BPA's new Energy Specialist registered apprenticeship program will support employers and workers

Saratoga Springs, NY: Building Performance Association (BPA) is the sponsor of a new Registered Apprenticeship Program for the home performance industry, the Energy Specialist. The program will feature BPI certifications as steps on the pathway to a career in energy auditing.

A Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) is an industry-driven, high-quality career pathway that helps employers develop their future workforce, and enables individuals to obtain paid work experience, progressive wage increases, classroom instruction, and a nationally-recognized credential.

"The Energy Specialist program is a great opportunity to help level-set state wages for weatherization and energy auditing activities," says Zave Walter, Director of Outreach at BPA. "And it will give installers a clear path on how to advance their careers, too."

Registered Apprenticeships (RAs) are industry-vetted and approved and validated by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) or a State Apprenticeship Agency. Apprenticeships are partially subsidized, helping employers to bear the huge cost of training new employees to full proficiency. RA's have been used with great success in the electrical, plumbing, and many other trades. The Energy Specialist program will be the nation's first registered apprenticeship for energy auditors.

As the sponsor, BPA is responsible for the program’s operations and administration, ensuring compliance with regulations, enforcing the program’s policies, maintaining records, and reporting. The program will require a total of 144 classroom hours and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training.

There are many flexible pathways to become an Energy Specialist. The program will allow apprentices and employers to design a pathway that meets their needs, as long as it includes the required 144 classroom hours and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training.

"We applaud this program, which will use BPI's highly respected credentials to invite a new generation of workers into the industry," says BPI CEO Larry Zarker. "We believe that it will help new workers understand what a career in home performance has to offer and inspire them to advance."

The graphic below shows how BPI's certifications can be used at each step of the apprenticeship path. We look forward to working with BPA to develop a new generation of master Energy Specialists.