Water industry apprenticeship

The Water Industry apprenticeship covers a range of occupations within the water industry.

Every day, the UK water industry collects, treats and supplies more than 16 billion litres of water to domestic and commercial customers. It’s a large and vital industry that deals with more than just networks of mains and sewers – it plays an important role in the environment too.

Thousands of people work to ensure water is drinkable and safe. Rain is collected from rivers, underground and reservoirs, then processed at treatment works and piped to homes and businesses. Once used, it is released into waste systems, with around 10 billion litres per day treated at works. This makes it safe to return to our environment, into rivers and the sea. By-products from the waste water treatment process are a source of renewable energy.

As an apprentice, you could help to manage the water network from an office or maintain pipes outside. In the mainlaying pathway, you could install and maintain the pipes that make up the network; as a servicelayer, you could look after the pipes that connect customers to the main. You could be a plant operator, supporting the processes at the treatment plant; or a distribution technician, operating the network.

There is real scope for progression on this apprenticeship and many managers began their careers as apprentices. On the Advanced Level apprenticeship, you will probably take on a more supervisory role, and will learn how to work with chemicals, control leaks and diagnose faults. At Higher level your role could be at a managerial level, perhaps taking responsibility for the daily operations of the water or sewerage network or managing leakage control activities on the water distribution network. Alternatively you could work to develop asset management strategies for the water industry or design computer models for the operation of water and sewerage networks.


Intermediate (Level 2), Advanced (Level 3), Higher (Level 4)

Starting salary (once qualified):


Job roles:

Intermediate level – Distribution technician, Mainlayer, Servicelayer

Advanced level – Water treatment, Mains and services supervisor

Higher level – Network manager, Leakage manager, Asset engineer, Network modeller, Design technician, Project engineer

Issuing Authority:

Energy & Utility Skills – www.euskills.co.uk