Weatherization Installers and Technicians
Overview | Related Occupations | Outlook | Helpful High School Courses | Preparation | Related Educational Programs | Additional Sources of Information | Back to Green Careers
Weatherization installers and technicians weatherize homes to make them more energy efficient. They repair windows and insulate ducts. They also perform heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) work.
Weatherization installers and technicians focus on making homes and buildings more energy efficient by installing or changing existing features of the structure. To do this, the first task is to inspect the home. This is more than a quick walk-through. The technician or installer thoroughly checks every door and window for drafts and leaks and checks the attic and crawl space for insulation (and any damage to it). Special tools are needed to determine airflow and where hot or cold air might be lost.
Once the inspection is complete, weatherization installers and technicians make recommendations to the client. They inform them on what should be replaced, installed, or changed. This involves explaining what each change might look like and what it will do, from updating to a new water heater to something simple such as installing a low-flow showerhead to save water. They also prepare cost estimates of these changes to help homeowners decide the best course of action.
Weatherization installers and technicians have to understand both electrical and heating systems. These workers must have good mechanical skills and be able to work with a variety of equipment. They use special tools not only for testing, but to install or fix new doors, windows, and insulation. They also work with traditional materials, such as wood and drywall, windows and caulk. In addition, they wrap pipes and ductwork to seal leaks or prevent energy loss.
Weatherization installers and techs maintain records of their work and all their billing. They also must clean and maintain their tools.
- Architecture and Construction
Hawaii Career Pathways:
- Industrial & Engineering Technology
Analysts expect that the weatherization industry will continue to grow. This is due to the trend in government incentives. It is also due to increased consumer interest.
Helpful High School Courses
You should take a general high school curriculum that meets our state's graduation requirements. Click here for for public school graduation requirements for students graduating in 2011 or 2012. Click here for public school graduation requirements for students graduating in 2013 or later. If you attend a private school, check with your school counselor for graduation requirements.
Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this occupation include:
- Computer Science
- Equipment Maintenance and Repair
- Introduction to Mechanics
- Physical Science
The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.
You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.
Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Click here for examples of activities and groups that may be available in your high school or community.
To work as a fuel cell technician, you must:
- have a high school diploma or GED; and
- have work experience in a related occupation or have a combination of education and experience.
Education after high school
A college degree is not required to become a weatherization installer or technician. However, many installers and technicians have an associate degree in a building trade-related field, or a certificate from a training program.
A small number of colleges and universities offer training or continuing education programs in weatherization installation or technology. These programs offer specific courses in weatherization techniques as well as courses in workplace safety and basic building and construction skills.
Some employers prefer to hire applicants who have an associate degree in a building trade.
Voluntary certification is available. In fact, it is sometimes required by employers. Workers with certificates in this field tend to earn more than those who don’t.
It is helpful to have construction, mechanical or electrical work experience. People with construction backgrounds are well suited for the work.
If you have related work experience, you can become a weatherization installer or technician through on-the-job training. The length of this training can vary.
Related Educational Programs
- Construction Trades
Licensing / Certification / Designation / Registration
Typically, workers who install, test, and maintain electrical systems are required to have an electrician's license. Check with your state for information about local licensing requirements.
Additional Sources of Information
- "Green Careers: Choosing Work for a Sustainable Future" ($19.95 paper cover, p. 368)
By Jim Cassio and Alice Rush, MA, RPCC, MCC
Publication date: 2009
New Society Publishers
Career Information Available on the Internet
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