Oregon requires trade licenses for individuals installing solar energy equipment, and contractor licenses for the companies that do construction.
Companies with an electrical contractor license may engage in the business of making electrical installations. Similarly a plumbing contractor license allows a company to engage in the business of making plumbing installations. Companies must also meet licensing and bonding requirements of the Construction Contractors Board.
Individuals doing installations must hold a trade license. Solar electric installers must either hold an Electrical Journeyman's License or a Limited Renewable Energy License (LRT). General Journeymen can do all aspects of solar electric work, whereas the LRT license is limited to work on systems under 25 kW AC. The Journeyman's license requires four years of general on-the-job training whereas the LRT requires the completion of a two-year Oregon apprenticeship.
Solar thermal installers must either hold a Plumbing Journeyman's License or a Solar Heating and Cooling System Installer License (STL). General Journeymen can do all aspects of solar plumbing work, whereas the STL license is limited to the non-potable side of systems. The Journeyman's license requires the completion of a four-year apprenticeship program whereas the STL requires 2,000 hours of solar-specific on-the-job training prior to 2002 or completion of a division-approved training program.
Training for the solar specialty licenses (LRT and STL) are provided through the Renewable Energy Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (RE JATC) in Oregon. They offer three apprentice programs that are approved by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries: (1) Limited Renewable Energy Technician (LRT) program, (2) the Solar Thermal License (STL) program, and (3) the Combined Renewable Energy program (which combines the LRT and STL). For more information about the apprentice programs, check the Oregon Solar Energy Industries Association web site.