Apprenticeship Program

Man welding

Mechanical apprentice practices welding at the DWR Operations and Maintenance Training Center. DWR/2016.

DWR offers a paid apprenticeship program that can lead to a fulfilling and lucrative career in the hydroelectric industry. The program combines hands-on-learning, classroom study, and home study with supervised on-the-job training. 

The program takes three to four years to complete, depending on your trade specialization. Participants progress through the program without having to wait for civil service tests or to search for vacant civil service positions. After participants have successfully completed the program, they become certified as a journey person and eligible for full time employment with DWR. 


Apprenticeship Program Qualifications

Applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a high school diploma or educational equivalent
  • Successfully complete the DWR apprentice civil service examination

Desirable qualifications: 

  • Knowledge of basic arithmetic and ability to grasp, understand, and perform mathematical computations 
  • Demonstrate an ability to work with hand tools and power tools
  • Demonstrate an ability to learn and safely perform unskilled or semiskilled work in a maintenance or technical occupation
  • Ability to read and comprehend written instructions and procedures, and to listen and follow verbal instructions
  • Ability to read independently at a high school level to complete reading assignments involving concepts of electrical and mechanical equipment, operations, and maintenance 

The Apprenticeship Program Exam

Prior to being accepted as an apprentice, candidates must pass a DWR apprenticeship exam, given in the spring of each year. This exam includes a written section that covers math (fractions, ratios, percentages, square roots, and algebra), reading and comprehension, and mechanical aptitude. Candidates who do not pass the exam may retake it the following year. 


Contact Us

Joint Apprenticeship Committee Secretary
(916) 653-9436

Training Center Supervisor
(661) 858-5652