Solar Training in Journeyman Upgrade Classes and 5th year of the Inside Wireman Apprenticeship

Northwest Washington Electrical Industry J.A.T.C, 306 Anderson Road, Mount Vernon, WA 98273

The NW WA Electrical JATC is committed to developing and providing training in emerging technologies for Journeyman and Apprentice level Electricians. Today the Training Center offers 40 hours of combined classroom and lab training in PV systems. The available courses focus on the basics of PV systems, system installation, and system design. The training is structured for those with experience in the field of electrical construction including electrical code and safety.

With a focus on “hands on” labs the NW WA Electrical JATC has seen an increase in student retention and course involvement. Using mock roofing structures the students are able to complete various fully functioning PV systems from the shingles up to the module level. Throughout the lab, safety and code compliance issues are discussed and demonstrated. With the completed systems operable the students can utilize advance meters to fully commission the system.

Program Description

The NW WA Elect. JATC is a training center for Apprentices and Journeyman Electricians. The training center offers both a 3 year Residential and 5 year Commercial/Industrial Apprenticeship as well as over 25 different Journeyman Electrician upgrade courses.

Program Attributes

The NW WA Elect. JATC is a training center for Apprentices and Journeyman Electricians making it well suited for “hands on PV training”. The Training center has developed a PV System lab using two mobile mock roofs that incorporate complete and operable PV systems. The students are able to construct from the roof up a PV system just as it would be found on a residential roof.

Case Study Interview

1. What inspired you to spearhead the effort to integrate solar content into your courses, curriculum, or programs?

During the 2013 school year the Northwest Washington Electrical J.A.T.C was able to make several improvements to their existing PV training. These improvements were all possible because of a partnership with the Rocky Mountain Solar Training Provider (PMSTP) Solar Instructor Training Network Grant. These updates include the addition of a safety handrail system to the schools mock roofs and increased fall protection training. As well, two of the schools Instructors were able to complete advanced training in: Battery-based PV systems, PV system design and solar business and technical sales. This advanced training went straight into the classroom with the Instructors making several improvements to the course materials throughout the year.

According to the schools Assistant Training Director, Ryan Bradt “The feedback from the Students has been outstanding, we have seen some great improvements in our PV courses. None of this would have been possible without the Sun Shot Grant!” Moving forward the NW WA Electrical JATC plans to make further improvements in best safety practices for PV installation and add updated PV equipment.

2. What major obstacles did you encounter and how did you overcome them?

3. What were the keys to successfully achieving solar content integration (e.g., support of a person or persons; part of a planned curriculum improvement project; recommendations from industry or an advisory board; etc.)?

4. How long did the process take from initial concept presentation or proposal to implementation?

5. Was this primarily a one-person effort, or did you have one or more partners who shared a significant portion of the workload?

6. What products or services from your Regional Training Provider (RTP) and the Solar Instructor Training Network (SITN) were most useful to you in achieving solar content integration at your institution?

7. Are there other products or services that you would suggest for the RTPs and/or the SITN to offer that would be helpful in the process of implementing solar content integration?

8. Would you be willing to share course proposals, curriculum improvement proposals, and/or curriculum outlines for the courses, curriculum, and programs that you used as part of the solar content integration process?

9. If yes, would you agree to have these materials available on the IREC web site (with links from the RTP web sites)?

10. Would you be willing to be listed as a contact person on the IREC web site to share your solar content integration experience with other interested parties?

11. Would you be willing and able to specify all occupations for which the training that you offer applies (e.g., this program trains students for these occupations/jobs)?

12. Was specific funding appropriated for solar content integration into related course, curriculum, and/or program development?

13. If special funding was available, would you be willing to share the amount of funding on the IREC web site?

Course Listings

Year One


Level 1:

Orientation -2

Job Information 1 -6

Conduit Fabrication -3

DC Theory -10

Code & Practices 1 -4

Level 2   

Conduit Fabrication -4

Application Lesson 1 -4

Application Lesson 1 Splicing Conductors -.25

Application Lesson 8 Using a Hacksaw -.25

Application Lesson 11 Hand Bending a 90°Stup up -.25

Application Lesson 12 Hand Bending a Box Offset -.25



Year Two


Level 2 Orientation -1.5

Level 1 Test Instruments -2

Level 1 Codeology -3

Level 1 AC Theory -7

Level 1 Blueprints -2.5

Level 1 Electrical Safety-related work practices- 2

Level 1 Transformers- 2

Level 1 Codes and Practices 2 -4

Application Lesson 2 Installing a duplex receptacle – .25

Application lesson 3 Installing single pole switch – .25

Application Lesson 4 Installing switched duplex receptacle- .25

Application Lesson 5 Proper Device Installation -.25



Year Three:


Level 2 AC Theory- 3

Level 2 Transformers -2

Level 2 Electrical Safety-related work practices -2

Level 1 Codes and Practices 3 -2

Level 2 Blueprints -2

Level 1 Grounding and Bonding -2

Level 11 Grounding and Bonding- 2.5

Level 1 Torque – .5

Level 1 Rigging -1


Level 2 Codes and Practices 3 -1.5

Level 3 AC Theory -1

Level 2 Test Instruments -2

Level 3 Transformers -1

Level 1 Security Systems -.5



Year Four:


Level 1 Motors -2

Level 1 Motor Control – 3.5

Level 2 Motor Control -4

TOTAL: 9.5



Level 1 Programmable Controllers -4

Level 1 Lighting Essentials -2

Level 2 Lighting Essentials -1

Level 1 Hazardous Locations -1

Level 2 Hazardous Locations – .5

Structured Cabling -3

Installer Tech/LAN – 4

TOTAL: 15.5


Year Five:


Level 1 Code and Practices 4/5 -2

Level 3 Orientation -1

Level 2 Code Calculations – 1.5

Level 1 Fire Alarm systems -2

Level 3 Blueprints -1

Level 1 Code Calculations -1

TOTAL: 8.5

Level 1 Instrumentation – 4

Level 1 Photovoltaics – 3

Level 1 Building Automation 1 -1.5

Level 2 Building Automation 1 -2.5

Level 1 Health Care Systems -1

Level 1 Power Quality – 2

Level 2 Fire Alarm Systems -2



All years combined    

Total Required Course credits – 90

Total Advanced Course credits -41

TOTAL: 131
Minimum hours required

TOTAL: 130


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