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Density Control Training

Density Control Training Course and Certification

This four-day course is designed for technicians and their supervisors who have responsibility for the density control on soil subgrade and aggregate bases. The course introduces the theory of compaction on various materials, and provides training using MDOT density control tests, procedures and documentation.

Who should attend

The Michigan Department of Transportation regulations require that all public or private entities involved in road construction projects on the National Highway System of roads which are not QC/QA projects shall have a “Certified Density Technician” conducting Density testing of the materials used on that system, of roads.

Application requirements

The Michigan Certified Density Technician program is for field personnel engaged in acceptance testing for local government agencies. Basic math skills in the use of fractions, decimals, ratios, and percentages are also required.


The Board of Examiners shall administer the examination for certification. The examination is composed of two parts:

Part 1 - Written examination

The written exam is an open book exam that tests for a basic knowledge of the
various types of soil, density requirements aggregate base, and bituminous materials.

Part 2 - Practical examination

The practical exam is monitored for competency in completion of the Michigan Cone, T-99, T-180, Speedy, and Troxler gauge.

Applicants failing any part of the exam will be allowed to retake that portion of the exam, written or practical. However, if an applicant fails a second time, the entire course will need to be repeated. Options for retaking exams will be explained at the notification of failure. All retests must be completed within thirty days and participants will be responsible to pay $150.00 for a written retest and $250.00 for a practical retest.

Density Control Training Course and Certification

The technician training course is a three-day course followed by the certification test on the fourth day. This course is designed to give candidates the skills and knowledge necessary to pass the Density Control Technician Test. The course is composed of both classroom and laboratory instruction. Students can expect homework assignments.

  • Course Topics include:
  • Location of random test site
  • MDOT Specifications concerning current Density requirements
  • Relevant MTM’s and ASTM’s such as Speedy, Troxler 34XX, Michigan Cone Test, One Point T-99 Test, and Michigan Modified T-180 Test
  • Documentation requirements

    Web Link to MDOT Density Control Manual and Publications

To register for Density, click here.

Density Control Recertification Course

Recertification is required every three years or every five years depending on the duration of your certification. It is the responsibility of the practicing technician to maintain an active certification. For recertification, the technician must pass both a written and practical examination similar in format to the original certification tests. Density Control Technicians with a three-year certification are required to take the entire four-day course (described above) to receive a five-year certification. Density Control Technicians with a three-year certification taking the two-day re-certification course will receive a three-year certification NOT a five-year certification.

The refresher course includes a one day workshop followed on the second day by the recertification written and practical examination. The refresher course gives technicians an opportunity to review the certification test requirements and to be provided with updated MDOT regulations. The recertification course does not allow sufficient time for technicians to practice test methods before the practical exam. Technicians that need additional time to practice before the practical exam should enroll in the entire four-day training course.