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.

This course has 14 LIVE instructor hours. 

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 written final exam and student participation is graded as pass/fail.

You will be connected with all instructors live from 8:15-12:00. We will be available for office hours every day after lunch. 


Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
8:15 Introduction and Technology Help

Pressure Principles

Pressure Diagnostics Demo

Vapor and Moisture Barriers Overview

Windoors & Doors Overview

9:00 Insulation in the Lab: Walls & Attics Zone Pressure    Diagnostics Demo Public: Air Sealing Competition in the Lab Door and Window Installation
10:15 BREAK

House as a System Overview

Lead Pait Containment Demo

RRP Rule

Ladder Overview

OSHA & Jobsite Safety

Air Sealing Methods & Materials

Visual Analysis

IR Analysis

Insulation Methods & Materials

Workmanship in Attics

Insulation Science 

Electrical Safety

Combustion Safety Demo

Review Sessions 

12:00 LUNCH
1:00-3:00 Manometer use, pressure diagnostics, zone testing, measuring fan flow, insulation methods, insulation calculations, proper use of PPE, air-sealing methods and materials, door and window installation. Exam Prep. & Exam

Grading Criteria and Passing Score

The final exam is a written test and each student must pass with an 70% score or higher. Students that do not pass will be allowed to retake the exam in accordance with the Montana Weatherization Training Center retesting policy.


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

Course Fees

  • $395 for the public (virtual course)
  • $650 for the public (in-person course)
  • Free for associates of the Montana Weatherization Workforce

For additional information contact the Center at 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