Weatherization is the process of making existing structures more energy efficient, protecting structures from elements like the sun, precipitation and wind. Technicians who work in this field implement activities that conserve the overall energy within a home or building, frequently testing and diagnosing airflow systems and insulating structures. The main duties of a weatherization technician are repairing windows, insulating ducts and performing HVAC work.
Depending on the varying weather or the climate of the working area, weatherization technicians may find themselves adding UV screens, waterproofing structures or enduring roofing work as well. This job can also include running energy and power audits for make sure the proper recommendations are made. Workers should be able to work on ladders, lift materials and fit through crawlspaces that some jobs require.
These technicians require a high school diploma or GED and experience gained through apprenticeship programs. They should know basic math and speaking skills along with basic HVAC knowledge learned within the program. Training is mainly done on the job site. If you are interested in conserving energy and can picture yourself working in unique spaces, weatherization may be the job for you!
Examples of Pre-Apprenticeship Skills
- Demonstrating the correct use of common tools and job site safety
- Identifying safety issues such as toxic materials, structural problems, or mold
- Insulating, weather-stripping, caulking and sealing
- Replacing and repairing doors and windows
- Reading energy audits and work orders
- Installing and repairing roofing, drywall, and paneling
Weatherization technicians must be familiar with basic HVAC knowledge and be adaptable to working indoors or outdoors. These jobs can be specific to the field, learned through training and experience, while other jobs can be more generalized. For example, diagnosing an AC systems efficiency is a skill that can be later developed on the job through certain training, even if it isn’t introduced in the basics.
Workers in this field should be able to work from heights, on ladders and in small spaces. These technicians should be able to lift heavy materials and maintain balance and dexterity. As always, safety precautions must be implemented to prevent accidents from occurring.
Weatherization work includes energy audit reports that result in work orders involving the installation of insulation in ceilings, walls and floors. The job also includes working with weather-strip and caulk windows, doors and other openings, repairing or replacing windows and doors, sealing and insulating ducts and piping. Additional basic skills include repairing or installing drywall and roofing and other carpentry skills.
Opportunities in a Weatherization Career
Due to the growing desire for energy conservation, weatherization is a trade that grows exponentially by the year. This job considers climate change and efforts to implement green building. Energy-efficient companies and insulation companies are always looking to hire weatherization technicians, even those who are entry-level. The skills involved are basic and easy to adapt to and the demand for these technicians are at an all time high.
- General contractor
- Energy specialist
- Weatherization installer
- Product specialist
Average Pay Rate
During pre-apprenticeship training, new weatherization technicians receive anywhere between $10 to $14 an hour, depending on the employer. With continued training, those further experienced receive between $14 to $16 an hour. Once fully certified, these technicians can make between $50,000 to $65,000 a year, again, depending on the employer or the location. Full certification takes about 3 to 4 years, but the process is definitely worth it.