice exam 



The CSTSM certification exam costs $115. 


Test Locations 

All PHTASM certification exams are proctored and can be administered at a PHTASM sanctioned educational event where testing is scheduled or through an authorized testing center. Candidates must submit a completed application at least 14 days in advance of their testing date. 


To test at a PHTASM national, regional or chapter-sponsored education and testing event: Access a list of upcoming events here. 


To test at a local PSI center: View details online


To test at a community college or university in your area: Proctored exams must be taken at an accredited college or university. You might need to pay an additional exam proctor fee, which could be up to $40. If you test at a college or university, you are responsible for: 

  • Scheduling an appointment for testing. 

  • Submitting the application at least two weeks before your exam date to make sure you receive test materials in time. 

  • Providing PHTA University with your name, mailing address and exam date. 


PHTASM does not maintain a list of testing centers. We rely on local community colleges and libraries that offer their proctoring services to the general public. 


Brand-new Online Format for the CSTSM Course 

This new self-paced online course format is interactive and engaging with videos, quizzes and interactive exercises. You have the option to purchase the full course or a specific module.


Learn more



Course Materials and Forms 

         You must submit a completed application at least two weeks before your testing date. 

         If you didn’t pass the exam, you can schedule a retest within a year of your testing date without needing to take the course again. 

         Before ordering, check with PHTA University to see if the course includes the materials. 

         Before ordering, check with PHTA University to see if the course includes the materials. 


Find many of the answers to your certification questions in our Certification Policy Handbook. 


Information for States Requiring Certification 

Due to licensing requirements, an exemption for the CSTSM course, known as the CSTSM Challenge Exam, is available for pool and spa technicians in states requiring certification. 


Download the CSTSM Challenge Exam application 



Maintain Your Certification 

Learn more about maintaining your status as an PHTASM-certified individual and continue to enjoy the associated benefits. 


From Our Members 

Our industry has changed so much over the last five or 10 years. If you're not constantly getting education, reading and learning more, you won't know the technology. If you want to be a professional, you have to have education. 

– Noel Conley, CSPSM, CSTSMMiracle Pool Service, Garland, TX