Regional water and wastewater agencies volunteer to participate in the water and wastewater internship program. Agencies appoint a mentor to work with the interns and evaluate the interns’ performance at the end of each eight-week session. Participating agencies also play a role in career days and job fairs at regional high schools and colleges.
The goal of the internship program is to familiarize and train potential entry-level job candidates for positions in the San Diego region. The program provides local high school and college students with education, on-the-job training, and exposure to career opportunities. Completion of the program provides students with the necessary knowledge and training to apply for state water and wastewater certification exams.
Approximately 10-15 college students are selected each year to rotate through four different career experience modules; System Maintenance, System Operations, Water Treatment and Wastewater Treatment, over the course of 33 weeks. Interns are paid $11 an hour, and work a maximum of 27 hours per week, beginning with the fall semester. Interns are concurrently enrolled in water and/or wastewater technology courses at Palomar College or Cuyamaca College.
Roles & Responsibilities
The San Diego Region Water and Wastewater Internship Program is a partnership with local water and wastewater agencies and community colleges. Without this strategic partnership, the program could not provide the education and on-the-job experience that equips interns for career opportunities in water and wastewater technology.
Water Authority & Internship Program Committee
The San Diego County Water Authority and the Internship Program Committee provide overall program management including:
- Program development
- Communication and coordination between colleges and internship providers
- Scheduling and placement of interns
- Initial one day program orientation and general safety
- Annual evaluation of the internship program
- Disciplinary actions and intern removal from program if necessary
Water and Wastewater Agencies
Water and wastewater agencies provide the internship opportunities, sign the Host Agency Agreement,also complete a Host Agency Module Schedule and have the following responsibilities:
- Provide workers' compensation insurance for interns
- Interview and select interns as members of the Intern Selection Committee
- Provide qualified mentors for interns over an eight week period
- Provide site-specific safety training and orientation
- Provide training and experience in accordance with the internship career module objectives
- Pay student interns at rate of $11/hour
- Evaluate interns and forward to Internship Program Committee at end of eight week term
- Recommend intern for next rotation or program graduation
Community colleges provide student guidance and are responsible for:
How to Become Involved
If you belong to a water or wastewater agency in the San Diego area that is not participating in this program, please contact,San Diego County Water Authority Human Resources at 858/522-6660.