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.​​​


Sign Up for Upcoming Information Sessions 

Wednesday, December 1, 2021 from 6 PM – 8 PM

Saturday, December 4, 2021 from 8 AM – 12 NOON

Wednesday, December 8, 2021 from 6 PM – 8 PM

Saturday, December 11, 2021 8 AM – 12 PM

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 2021-22 Solid Waste Equipment Operator Apprenticeship compensation includes a salary of $16.37 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 up to 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 2020-21 Apprentices:

Lyon Marcheschi​

LyonGrowing up I always had an interest in garbage trucks. I knew that was a job I’d love to do but I never knew where to start. When I saw the apprenticeship program for the City of Phoenix, I immediately applied as this was the perfect opportunity for me. I am excited and look forward to a unique career and a stable future, as well as being a safe and productive SWEO."

Anna A​​ponte


"Before I was given the opportunity to join this apprenticeship program, I worked retail and warehouse jobs. I have been a leader in many jobs that I worked; however, I was not looking forward to staying long term. When I heard about this exciting opportunity, I was eager to join! Now that I am a part of the City of Phoenix, I have so much more room to grow! This is where I will plant my seed and establish my growth."

​​​Melvin Escamilla


"I have served as a retail manager for over 20 years. I chose a new career path with the City of Phoenix in the apprenticeship program. My family consists of my wife of 25 years, two sons and two daughters. I enjoy mountain biking and fishing, and I have a passion for playing guitar. I hope to use my training to serve the community and represent the City of Phoenix with the values taught to me. My performance will support my growth to many avenues within the City of Phoenix."

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.​