What Is a Crew Leader?

Career Info
Learn more about experience requirements, the work environment, and advancement opportunities.

Job Type

Full-time, regular weekly schedule, typically Monday–Friday, with potential for occasional travel and weekend work.

Education

High school diploma, GED, or equivalent.

Experience

One to three years in the construction industry (preferred, but not necessary).

Training

On-the-job training provided with opportunities to receive nationally recognized certifications.

Salary Range

$35,000$45,000 per year.

Work Environment

Both indoors and outdoors in a variety of weather conditions. Working in customers’ homes with a broad range of different types of households.

Overview

The Crew Leader takes on a leadership role to oversee energy efficiency upgrades in residential buildings, helping reduce household energy costs while making homes more comfortable and sustainable. In this position, you will oversee the daily activities of a team of weatherization Retrofit Installer Technicians. You will be responsible for ensuring that all work is completed safely, efficiently, and to the highest quality standards. 

Your job will include interacting with the client, plus managing personnel and materials on the job site in a safe and effective manner. This includes conducting a walkthrough, testing procedures, and completing documentation. The Crew Leader usually reports to the Weatherization Program Manager.

The Job

  • Ensure that all weatherization work is completed efficiently and to the highest quality standards.
  • Oversee a team of weatherization technicians.
  • Ensure the safety of all crew members and customers.
  • Conduct pre- and post-work inspections of homes.
  • Maintain accurate records of all work completed.
  • Provide on-the-job training and coaching to Retrofit Installer Technicians.
  • Conduct regular safety meetings with crew members.
  • Ensure that all crew members have the necessary tools and equipment to complete their work.
  • Work with program staff to identify areas for improvement in the weatherization process.
  • Communicate effectively with customers, crew members, and program staff.
  • Help your community and the environment by making a difference in customers’ homes.

Earnings

The salary range for Crew Leaders varies depending on location and experience. Nationally, the salary range for a Crew Leader is typically between $35,000 and $45,000 per year. Benefits may include health insurance, paid time off, and retirement plans.*

*Data is from the National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP), based on a 40-hour work week. These wages are national averages and may vary by state and/or employer. Wage ranges represent the 25th to 75th percentile of workers.
Photo by Werner Slocum/NREL 72232

A Day in the Life

A typical day for a Crew Leader might include leading a team of technicians, overseeing the installation of insulation and weatherization materials, and ensuring that all work is completed safely and efficiently.

Work Environment

As a Crew Leader, you will work onsite in residential buildings, both indoors and outdoors. The work may involve heavy lifting, bending, and climbing to access areas with tools and equipment. You may work in homes that are not temperature controlled, and may be exposed to hazardous materials such as lead, asbestos, and mold. Adherence to safety protocols and proper use of personal protective equipment is essential. The work scope may be performed in all types of weather and home environments. Residents will be living in the home and ongoing communication is essential, along with safety protocols to ensure the well-being of yourself, the crew, and the homeowner.

Education and Training Requirements

The Crew Leader position requires either a high school diploma or equivalent, state career readiness certificate, and/or industry-specific experience. Free on-the-job training is provided, and may include training in building science, weatherization techniques, and safety procedures to ensure that you have the necessary knowledge and skills as a Crew Leader.

Two workers talking on a roof wearing hard hats and protective equipment

On-the-Job Training

Crew Leaders in the Weatherization Assistance Program typically receive on-the-job training in addition to any required certifications. This training may include classroom instruction, hands-on experience, and mentoring from experienced technicians.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

You will not need to obtain certification prior to starting the job. Once you are employed, the local Weatherization Assistance Program provider will pay for certification as part of the on-the-job training process. Building Performance Institute (BPI) certification is preferred for the Crew Leader position. Other certifications, such as the OSHA 10-hour or 30-hour, may also be required or recommended. State and local regulations may also require additional certifications or licensing, such as the EPA Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) certification.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

The Crew Leader role requires a combination of technical knowledge, communication skills, and physical abilities. Some key traits and skills include:

  • Experience in the construction, weatherization, or energy efficiency industries is preferred, but not required.
  • Strong leadership skills and the ability to manage and motivate a team.
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • Customer service skills and a commitment to providing excellent service to work with homeowners throughout the retrofit process. 
  • Strong attention to detail and a commitment to quality work to ensure that all installations meet safety and quality standards.
  • Ability to read and interpret technical documents and schematics.
  • Strong problem-solving skills and the ability to think creatively.
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Strong commitment to safety and the ability to enforce safety protocols.
  • Experience working with diverse communities and understanding the unique needs of different cultural backgrounds or households.
  • Demonstrating understanding of diverse needs and situations when providing weatherization services.
A diverse group of individuals standing together in a spacious warehouse, engaged in conversation and collaboration.

High-Demand Job

With the growing emphasis on energy efficiency and sustainability, the demand for Retrofit Installer Technician and Crew Leaders is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. This makes the Crew Leader job an excellent choice for those looking for a stable and rewarding career.

Employment Prospects

As a Crew Leader, you can be employed in a variety of settings, including nonprofit organizations, government agencies, or private contractors. In particular, the Weatherization Assistance Program provides many employment opportunities for crew leaders. Job opportunities may be available both full-time and part-time, with flexible schedules depending on the employer’s needs. Connect with employers and training providers in your state to learn more.

Advancement Prospects

Advancement opportunities for Crew Leaders in the Weatherization Assistance Program may include promotions to job site or program coordination and management positions, or opportunities to move into related fields such as energy auditing or building performance analysis. 

For more information about career advancement opportunities and paths, you can visit the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) Green Buildings Career Map.

Weatherization professional on a ladder

Career Path

Many Crew Leaders in the Weatherization Assistance Program begin as technicians and work their way up through the ranks. With additional training and experience, they may advance to higher-level management positions or start their own weatherization businesses.

Professional Groups/Associations

Joining a professional organization, such as the Building Performance Institute (BPI), the Building Performance Association (BPA), or the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) can provide networking opportunities, access to training and certification programs, and other resources to help advance your career.

Tips for Entry

To prepare for a career as a Crew Leader, consider taking courses in construction, building science, or energy efficiency. These courses may not be required for a job but can provide valuable experience. You can also consider taking a short course or training program in building science or energy efficiency. It can also be helpful to contact a local organization that provides weatherization services. Many of these organizations offer training opportunities and may be able to provide on-the-job experience. 

Another option is to volunteer with a local nonprofit organization that provides weatherization services to gain experience and build your skills. Consider obtaining certifications, such as BPI, EPA, or OSHA, to make yourself a more competitive candidate. To get a foot in the door, consider applying for entry-level positions with the Weatherization Assistance Program or other weatherization programs. Connect with organizations in your area to learn more.