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Apprenticeships in the Solar Industry

The solar industry is growing rapidly, and we need an expanded skilled workforce to keep pace with this growth. SEIA is working to create and facilitate the development of programs, tools, resources, and networks that benefit our member companies, partner organizations, and solar industry workers. Apprenticeships are a time-tested and powerful tool for workforce development. SEIA developed this page as resource for solar employers looking to explore, develop, or participate in registered apprenticeship programs.

SEIA Member Guide on Solar Apprenticeship Programs
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U.S. Department of Treasury Initial Guidance on IRA Labor Requirements
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Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) Provisions Summary
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Apprenticeships and the Inflation Reduction Act

Following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and Production Tax Credit (PTC) include registered apprenticeship requirements for solar projects (above 1 megawatt in size AC) in order to access the full value of the tax credits. SEIA has developed summary resource on the relevant provisions of the IRA, as well as a more detailed resource for members.

On November 30, 2022, U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS published initial guidance on the Inflation Reduction Act's prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements. Although further guidance is expected, the November 30 initial guidance starts the 60-day period, meaning in order to receive increased incentives, taxpayers must meet the prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements for facilities where construction begins on or after January 29, 2023.

Registered Apprenticeship Programs

Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs) prepare workers for jobs while meeting the needs of businesses for a highly skilled workforce. Click the plus button to find out more

About Registered Apprenticeship Programs

Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs) prepare workers for jobs while meeting the needs of businesses for a highly skilled workforce.  

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship’s website, key components of Registered Apprenticeship Programs include the following: 

  • Industry Led - Programs are industry-vetted and approved to ensure alignment with industry standards and that apprentices are trained for highly skilled, high-demand occupations.
  • Paid Job -  Apprenticeships are jobs! Apprentices earn progressive wage as their skills and productivity increase.
  • Structured On-the-Job Learning/Mentorship - Programs provide structured on-the-job training to prepare for a successful career, which includes instruction from an experienced mentor.
  • Supplemental Education - Apprentices are provided supplemental classroom education based on the employers unique training needs to ensure quality and success.
  • Diversity - Programs are designed to reflect the communities in which they operate through strong non-discrimination, anti-harassment, and recruitment practices to ensure access, equity, and inclusion.
  • Quality & Safety - Apprentices are afforded worker protections while receiving rigorous training to equip them with the skills they need to succeed and the proper training and supervision they need to be safe.
  • Credentials - Apprentices earn a portable, nationally-recognized credential within their industry.

Registered Apprenticeship Types

Learn more about the various different types of registered apprenticeship programs that an employer could lead or participate in

Registered Apprenticeship Types

The chart below describes the various types of registered apprenticeship programs that an employer could lead or participate in

registered apprenticeship program types

How to Start or Participate in a Registered Apprenticeship Program

Read more to find out how to start or participate in a Registered Solar Apprenticeship Program

How to Start or Participate in a Registered Apprenticeship Program:
  • Identify the “apprenticeable” occupation(s) for which you have hiring needs in the geographic area of your project(s). You may use the U.S. Department of Labor's Approved Occupations Tool to find apprenticeable occupations or reach out to your state apprenticeship representative. Also see section below on “Apprenticeable Occupations”. 
  • Determine the appropriate “Sponsor.” An apprenticeship sponsor is an entity that registers and administers a program, which may be an educational institution, trade association, employer consortium, labor union, or a single employer.
  • Develop a Work Process Schedule & Training Plan. The Work Process Schedule defines the number of On-the-Job-Learning hours for each of the apprenticeship’s major task categories. The training plan defines the related instruction. (The sponsor is primarily responsible for this item.)
  • Develop Program Requirements and Policies, including eligibility requirements, credit for prior experience & education, program format & duration, wage progression schedule, apprentice-to-journey worker ratio, complaint procedures, non-discrimination policies, and diversity goals. (The sponsor is primarily responsible for this item.)
  • Register the Program with a State Apprenticeship Agency or U.S. Department of Labor Apprenticeship Office in the state(s) in which you have project(s). Also, register the program with your state’s Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure veterans can access their GI Bill benefits. (The sponsor is primarily responsible for registration.)

Apprenticeable Occupations

Learn more about apprenticeable occupations that are relevant for solar and storage projects under the Inflation Reduction Act's registered apprenticeship requirements.

Apprenticeable Occupation Examples

Below are several examples of apprenticeable occupations that may be relevant for solar and storage projects under the IRA’s registered apprenticeship requirements. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list.

*Note: Companies are encouraged to seek outside labor legal counsel.

Example Solar Job Title

Approved Apprenticeable Occupation

Typical Duration



4 - 5 years

Solar Laborer / Assembler / Installer

Construction Craft Laborer

2 years

Equipment Operator

Operating Engineer

2 years



3 years

Carpenter/Variety of titles


4 years

Connecting with Registered Apprenticeship Program Sponsors

Find out how to get connected to sponsors of registered apprenticeship programs that are relevant to solar and storage projects

Connecting with Registered Apprenticeship Program Sponsors:

Below are examples of sponsors of registered apprenticeship programs that may be relevant to solar and storage projects. Companies may reach out to these sponsors’ local offices or chapters to learn about specific apprenticeship programs in the area(s) of their project(s). Companies may also utilize the Partner Finder Tool to search for apprenticeship program sponsors by occupation in their project area(s).

Note: This is not an endorsement of the organizations listed below. Apprenticeship programs offered vary by location and may change over time. 

IBEW – International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

  • Electrician (Commercial Electrician)

LIUNA – Laborers’ International Union of North America 

  • Construction Craft Laborer 

UBC – United Brotherhood of Carpenters

  • Carpenter

IW - International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Union (IW) 

  • Iron Worker

IUOE - International Union of Operating Engineers International Union of Operating Engineers

  • Operating Engineer

IEC – Independent Electrical Contractors

  • Electrician (Commercial Electrician)

WECA – Western Electrical Contractors Association

  • Electrician (Commercial Electrician)

ABC – Associated Builders and Contractors 

  • Electrician (Commercial Electrician)
  • Construction Craft Laborer 
  • Carpenter

AGC – Associated General Contractors

  • Electrician (Commercial Electrician)
  • Construction Craft Laborer 
  • Operating Engineer/Equipment Operator

Technical Assistance

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility Resources

Department of Labor Apprenticeship 101 Factsheet
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Introduction to Apprenticeship
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A Quick-Start Toolkit: Building Registered Apprenticeship Programs
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What is a Registered Apprenticeship Program?
Read More Occupation Finder
Read More Partner Finder Tool
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The Association of Community Colleges' Virtual Apprenticeship Network
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IREC Solar Training Provider Directory
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SEIA and IREC collaborated on the development of the content provided. This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) under the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) Award Number DE-EE0008577. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Energy or the United States Government.


Apprenticeships in the Solar Industry: Member Guide


SEIA's members-only resource has additional detail on the following topics:

  • Key Components of a Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP)
  • How to Participate in or Start a Registered Apprenticeship Program
  • Apprenticeable Occupations
  • Listing of Organizations that Sponsor RAPs for Trades/Craft Roles
  • Technical Assistance & Resources