Weatherization

Summary

Weatherization is the practice of modifying an existing structure to improve energy efficiency and protect it from the elements—like the sun, precipitation and wind. The trade is rapidly gaining attention as interest in decreasing energy costs and consumption rises. A technician follows energy audit reports and work orders to:

  • Install insulation in ceilings, walls and floors
  • Weather-strip and caulk windows, doors and other openings
  • Repair or replace windows and doors
  • Repair, seal and insulate ducts and piping

Other basic carpentry skills like repairing or installing drywall and roofing often are required.

The work is indoors and out, sometimes in tight, awkward spaces. Using heavy or rough materials, these jobs generally are demanding physically—bending, lifting, standing, climbing and kneeling for long periods of time. Technicians often are exposed to wet or humid conditions, fumes and potentially toxic chemicals, so safety precautions are vital. If you like problem solving and working with your hands, weatherization may be for you!

Training

HBI pre-apprentice weatherization programs teach skills and techniques employers look for in entry-level technicians. Skills include:

  • Identifying common safety issues like toxic materials, mold and structural problems
  • Insulating, weather-stripping, sealing and caulking
  • Replacing and repairing doors, windows and siding
  • Reading energy audits and work orders
  • Installing and repairing roofing
  • Installing and repairing drywall and paneling

Career Opportunities

Job growth is expected to increase at a faster-than-average rate through 2018 as efforts to reduce energy consumption rise. Energy efficiency companies and insulation companies are examples of business that might hire an entry-level technician.

Although national wage data is not currently available, technicians generally make between $30,000 and $40,000 a year depending on location. As skills are expanded through apprenticeships or on the job training, so are career options. Pay increases significantly also after becoming fully certified.