DWR Operations and Maintenance Apprenticeship Program Exams Released


A mechanical apprentice practices welding at DWR’s Training Center.

A mechanical apprentice practices welding at DWR’s Training Center.

Take the first step towards a career in the hydroelectric industry by applying for DWR’s Operations and Maintenance apprenticeship program. Completing the program leads to a full-time journey-level position with DWR.

DWR released four exams for the apprenticeship program: hydroelectric plant electrician; operator; mechanic; or utility craftsworker. The exams are available from June 26 to July 24, 2024.

After passing the civil service online examination with a final score of 70 percent or better, applicants are placed on the eligible list and can apply for the apprenticeship programs positions that will be available from June 26 to Aug 2, 2024. Apprentice classes are hired together, one time per year, in January.

Visit the Apprentice Program website to view exam and vacancy links for more information.

Applicants who have a high school diploma, are 18 years of age, and meet other qualifications on the exam announcement may apply for one or more exams.

The program includes in-person class instruction, hands-on-learning, home study, and supervised on-the-job training at a water conveyance facility.

 The apprenticeship program also features many benefits, including:

  • Learning new skills
  • Mentorship from experts
  • College credits
  • Great friendships

During the three to four-year-long program, located at DWR facilities across California, the apprentices assist journey-level workers in the various trades to complete some of the following tasks for the State Water Project: Exam openings for positions include:

  • Utility Craftsworker (three years) works in the repair, operation, modification, replacement, inspection, and maintenance of major civil structures and related utility equipment
  • Hydroelectric Plant (HEP) Electrician (four years) works on the installation, repair, and maintenance of wiring circuits for electrical equipment, motors, and control devices
  • Hydroelectric Plant Mechanic (four years) works on the repair, disassembly, and assembly of large and complex equipment, such as piping systems, pumps, turbines, motors, generators, compressors, and air conditioning systems
  • Hydroelectric Plant Operator (three years) operates and controls aqueduct facilities and hydroelectric generating and pumping plants

Participants in the first two years of the program receive instruction and complete most tasks under supervision. In the final years of the program, apprentices perform more complex tasks, demonstrating knowledge, skills, and abilities required on the job. Participants are continuously evaluated and must pass a series of exams to progress through the program.

After completion, graduates will receive a full-time journey-level position with DWR in their learned trade. Graduates are certified through the Department of Industrial Relations and receive a Certificate of Completion.

For more information, contact the Joint Apprenticeship Committee (JAC) Program Coordinator at (916) 820-7726 or view the apprenticeship program webpage.