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Here are some recommendations for solar training classes with Solar Energy International (SEI) that could not only improve an applicant's ranking in the pool of eligible applicants, but also apply towards the related training (education) requirements of the LRT apprenticeship. Remember, to earn an LRT license, an apprentice must complete 4000 hrs. of on-the-job training (OJT) with a registered training agent (an employer) and 288 hrs. of related training (RT) with an education provider. So here we are talking about those 288 hrs. of related training. While apprentices commonly attend basic electrical classes at their local community college, solar-specific classes are online through Solar Energy International.

SEI offers both online and in-person classes, with campuses in Colorado, Costa Rica, and Oman. You can check them out at They have lots of courses to offer, but here are a few online ones to consider when getting started:

  • A great place to start is with SEI's online solar safety training package that includes two courses, CE523: Residential and Commercial PV Installation Safety and CE 525: Large-Scale Ground-Mounted PV Installation Safety. These courses will really help you better understand the role of the solar installer and the various hazards involved. These courses count towards 20 hours of related training. You can register here:; use the discount code "LRT49" to register for this course for only $49. It is an "on-demand" self-paced course that you have 60 days to finish once registered.

  • I also highly recommend SEI's 60-hr. PVOL101 Fundamentals of Solar Electric Design and Installation (Grid-Direct) course. It's an educational investment but well worth it in the long run if you are pursuing a career in solar; it will prepare you not only for solar installation work, but also for other roles in the industry such as solar technical salesperson, solar system designer, or solar site surveyor. They offer this class as a 6-week online session; it's a self-paced course but you do have to complete the work within the 6-week timeframe. You can read more about it and register here

  • Finally SEI also offers a "PV Associates" training package consisting of the PVOL101 course listed above and PVOL203: PV System Fundamentals (Battery Based) course: Together, this is 100 hours of online coursework that would prepare you for the NABCEP PV Associates exam; NABCEP stands for the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, and is the is the most widely recognized certification organization for professionals in the field of renewable energy: Although having a NABCEP certification is not required in Oregon, it is a wonderful item for your resume and can open up many career opportunities. Most people take the NABCEP PV Associate Exam when they first enter the solar industry to prove a basic level of competency, and then years later take the PV Installation Professional Exam once they have more education and experience. Note- the SEI safety training package mentioned above is considered an "OSHA-10 equivalent" by NABCEP and thus satisfies the safety training requirement for qualifying for the exam!

Happy learning!

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