Skip to Content

Water and Wastewater

Water and Wastewater Competency Model

In 2009, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) worked with its membership to identify the specific competencies required for workers in the water and wastewater industry. In collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water and the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the results of those efforts were translated into the competency model framework provided by the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) to create the first version of the model. In 2015, these organizations reconvened to begin the process of updating the model. Developed as a collaborative effort with subject matter experts from partnering organizations, the updated model was finalized in March 2016.

In 2017, the model was revised again to incorporate foundational workplace health and safety skills from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's (NIOSH) Safe • Skilled • Ready Workforce Program designed to help protect America's workforce and create safe, healthy, and productive workplaces. The updated CMC competencies were reviewed and validated by subject matter experts from AWWA. For more information, download the Summary of Changes.

American Water Works Association Logo
National Rural Water Association Logo
Rural Community Assistance Partnership Logo
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Logo
SouthWest Water Company Logo

Water Environment Federation Logo
Wyoming Rural Water Logo

Scroll down to view the industry model selected. OR Click on the left menu bar to select another model.

Download the industry model and worksheets in several formats  It is an image of png format for download button

Water and Wastewater Competency Model

Water and Wastewater Building Blocks Pyramid

<strong>1.1 Interpersonal Skills</strong> Displaying skills to work effectively with others from diverse backgrounds. <strong>1.2 Integrity</strong> Displaying strong moral principles and work ethic. <strong>1.3 Professionalism</strong> Maintaining a professional presence. <strong>1.4 Initiative</strong> Demonstrating a commitment to effective job performance by taking action on one’s own and following through to get the job done. <strong>1.5 Adaptability and Flexibility</strong> Displaying the capability to adapt to new, different, or changing requirements. <strong>1.6 Dependability and Reliability</strong> Displaying responsible behaviors at work. <strong>1.7 Lifelong Learning</strong> Demonstrating curiosity and a persistent desire for continuous learning. <strong>2.1 Reading</strong> Understanding written sentences, paragraphs, and figures in work-related documents on paper, on computers, or adaptive devices. <strong>2.2 Writing</strong> Using standard business English to compile information and prepare written documents on paper, computers, or adaptive devices. <strong>2.3 Mathematics</strong> Using mathematics to express ideas and solve problems. <strong>2.4 Science and Technology</strong> Using scientific rules and methods to express ideas and solve problems on paper, on computers, or on adaptive devices. <strong>2.5 Communication</strong> Listening, speaking, and signaling so others can understand using a variety of methods, including hearing, speech, American Sign Language, instant messaging, text-to-speech devices, etc. <strong>2.6 Critical and Analytical Thinking</strong> Using logical thought processes to analyze information and draw conclusions. <strong>2.7 Computer Skills</strong> Using information technology and related applications, including adaptive devices and software, to convey and retrieve information. <strong>3.1 Teamwork</strong> Working cooperatively with others to complete work assignments. <strong>3.2 Customer Focus</strong> Efficiently and effectively addressing the needs of clients. <strong>3.3 Planning and Organizing</strong> Planning and prioritizing work to manage time effectively and accomplish assigned tasks. <strong>3.4 Creative Thinking</strong> Generating innovative and creative solutions. <strong>3.5 Problem Solving and Decision Making</strong> Generating, evaluating, and implementing solutions to problems. <strong>3.6 Working with Tools and Technology</strong> Selecting, using, and maintaining tools and technology, including adaptive tools and new technology, to facilitate work activity. <strong>3.7 Scheduling and Coordinating</strong> Making arrangements that fulfill all requirements as efficiently and economically as possible. <strong>3.8 Checking, Examining, and Recording</strong> Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/digital format, including adaptive devices and software. <strong>3.9 Business Fundamentals</strong> Using information on basic business principles, trends, and economics. <strong>4.1 Industry Principles and Concepts</strong> Knowledge of the basic and emerging principles of the water and wastewater industry. <strong>4.2 Quality Control and Continuous Improvement</strong> Demonstrate the ability to design, analyze, and effectively use systems, components, and methods within a framework of quality and continuous improvement. <strong>4.3 Troubleshooting</strong> Diagnose and correct abnormalities and malfunctions in equipment and production processes. <strong>4.4 Environmental Laws and Regulations</strong> Compliance with federal, state, tribal, territorial, and local environmental laws and regulations that impact the utility industry. <strong>4.5 Safety Awareness</strong> Compliance with the procedures necessary to ensure a safe work environment. <strong>5.1 Facilities Operations and Maintenance</strong> Treatment of water and wastewater. <strong>5.2 Field Operations</strong> Operation and maintenance of water/wastewater system infrastructure. <strong>5.3 Public Health and Environmental Protection</strong> Adherence to federal, state, tribal, territorial, and local laws and regulations and institution of practices that protect public health and the environment. <strong>5.4 Safety and Security</strong> Ensures safety of the public, employees, the facilities, and the system infrastructure. Click here to search for O*NET Occupational Competencies Profiles