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Delaware Rural Water Association Apprenticeship Program



Did You Know?

It takes more than 380,000 highly skilled Water and Wastewater Professionals to ensure the public supply of safe drinking water and to protect our lakes, streams and groundwater.  If there are water and wastewater services in your community, state laws require that there must be Certified Operators in responsible charge of those facilities.  This means that even in the most rural of communities, job opportunities exist in the water and wastewater industry.

A Registered Apprenticeship is an industry-driven, high-quality career pathway where employers can develop and prepare their future workforce, and individuals can obtain paid work experience, receive progressive wage increases, classroom instruction, and a portable, nationally-recognized credential.


About The DRWA Apprenticeship Program –

At Delaware Rural Water Association (DRWA), we are highly aware of the need for skilled Water and Wastewater System Operators and Specialists.  Our Apprenticeship Program was registered by Delaware’s Department of Labor in May 2019 with our first graduating class of apprentices completing the program in the Spring of 2021.  With little to no cost, apprentices will attend a 2-year training program made up of classroom technical instruction and on-the-job training, providing Apprentices the tools necessary to become successful Operations Specialists in their communities.  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 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.


Why Should You Become A Water Or Wastewater Apprentice?

Over the next decade, the water sector is expected to lose between 30-50 percent of its workforce to retirement.  Many of these Water Professionals have worked at the same utility for the majority of their careers and they will depart with decades of valuable institutional knowledge.  Furthermore, advancements in water treatment and supply technology have increased the skills and training required of this workforce. This program was created as a direct response to our need to transfer the knowledge of Water and Wastewater Professionals to the next generations before their retirement.  Our industry must address the need to train the next generation of skilled workers in order to protect and provide what is arguably the most valuable resource that is essential to all life – clean water 


Benefits Of Apprenticeship –

Earn & Learn:  From their first day of work, Apprentices receive a paycheck that is guaranteed to increase as their training progresses.  Apprentices also complete a combination of job-related instruction and hands-on training at the job site leading to a nationally-recognized, portable credential.

Hands-On Career Training: Apprentices receive practical on-the-job training resulting in improved skills and competencies as well as the potential to earn college credit toward an Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree.

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 graduates from a career training program, he or she earns a certified portable credential accepted by industries and employers across the nation.

Community Impact:  Apprenticeship offers an opportunity for the Apprentice to make a difference in their own communities.  They will be providing clean water to their family & friends.  This is surely something to take pride in! 


Help us preserve our most valuable resource.  For more information contact us at (302) 424-3792 or






National Rural Water Association is introducing the Rural Water Partner Pledge to our rural water workforce partners.  NRWA asks that you join us by signing the pledge below, in a national effort and campaign that focuses on the positive benefits of building a more diverse workforce.  The Pledge is a voluntary commitment to support diversity, equality, inclusion, and accessibility policies and practices in apprenticeship efforts.  The Rural Water Partner Pledge can be found on the NRWA website link listed below:

Non-Discrimination Statement

Delaware Rural Water Association (DRWA) will not discriminate against apprenticeship applicants or apprentices based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), sexual orientation, genetic information, or because they are an individual with a disability or a person 40 years old or older. Delaware Rural Water Association (DRWA) will take affirmative action to provide equal opportunity in apprenticeship and will operate the apprenticeship program as required under Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 30.                                                                                                                                                                                                               




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The Association Partner

The Association Partner provides high-value advertising opportunities for all DRWA members.