We report on measurements of the minority carrier lifetime for different epitaxial 4H-SiC layers by using the microwave photoconductivity decay (µ-PCD) method. This is a non-contacting, non-destructive method very useful for the monitoring of recombination processes in semiconductor material. Distinct samples have been analyzed, giving different lifetime values. Transmittance and absorption spectra have also been carried out. The n-type layers, giving rise to a specific absorption peak near 470 nm, are not sensitive to optical excitation for the used wavelengths, as opposite to p-type layers whose lifetime values depend on thickness and doping.