Society of Wetland Scientists Professional Certification ProgramSociety of Wetland Scientists Professional Certification ProgramSociety of Wetland Scientists
Professional Certification Program

Certification Information

Overview of Program
Mission & Vision
Strategic Plan (PDF)
Board of Directors
Standing Rules
Renewal Process

Wetland Scientist

Application Forms
Body of Knowledge
Code of Ethics
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Global Champions
Professional Short Courses

Annual Maintenance Fee
Online Ethics Course
PWS Seal Order Form
PWS Patch Order Form
Store My Renewal Documents
Update My Profile
Search for a Certified
Professional Wetland Scientist
Last Name
Service County
Service State


Application - Board of Directors
Application - Standing Committee
Application - Student Board Rep
Connect Session Webinars
COVID-19 Resources
Ethics Resources
Event Calendar
Global Representation
Informational Flyers
Online Store
PWS Photo Gallery
PWS Videos
SWSPCP Logo Use Guidelines
SWSPCP Jobs List
SWS Jobs List

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Overview of Program

The Society of Wetland Scientists was formed to further non-profit scientific and educational objectives related to wetland science. Encouraging and strengthening professional standards in all activities related to wetland science is consistent with these objectives. The Society developed a program for certification of wetland science training and experience as a separate not-for-profit corporation, The SWS Professional Certification Program, Inc., to meet the needs of professional ecologists, hydrologists, soil scientists, educators, agency professionals, consultants, and others who practice wetland science. This program is aimed at serving the public's need to identify qualified individuals to assess and manage wetland resources around the world.

Although the Society of Wetland Scientists Professional Certification Program includes among its members representatives of many local, state, provincial, and federal agencies, certification is not required by any agency and has no official or legal standing. Certification signifies that the academic and work experience of a Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS) meets the standards expected by his or her peers of a practicing wetland professional and provides acknowledgment to his or her peers of adherence to standards of professional ethics with regard to the conduct and practice of wetland science. Certification will enhance recognition of wetland science within other disciplines, especially in multi-disciplinary work environments.

Wetland Professional in Training (WPIT) is considered a preliminary step for persons who meet the basic educational requirements but not the experience requirements.  Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS) certification is awarded for those meeting both educational and experience requirements.

Minimum degree requirements for WPIT and PWS are the BA or BS degrees, with course distribution of 15 semester hours each in biological and physical sciences and 6 hours in quantitative areas. For certification as a PWS, an additional 15 semester hours in wetland-related courses are required. In addition to comprehensive training in wetland science, a PWS is expected to have professional experience of at least 5 years as a wetland scientist, demonstrating the application of current technical knowledge dealing with wetland resources and activities.

At the current time, there are no other international wetland-specific certification programs, although some countries and local government regions have individual certification programs. The Society of Wetland Scientists Professional Certification Program is broad in scope and is intended to provide international recognition as a practicing professional in wetland science. The Society of Wetland Scientists Professional Certification Program should complement and greatly augment similar national, federal, state, provincial, and local programs.

What is a PWS or WPIT?
Promotional flyers are available on this website. English - Espanol - Chinese (PDF)

Application forms are available on this website. Further information and application materials for Professional Wetland Scientist Certification may also be obtained from:

Society of Wetland Scientists
Professional Certification Program

2800 W. Higgins Rd. Suite 440
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
Toll Free: 877.226.9902
Fax: 847.885.8393

Program Manager
Adrianna Borczyk
Kindly contact me through Email.


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Society of Wetland Scientists Professional Certification Program
Last Updated 1/11/21