Is PWM for you?

  • If you are interested in receiving  a designation to show that you have developed the skills and knowledge for effective middle management
  • If you have middle management experience but are new to public works
  • If you are interested in preparing yourself for opportunities in public works as a manager

How will the PWM program benefit you?

  • You will develop a personalized professional development plan based on the results of your assessment
  • You will work with others who are interested in becoming managers and leaders in public works
  • You will be mentored by a public works executive
  • You will learn the latest thinking in leadership and how it applies to public works situations

What is the PWM designation?
The APWA Public Works Manager (PWM) designation is national recognition that you have successfully completed the requirements of a rigorous program and acquired the skills and knowledge necessary to perform as an effective manager. Once obtained, you will need to fulfill the professional development requirements for renewal.

Is there a "Grandfather Option" for entering the program?
A special grandfather option is available for individuals who have 15 years of relevant public works experience. The grandfather option waives the educational requirements. There is no special process for using the grandfather option; simply include your 15 years of relevant experience on your application.

What if I don’t have a college degree or 15 years of experience?
If you have successfully completed the DCS Center’s Level 1 Public Works Supervisor program, you are qualified to enter the Level 2 PW Manager program without the educational requirements or 15 years of experience.

Who will review my application?
All applications are reviewed by the DCS Center Program Council. This is a group of experienced public works professionals selected by the Board of Directors because of their leadership and commitment to APWA.

What is an APWA Public Works Institute?
The Public Works Institutes are designed for supervisors and managers who aspire to become leaders; the curriculum covers ten core areas that are the basis for effective public works leadership. Institutes are offered by APWA chapters in a variety of formats. Many are face-to-face courses that are run as multi-day workshops that span one to three years. Others are online programs and can be instructor-led or self-paced. The total cost ranges from $900 to $4,200. 

Can I proceed to the next level in the DCS Center?
If you have successfully completed the Level 2 Public Works Manager program, you are qualified to enter the Level 3 PW Executive program without the college degree requirements.

What are the requirements for renewing the PWM designation?

  • Continue to work on the professional development plan and journal documentation
  • Complete a minimum of 20 hours of continuing education each year
  • Abide by the ethical standards set by the American Public Works Association Board of Directors

What qualifies for 20 hours of continuing education?

  • Read articles or books on management and leadership with documentation in the journal
  • Volunteer at a local APWA chapter
  • Attend training programs offered by APWA or other associations, agencies, or municipalities
  • Attend APWA national conferences: International Public Works Congress & Exposition, North American Snow Conference, or Sustainability in Public Works Conference
  • Attend public works related conferences offered by other organizations
  • Participate in Click, Listen, & Learn programs offered by APWA


What are the expenses related to applying for the Public Works Manager program?
Earning a Donald C. Stone Center designation is making an investment in yourself—and your future. The Public Works Manager program can open the door to more career choices and increase your earning potential.  For expenses, please refer to the chart below. The cost of attending an institute is not included in the fees shown below.

Candidates in the PWM program will fnd it helpful to use the Public Works Administration book (also known as the "Blue Book"); if not available at your workplace, a copy can be purchased from the APWA Store for $75 for members, $85 for non-members.

PWM Fees APWA Member Price Non-Member Price
Application Fee $50.00 USD $50.00 USD
First Year Enrollment Fee $199.99 USD $299.99 USD*
Annual Fee (after first year) $50.00 USD $50.00 USD
*includes 1 year membership in the American Public Works Association (APWA)