SWEO Apprenticeship Program

​Solid Waste Equipment Operator 

(SWEO) Apprenticeship Program

City of Phoenix logo

The SWEO Apprenticeship program is the first of its kind in the nation, offering an opportunity to anyone interested in starting a career with the city of Phoenix. 

The apprenticeship was first developed 
Laborer's International Union for North America logo

by the city of Phoenix and Laborers' ​International Union for North America (LIUNA), Local 777, in 2017.​

Due to the health and safety challenges related to COVID-19, the city of Phoenix is taking every precaution to keep the public and our employees safe.  As a result, the Solid Waste Equipment Operator Apprenticeship recruitment has been postponed until further notice.  If you are interested in the program, please complete the interest form below, and we will contact you when the recruitment is reopened.  Thank you for your understanding during these challenging times.

Sign Up for More Details​​

SWEO Apprenticeship Open House Information Session

The city of Phoenix Public Works Department is holding five information sessions for the SWEO Apprentice program. These sessions will provide general information about the program as well as the skills and job duties of a SWEO. Staff will be on site to answer questions about the program, working for the city of Phoenix, and solid waste industry. Priority for interviews will be given to those applicants that attend at least one information session. Open information nights will occur at the Employee Driver Training Facility, 3535 S 35th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85009. Attendance is welcomed at any time between the listed hours below. It takes one hour, on average, ​to complete the event:

Upcoming Sessions
  • ​Saturday, ​March 7, 2020 - 9a.m. - noon
  • ​Monday, March 9, 2020 - 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • CANCELLED - Saturday, March 14, 2020 - 9 a.m. - noon
  • CANCELLED - Monday, March 16, 2020 - 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.

The Year-Long ​​​Program

The SWEO Apprenticeship program is for motivated individuals ready to start a career with the city of Phoenix’s Public Works Solid Waste Field Services Division. Solid waste or commercial driving experience is not required because selected candidates receive on-the-job training and instruction needed to secure a Class (A) Commercial Driver’s License and perform job duties.

The program will assist candidates:

  • Secure a Class (A) Commercial Driver’s License Learning Permit
  • Secure a Class (A) Commercial Driver’s License
  • Complete All Required Solid Waste Equipment Operator Apprenticeship Academy Training and Transition to a Dedicated Training Assignment
  • Graduate the SWEO Apprenticeship Program
  • Promote to Solid Waste Equipment Operator​

​Salary and Benefits

The 2020-21 Solid Waste Equipment Operator Apprenticeship compensation includes a salary of $16.09 hourly and benefits 

City Benefits


After the Program: Building a Career

Upon successful completion and graduation from the apprenticeship program, apprentices will promote to SWEO, with the opportunity for continued growth and advancement within the organization. 

As a proponent of employee growth and development, SWEOs are encouraged to build on their career through education and job shadowing opportunities. ​

​How to Apply

Only online applications will be accepted. A detailed listing of application requirements and how to apply are posted on the city’s current job opportunities website.​

The Selection Process

  • The city selects 4 individuals a year. They will work together as a class and on individual assignments throughout the program year.
  • Application packets will be evaluated on all completed materials submitted. Incomplete packets will not be considered.
  • Applicants who attend at least one open house information session will be given priority for interviews.​

Cronkite News​ Segment

​Meet the 2019-20 Apprentices:

​Sheila Griggs

Sheila Griggs"Before joining the city of Phoenix, I was a pharmacy technician at a large call center where I trained, coached and developed new and tenured employees. I chose to participate in the apprenticeship program because I wanted to pursue a career with longevity and because I want to make a difference in my city.​"

​Andrea Ontiveros​

Andrew Ontiveros"Being given this opportunity has been something I am truly grateful for. Prior to this, I was working many temp jobs that had no longevity or benefits to them. I had no real career opportunities until joining this program. Now, I have something to build for my future with the city of Phoenix, and I am allowed to grow and my strengths are being utilized.​"

​Bernardo Ortega

Bernardo Ortega“After working in agriculture and serving in the military, I developed skills in sales, customer service, coaching, teaching and training while working for the fuel and insurance industries. When the opportunity to join the apprenticeship program came up, I was able to utilize all my learned skills. Today, I am on my way to becoming a full-fledged SWEO and am looking forward to an impactful career in the city of Phoenix using all the experiences I have gained."

​Fernando Rosas

Fernando Rosas"I have spent 23 years in the banking industry for JP Morgan Chase. Most of my career was spent as an Operations Supervisor (Management), where I managed several departments and supervised between 20-50 staff members. The reason why I changed my career was to be more of an individual contributor and to earn a CDL."

About Phoenix Solid Waste

The apprentices will work for the Solid Waste Division of the Public Works department, which provides trash and recycling collection services to more than 400,000 households within the city's 500+ square miles. ​

Solid Waste Field Services At-a-Glance

For More ​Information

For questions about the program, contact us at: ​​ReimaginePhoenix@phoenix.gov

For personnel or application-related questions, contact the Human Resources Department at 602-495-5700.​