The decentralized wastewater sector encompasses thousands of well-paying jobs that contribute to healthy communities, clean environments, and strong economies. However, the sector is currently experiencing a shortage of qualified workers to design, install, maintain, and inspect these systems. There are many reasons for this shortage, including the high number of existing systems that require routine maintenance, an increase in the number of systems installed annually, and an aging decentralized workforce that is expected to retire in high numbers over the next several years. These factors make the need to recruit and train an adequate workforce more critical now than ever.
EPA issued three reports focusing on creating a sustainable decentralized wastewater workforce.
- Pipeline to a Sustainable Workforce: Decentralized/Onsite Wastewater Occupations
This report provides a foundational understanding of the career pathways and job clusters in the decentralized industry. It expands on occupational characteristics, including growth projections, and basic education and training requirements of occupations in the industry. It outlines challenges that have led to shortage in the supply of decentralized workers. This report helps decentralized professionals better understand the demand for and variety of decentralized occupations.
Education and Training Landscape: Providing a Supply of Talent for Decentralized/Onsite Wastewater Occupations (pdf)
This report focuses on understanding the demand and supply of labor for the decentralized industry. It builds off the report, Pipeline to a Sustainable Workforce: A Report on Decentralized/Onsite Wastewater Occupations, through identification of education and training programs aligned with five key decentralized job functions necessary to be successful in decentralized career pathways and occupations. It provides the decentralized industry and educational institutions with an understanding of the skills and training aligned to these job functions and high growth decentralized occupations.
Building a Decentralized Wastewater Training Program (pdf)
This document is a guide to building a decentralized wastewater training program. It provides information and resources for decentralized wastewater sector stakeholders interested in creating training programs with community colleges. This guide helps decentralized wastewater employers identify the right partners to develop and maintain new decentralized training programs. These programs will recruit new workers into the industry and bolster skills for existing and potential employees.