Kentucky Rural Water Association (KRWA) has two apprenticeship programs that started in the fall of 2019. This exciting new venture is in response to the growing demand for skilled operators as more and more operators are reaching retirement age. Both the water and wastewater operations specialist programs will be two years long. Applications will be accepted year-round; therefore, an apprentice can enter the program at any point.

The apprenticeship program is superior to traditional “on-the-job-training” by supplementing experience with structured educational goals. The students receive additional mentoring throughout the two-year program where their progress is tracked and benchmarked. The combination of experience coupled with a planned education curriculum accelerates the apprentice to fill operator positions at all levels of system classification. The apprenticeship program will create another pipeline to replace Kentucky’s aging workforce.

Employer Responsibilities & Benefits

  • Acts as employer sponsor.
  • An employer participation agreement must be sent to KRWA for approval.
  • Provide onsite supervision for the On the Job Learning (OJL) portion of the program.
  • Maintain employment and OJL records.
  • The employer is responsible for paying the apprentice’s wages and applicable training fees.
  • Eligible for salary assistance with one or more apprentices registered.

Who Can Apply?

Applicants must comply with the following criteria:

  • Applicants must be currently employed by a water or wastewater system.
  • 18 years old or older.
  • Have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Physically capable to perform the essential functions of the apprenticeship program.
  • Apprentices will be required to take and pass drug screening.
  • Apprentices must pass a background check (pursuant to federal guidance for employees of a water system).
  • Applicants must be to able attend all formal trainings.

The term of the Apprenticeship is two (2) years with an On the Job Learning (OJL) attainment of approximately 4,000 hours, supplemented by a recommended 288 hours of related instruction. The curriculums are designed to enhance and prepare the apprentice to be fully qualified in multiple aspects of water and wastewater operations.

Apprentices have the option to take classes from a variety of sources including KRWA, online, colleges, and others. All classes must be approved by the KRWA Apprenticeship Training Committee before receiving credit.

Are you interested as an employer or water operator?

To start the enrollment process, please call our office (270) 843-2291 or email for more information.

Non-Discrimination Statement

KRWA Registered Apprenticeship Program 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.  The sponsor 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.

KRWA Apprenticeship Partners