The Public Works Professional-Management certification recognizes individuals in the public works field who have the knowledge and experience to manage organizations in a public works department.

It is for public works managers, superintendents and supervisors ready for management positions.

CPWP-M Certification Spotlight On:

Ron Simpson, CPWP-M, Public Works Manager, City of Arroyo Grande, California

“I think it shows your organization and residents that you are committed to continual education and training which can be a benefit to everyone.”

Step 1: Eligibility and Verification

Eligibility and Verification Requirements

  • Completion of one of the following education and work experience pathways:
    • High school graduation or equivalent and seven years public works experience, with a minimum of three years supervisory experience in public works
    • Associate's degree or trade school certificate with equivalent credit hours and five years of public works experience*, with a minimum of three years supervisory experience in public works
    • Bachelor’s degree or higher and three years of public works experience*, with a minimum of three years supervisory experience in public works
    • Completion of the Certified Public Works Professional-Supervision, with a minimum of three years supervisory experience in public works
  • Cover letter explaining why the individual is seeking the certification
  • Complete resume/description of relevant public works supervisory experience
  • Agreement in writing to adhere to the APWA Standards of Professional Conduct

*Completion of an APWA Nationally Approved Public Works Institute may be used to substitute for two years of public works experience. It may not be substituted for the required three years supervisory experience.

Eligibility Application Fee

Eligibility Application Form

Complete the Eligibility Application and save the PDF document. Email the completed digital version to certification@apwa.org.

NOTE: This form utilizes a tool for electronic signatures. If you do not have a digital signature file set up or have forgotten the password for your digital signature file, you can select the "new ID" option, then click on "A new digital ID I want to create now" and on next screen select "New PKCS#12 digital ID file," then fill in the applicable fields (can skip organization unit and organization name if desired) and click "set up."

APWA Verification

  • Applications are approved within 14 business days of receipt
  • Eligibility must be approved 30 days prior to the scheduled exam
  • Candidates have two years to sit for the examination

Step 2: Taking the Exam


Once an individual is found eligible, APWA shall assess the extent to which the individual is familiar with the Public Works Body of Knowledge and the extent to which the individual’s training and experience have prepared him/her to assume supervisory responsibilities. The assessment is based on successful completion of a multiple-choice examination developed for APWA based on a job analysis of public works supervisors.

Exams are computer-based and can be proctored at the candidate's place of employment or a testing center. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions based on the CPWP-M Content Outline.

Preparation for the exam includes:

  • CPWP-M Content Outline
  • CPWP-M Recommending Reading List
Exam Fee: $500 USD
  • Place of employment administration: $500 USD
  • Testing Center administration: $500 USD + Testing center fees
  • Record & Review Proctoring: $500 USD

For questions about exam administration, review the Certification Exam FAQs.

CPWP-M Content Outline
CPWP-M Preparation Resources

Exam Application

Select your desired exam date (must fall within one of the testing blocks listed on the 2023 Exam Schedule, complete the Exam Application and email to certification@apwa.org or mail to APWA, Attention: Certification, 1200 Main Street, Suite 1400 Kansas City, MO 64105 at least 30 days prior to your preferred exam date.

2023 Exam Dates

All exam applications must be received at least 30 days prior to the preferred testing date.

Step 3: Navigating Certification & Re-certification

Congratulations! Earning your CPWP-M is a significant achievement.

Share Your Success

  • Add your credential and the CPWP-M logo to your name and signature on email, business cards, social media, and your LinkedIn profile
  • Share your accomplishment on social media using the following hashtags:
    • #GetCertified
    • #APWACertification
    • #RecertifyToday
  • Send a press release
  • Write an article or record a testimonial – Contact the Certification Team to learn more.

Network With Your Peers

Get Recertified

Your certification is valid for 5 years. To maintain your certification, you must complete a minimum of 100 credits earned through a combination of continuing education and contributions to the profession. Here are just a few suggestions:

Useful Forms

  • Track your progress: Recertification Tracking Sheet 
  • Content Areas must link back: CPWP-M Content Outline 
  • Recertification Guidelines 

Recertification Application Fee

Questions About the Certification Programs?

Reach out to the Certification team at certification@apwa.org or by phone at 800-848-2792.