WaterWorkforce Academy

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WaterWorkforce Academy

Certificate Program

Program Overview

The five-week Water Operator Workforce Ready Certificate Program was developed by WaterWorkforce in collaboration with Cal Poly Pomona College of Professional and Global Education (CPGE). The Program — taught onsite at the Cal Poly CPGE campus in Pomona — prepares students for entry-level water/wastewater operator positions and WaterWorkforce apprenticeship program. Dedicated students will attain comprehensive water systems knowledge, work-ready skills, and industry-recognized certifications. Additionally, students will have job placement opportunities in the water and wastewater industries. Entry-level wage is $22.50-$27.00 per hour and the average wage full-time in California is $57,669 per year.

Participants will gain a thorough understanding of essential industry skills including:

  • System operations
  • Tools and equipment
  • Safety procedures
  • Installation and repairs
  • Utility fundamentals
  • Water math
  • National Incident Management System (NIMS) principles
  • Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) operations
  • Work readiness and professional skills (soft skills)
engineers conducting a quality of water test

Certifications & CEUs

Students who successfully complete the program will be issued Certificates of Completion by Cal Poly Pomona CPGE and WaterWorkforce (80 contract hours) and receive 8.0 continuing education units.

Additionally, during the program, students will submit their application to State Water Resource Control Board (SWRCB) to take the Water Distribution Operator 1 or 2 Exam and/or Water Treatment Operator 1 or 2 Exam. Students should receive an accepted application letter and a testing date issued from the state at the completion of the 5-week course.

apprenticeship water treatment

Curriculum Overview

Utility Core Functions (Entry Level) – 80 hrs

curriculum table

> Program Start Date: September 2024

Basic eligibility requirements

  • High School Diploma
  • 1-2 water or wastewater courses and/or any experience in water/wastewater operations.
  • Pass background check and drug test.


This comprehensive five-week training program is being fully funded by Water Workforce Academy and Transition U, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting veterans.

Who should apply?

The ideal program candidates will meet the basic eligibility requirements and any of the follow criteria:

  • Those who have water quality or plumbing experience.
  • Those who have taken a water and/or wastewater course.
  • Those who have worked, volunteered or interned in the water industry.
  • Military personnel who have worked in water/wastewater or hydraulics.

“We feel that this certificate program is essential to develop a pipeline of trained candidates who are prepared for careers in the field. The boot-camp accelerates the career readiness of participants for entry-level positions as water systems operation specialists and wastewater treatment plant operators.”

Bret Kadel, CEO, WaterWorkforce

Certificate Program Details

Take the First Step!

  1. Attend Mandatory Information Session
  2. Submit Application – sent via email after signing up for info session
  3. Submit resume and high school or college transcripts (unofficial transcripts accepted)
  4. Interview with WaterWorkforce Staff Member
  5. Submit Right to Work Documentation & Selective Service Letter (males, if applicable)
  6. Receive Acceptance Letter (sent via email) No longer accepting applications
  7. Begin the Training Program!
    Program start date: September 2024
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WaterWorkforce Academy
Questions? Please contact:

Myranda Kelly
Administrative Coordinator
Phone: 840-977-8649
Email: myrandak@waterworkforce.com

Sign up for an Info Session Today!

Participating in the certificate program starts with showing up to a free online information session. Sign up for a date and time that works for you.

Select the information session date / time that works best for you.

Are you a veteran?
Let us know if you have any previous experience in water management or why you're interested in this certificate program. Or feel free to ask questions.
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