National Rural Water Association

Apprenticeship Program

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The Need for Apprentices

It takes more than 380,000 highly skilled water and wastewater personnel to ensure the public supply of safe drinking water and to protect our lakes, streams and groundwater. Advancements in water treatment and supply technology have increased the skills and training required of this workforce. Water professionals are ultimately responsible for meeting stringent regulatory standards, replacing aging infrastructure, recruiting and training new operations specialists, and responding to and recovering from disasters.

In addition to increasing professional demands, utilities will soon be forced to replace many of their most experienced employees. Over the next decade, the water sector is expected to lose between 30 and 50 percent of the workforce to retirement. Many of these employees have worked at the same utility for the majority of their careers, and they will depart with decades of valuable institutional knowledge.

About the NRWA Apprenticeship Program

The NRWA Apprenticeship Program has provided the guidelines to states that lays a firm foundation for the apprentices to thrive upon completion. With little to no-cost, apprentices will attend an approximate 2-year training program through a State Association. From classroom instruction and on-the-job training, apprentices are provided the tools necessary to be a successful operation specialist in your community. During the apprenticeship program, apprentices will earn-while-they-learn with knowledgeable, passionate people who strive to deliver clean drinking water to their community and treat wastewater before returning it to the environment. This program starts as a job and emerges as a solid and secure career as either a water operations specialist or wastewater operations specialist.

More Information

Are you ready to apply for an apprenticeship opportunity? Use this website to find more information, apply, or log in to the tracking system.