blue Ford truck used for smoke school program

Smoke School: Visible Emissions Training Program

Penn State Facilities Engineering Institute's (PSFEI) Visible Emissions Training Program, also known as Smoke School, offers opacity training for people who want to become certified “smoke readers.” Smoke School presents technical information on opacity, but does not require formal education in science, engineering, or technology. Participants in the program are trained to visually read the opacity of industrial plumes and conduct tests in accordance with EPA Method 9. Participants who complete smoke school training and pass the field test receive certification as an individual who has become familiar with Title V (Title 5) regulations and enforcement practices.

Program Updates for 2021

Spring training programs for initial certification and recertification are available. The classroom portion of initial certification will take place via Zoom. A Zoom link will be sent to registrants prior to the day of the class.

Field testing for both initial certification and recertification will be held in person. 

View field testing locations

During registration, all registrants will choose a field testing session. Registrants who need initial certification will also choose a Zoom classroom session.

COVID-19 information: To help promote personal health and safety, Penn State is requiring all members of the campus community — students, faculty, staff and visitors — to follow a few, simple actions.

Smoke School Offers Recertification Training

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires recertification in opacity training every six months. Those who want to maintain their Title V certification through Penn State should attend both fall and spring smoke school programs.

Industry Needs Title V–Certified Smoke Readers

Certified smoke readers are highly sought by industries that are subject to inspection and need to comply with Title V regulations.

About Smoke School

The opacity of plumes from industrial processes is subject to regulation by state departments of environmental protection. Compliance with these regulations is generally checked visually by certified individuals.

This program is devoted to the interests of industry and its problems complying with state regulations. In dealing with state regulations and personnel, it is to industry’s advantage to employ proficient, certified individuals who are familiar with regulations and enforcement practices. Employees should also be knowledgeable about limitations of visual measurement and should be familiar with methods used to control opacity.

This program will aid your company in meeting the requirements for Title V certification. The objectives of this program are to explain why plumes have opacity and to train people to measure opacity visually and conduct certification tests in accordance with EPA Method 9. Certificates will be issued to participants who pass the certification test.

Gain or maintain "smoke reader" certifications with Penn State's proven Visible Emissions Training Program -- Smoke School.

Do you or any of your employees need to read the opacity of industrial plumes and conduct certification tests in accordance with EPA Method 9? If so, this program is for you. 

It offers: 

  • State-of-the-art technology
  • Title 5 certification
  • More than 40 years of experience in visible emissions training
  • Fall and Spring training dates to coincide with the six-month recertification schedule

Penn State Facilities Engineering Institute (PSFEI) has over 67 years of experience supporting the facility needs of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to include:

  • Facilities assessments
  • O&M support
  • Project review
  • Training
  • Energy procurement
  • Applied research


The Penn State Facilities Engineering Institute (PSFEI) provides education programs, energy services, engineering services, and facility condition assessments to Pennsylvania state agencies, the federal government, and nonprofit organizations. The organization aims to advance its customers’ facilities engineering objectives through applied research, education, and innovation.

Penn State Facilities Engineering Institute

Marion Place, Suite 414

135 East Nittany Avenue

State College, PA 16801

Phone: 814-865-7615

Fax: 814-863-7835