Weatherization Training & Certification in PA
What are the Weatherization worker certifications and how do I become certified?
Three certifications are available for weatherization workers – Installer, Crew Chief, and Auditor certifications.
Installer – An installer is a crew member or contractor that installs weatherization measures, such as insulation, caulking, and replacement doors and windows, in eligible dwellings according to Pennsylvania Weatherization Assistance Program standards and guidelines.
Crew Chief – A crew chief supervises a crew of installers and directs their efforts to weatherize eligible dwellings. Crew Chiefs participate in the weatherization work and check it for accuracy.
Auditor – An auditor assesses an eligible dwelling for potential weatherization services. Auditors visually inspect the building shell and mechanical systems; conduct diagnostic, health, and safety tests; record the location, condition, and dimensions of walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, and mechanical systems; enter data into computerized energy audit or use a priority list to select cost-effective measures; and prepare clear and accurate work orders to ensure the most appropriate measures are installed properly.
HVAC Workers – Many Weatherization Assistance Provider agencies employ HVAC subcontractors to repair or replace heating systems. While HVAC workers are not required to be certified workers as explained above, they must take two courses – DOE Lead and OSHA 10 Safety Training – to work on PA WAP projects.
A list of weatherization curriculum needed for each certification can be found at the end of this document.
To become a certified weatherization worker, you must complete the Pennsylvania weatherization coursework for the certification you wish to achieve. Coursework must be taken at a PA WAP weatherization training center. Pennsylvania has three approved weatherization training centers across the state:
I have a lot of experience in weatherization or the building and construction industry. Do I need to go through training?
If you have previously attended weatherization training at one of Pennsylvania’s approved weatherization training providers and have completed the necessary coursework for your desired certification, you can be automatically certified. If you have not completed both of these requirements, you must attend training.
How do I apply to become a certified Weatherization worker?
Please be advised that after March 1, 2012, paper vouchers are no longer needed for your direct hire employees or subcontractor employees to attend training. Rather than filling out a voucher application or requesting copies of paper vouchers, you will work directly with the training providers to enroll your workers in classes. The training providers now have access to a database that contains information on all past voucher recipients; this database will be used to determine a worker’s eligibility for free training and will track the certification status of workers.
As in the past, workers must be employed as the direct hire of a WAP, or the a subcontractor of a WAP, to be eligible for no-cost training. Training providers will use the new database to check worker eligibility. If your workers have previously attended classes, the training providers will most likely not need any additional information from you when your workers enroll in coursework.
If you are a new worker with the agency pursuing training for the first time, or you are requesting that an existing worker obtain a new certification status, you should be prepared to put this request in writing on your WAP agency letterhead. Please include:
- The WAP employing the worker, and the subcontractor if applicable
- The certification (Installer, Crew Chief, Auditor, or HVAC/Other Worker) that the worker will be pursuing
All requests for training for new workers, or for existing workers pursuing additional certifications, MUST be on WAP letterhead. The training providers will not accept proof of eligibility from subcontractors.
How much does certification cost?
Incumbent (Existing) Workers –If you work for a Weatherization Assistance Provider (WAP) or a WAP subcontractor, you are eligible for training at no cost to you. Please contact your local training center for more information.
Current Building and Construction Workers new to Weatherization – If you are currently employed in the building and construction industry and wish to obtain a weatherization certification, please contact your local training center for information on dates and pricing of training.
Does my certification expire?
As of January 3, 2012, there is no expiration date for certifications. However, you may be required to take additional courses to maintain your certification. For example, OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 training is a new requirement in 2012; all certified workers must take the appropriate course in order to remain certified.
What are DOE Lead Weatherization Certification requirements?
All individuals, including specialized subcontractors, working on DOE-sponsored weatherization projects must have taken a lead-safe course that meets DOE lead-safe standards as outlined in Weatherization Program Notice 08-6, Weatherization Program Notice 09-6, and Weatherization Program Notice 10-1.
The DOE Lead course currently offered by the weatherization training providers meets this requirement. Additionally, individuals who can show proof of completion of a course that meets the standards outlined in the Department of Energy's Weatherization Program Notice 08-6 will be considered as having DOE Lead Certification.
Please note that EPA Lead courses are different from DOE Lead Safe Weatherization courses and completion of an EPA Lead course does not satisfy the DOE Lead Safe Weatherization requirement.
What are the OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 Construction requirements?
Vouchers for training are accepted at Penn College, Lehigh Career and Technical Institute, and Greater Johnstown Career and Technical Center.
All HVAC workers, Installers, and Auditors need OSHA 10. HVAC Workers had not been mentioned in former guidance – this is a new clarification from DOE. All Crew Chiefs need OSHA 30.
There are many organizations that offer OSHA training. Please note that if you are attending an OSHA training anywhere other than the above-mentioned centers, you will have to pay for the training with your T & TA funds. Please also note that OSHA construction safety training is required – please do not confuse this with the OSHA general safety training that is also offered.
Finally, there are several “electives” available as part of OSHA courses. Pennsylvania WAP strongly recommends, and may in the future require, that the following electives be part of the OSHA 10 course to meet PA WAP requirements: Materials Handling, Storage, Use and Disposal; Stairways and Ladders; and Tools- Hand and Power. If you are spending T&TA money to take an OSHA construction safety course at an outside training provider, it is strongly recommended that you make sure these electives are included.
Any existing voucher – Installer, Crew Chief, Auditor, or DOE Lead only – can be used as proof of payment for OSHA courses. In addition, any letter of certification stating that you are a certified weatherization worker may also be used as proof of payment. Again, vouchers can only be used at Penn College, Lehigh Career and Technical Institute, and Greater Johnstown Career and Technical Center.