To view and register for upcoming courses, follow this link to the MSU Academic Technology and Outreach page

Course Description

Retrofit Installer Technician: Building Shell provides an overview of weatherization measures, standards, and residential building performance practices including building science basics and the house as a system. Additionally it introduces students to basic health & safety issues, heating systems and mechanical codes. The course follows the Department of Energy's standardized curriculum for Weatherization Installer/Technician Fundamentals and has been modified to be consistent with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Job Task Analysis for the Retrofit Installer Technician. Upon completion of the class, students will know what tasks are required of a Retrofit Installer Technician and possess the knowledge, skills and abilities required to do such tasks. The structure of the course includes lecture, dialogue and practical demonstrations in lab situations.

Course Objectives

  • Select appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for a weatherization job
  • Understand basic building performance principles
  • Apply building science lecture topics to hands-on practice in the lab
  • Use common weatherization safety protocols
  • Select appropriate materials for a weatherization job
  • Apply basic air sealing measures
  • Understand whole-house weatherization
  • Demonstrate proper dense-pack insulation techniques
  • Understand basic machine and tool maintenance

Organization of Course

This is a lecture-lab course. Lecture topics are presented in the classroom setting followed by hands-on practice in the lab. The class is appropriate for students who have had little or no previous training in this field. Student participation in discussions in the classroom and in the lab exercises is very important. This course has a group final exam and student participation is graded as pass/fail.

Grading Criteria

The final exam is a group participation exam taken electronically. Group exams better engage students and allow students the opportunity to discuss questions and answers with each other and instructors. Exams are not graded but rather instructors ensure each student leaves with an understanding of course content. 

Students receive course credit through attendance and group participation throughout class. 


  • Private Contractors
  • Program Managers
  • Weatherization Professionals
  • Building Managers

Course Fees

  • $725 for the public (in-person course)
  • Free for associates of the Montana Weatherization Workforce

For additional information contact the Center at [email protected] or you can call (406) 586-0070.

To view and register for upcoming courses, follow this link to the MSU Academic Technology and Outreach page