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Apprenticeship Program

NJWA Water and Wastewater Systems Operations Apprenticeship Program

Licensed operators are imperative for communities to have access to safe drinking water and to ensure wastewater is properly treated to protect our rivers, streams, and groundwater. Without these highly trained individuals, essential lifeline services would fail. It takes more than 380,000 highly skilled water and wastewater personnel nationally, and more than 3300 in New Jersey to ensure the operation and maintenance of these essential services.

Advancements in water treatment and supply technology have increased the skills and training required of this workforce. Water professionals are responsible for meeting stringent regulatory standards, replacing aging infrastructure, recruiting, and training new operations specialists, and responding to and recovering from natural disasters, and other emergency incidents.

Download Apprenticeship Program (Applicant Brochure) PDF

Download Apprenticeship Program (Employer Brochure) PDF

Where is our industry heading?

In addition to increasing professional demands, utilities will soon be forced to replace many of their most experienced employees. During this decade, the water industry is expected to lose upwards of 50 percent of the licensed operator workforce due to retirements. Many of these retiring employees have worked at the same utility for most of their careers, and they will depart with decades of valuable institutional knowledge.

Water and wastewater utilities provide opportunities for a respected professional career in an important field. Those seeking to develop the skills necessary to enter the profession should consider the NJWA Apprenticeship Program.

For more information on the program please access the links provided below.

Application materials can be obtained either through the links provided below, the NJWA website or by emailing Matt Maffei  (include Apprenticeship in subject heading), writing to NJWA, 505 US Highway 9, Lanoka Harbor, NJ 08734 or calling 609-242-7111. 

Matthew Maffei
NJWA Apprenticeship Coordinator
Phone: 609-242-7111

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Why Select The NJWA Apprenticeship Program?
Apprenticeship Program Benefits - Employers

Apprentice Benefits - Employers

  • Expand universe of potential new employees/Reduced recruitment costs – NJWA will outreach to various employment agencies, high schools, colleges and trade schools to help identify apprentice candidates. Helps reduce recruitment costs and provides a stable, reliable source of employees.
  • Develop highly-skilled employees – The NJWA apprenticeship program provides a systematic approach to training that ensures employees are trained and certified to produce at the highest skill levels required for the occupation.
  • Increase productivity – Highly trained employees improve operations.
  • Customized training – Meeting industry standards and tailored to the specific needs of the employer, resulting in highly-skilled employees.
  • Increased knowledge - Transfer knowledge through on-the-job learning from an experienced mentor, combined with education courses to support work-based learning.
  • Enhanced employee retention - 91% of apprentices that complete an apprenticeship are still employed nine months later.
  • A safer workplace - May reduce worker compensation costs, due to the program‘s emphasis on safety training.

Download Employer Documents for Apprenticeship

NJWA Apprenticeship USDOL Approved Standards (PDF)
NJWA Apprenticeship Application For Certification of Completion of Apprenticeship (PDF)
Qualifications and Selection Procedures (Appendix D) (PDF)
Employer Acceptance Agreement (Appendix E) (PDF)
NJWA Apprenticeship Program Content - Water Treatment (PDF)
NJWA Apprenticeship Program Content - Waste Water Treatment (PDF)

Apprenticeship Program Benefits - Workers

  • Paid On-the-Job Training - Apprentices receive a paycheck that is guaranteed to increase as their training progresses and established milestones are successfully completed.
  • Hands-on career training - Apprentices receive practical on-the-job training to enable them to meet the challenges of operating water and wastewater systems.
  • An education - Apprentices also receive related technical instruction to supplement their on-the-job training to further improve skills and competences.
  • A career - Once the apprenticeship is complete, workers are on their way to a successful long-term career with a competitive salary and little or no educational debt.
  • National credential: When an apprentice successfully completes the apprenticeship program, he or she earns a certified portable credential accepted across the U.S.
  • Licensing – The NJWA apprenticeship program provides the necessary elements to qualify those satisfactorily completing the program to take the NJDEP licensed operator examination.

Download Documents for Apprenticeship

NJWA Apprenticeship Guidance Overview (PDF) 
NJWA Apprenticeship Application Forms (PDF) 
NJWA Apprenticeship Program Content - Water Treatment (PDF) 
NJWA Apprenticeship Program Content - Waste Water Treatment (PDF)