Monday, April 15, 2024

How Do You Become A Solar Panel Installer

Generate And Convert Solar Leads

Become a Solar Panel Installer in 2021? Salary, Jobs, Education

Once you have acquired your solar installation license, use our solar lead generation guide to fill your deal flow.

We also advise using Pylon Solar Design Software to generate proposals in under 2 minutes. It is the only full-features solar design software with no monthly fees. Instead, you only pay $4 per project.

Network Within The Industry

The best way to find learning and job opportunities in any career is to connect with others who are already in the industry. Chances are, they probably have valuable insights that you cant find in a book, trade magazine, or classroom setting. There are numerous Solar Power trade shows, conferences, and events across the country such as the Solar Power Events Series. Some events may help you connect with smaller solar communities near you.

What Is A Solar Photovoltaic Installer

A solar photovoltaic installer is someone who installs solar panels for residential and commercial uses. There are many different uses of solar panels, such as to provide power for lighting and hot water.

A solar installer will have to consider how individual panels will be integrated into the roofing of a home or other building. They will also need to plan how the whole system will fit together with the buildings electrical needs.

Each building that a solar technician works on is likely going to be different. This is because roofs are at different angles and face in different directions so they have more or less access to sunlight.

As a solar technician, you can design and install these projects from start to finish. You can also work repairing broken solar systems or maintaining them as needed.

Also Check: What Are The Best Solar Panels For Home Use

Can I Install Solar Panels On My Home Myself

You can install solar panels on your home yourself. You will need some electrical wiring experience, and we suggest that you also use a professional solar contractor or electrician to do the wiring and connection processes to ensure that you:

  • Do not electrocute yourself, which can be fatal
  • Do not destroy expensive solar components with accidental shorts or arcs
  • Do not start an electrical fire that damages or destroys your home, solar array, and solar components.

Solar Installer Job Description Sample

Solar Panel Installer

With this Solar Installer job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Solar Installer role.

Job Summary

We are seeking a Solar Installer to join our team. Our ideal candidate has excellent physical stamina for lifting and mounting solar panels on our clients’ roofs and knows how to use power tools for constructing the framing of the panels and configuring the wiring. On more extensive construction programs, you may be responsible for managing work crews, so leadership skills are a plus. You must have a background in a field like roofing or any systems that use electricity. General construction experience is also acceptable.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assemble solar panels at the job site
  • Mount the panels on the client’s roof or in another location
  • Configure the wiring and inspect all electrical parts
  • Install and connect any batteries or other accessories
  • Perform maintenance on all systems

Requirements and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or GED certificate
  • Construction experience

Also Check: Is It Harder To Sell A House With Solar Panels

Understanding Job Outlook For Solar Photovoltaic Installers

The demand for solar photovoltaic installation is on the rise. In 2018, there were 9,700 solar installers in the United States. Most of them were in sunny California!

However, that number is rapidly going to increase as demand rises. According to the BLS, as of March 2020, it has been projected that this number will increase by 63% in ten years. That is much faster than almost any other career path.

More job opportunities also mean that there will be more money to be made within the industry. As employers are looking to employ more skilled technicians, they will have more money to pay.

What Certifications Are Available To Solar Pv Installers

The leading certifications specific to solar installers are through the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners . The organization offers a variety of certifications that are designed for solar system installation and sales professionals.

Some states require NABCEP certification for solar installers. In other areas, NABCEP certification is optional but an excellent way to build a resume, earn trust from potential customers, and validate knowledge. This guide will provide an overview of the different programs available we recommend you explore your specific state and local requirements.

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States That Have The Highest Pay

The BLS reports the following states as having the highest average annual pay for solar photovoltaic installers:

  • Oregon: $58,180
  • Massachusetts: $53,180
  • Arizona: $51,840

The higher wages in these states are generally attributed to their primary industries. They all have economies based on tourism, government or military presence, and high-tech industries.

Please note that only twenty-three states and Puerto Rico have reported employment and wage statistics for solar technicians. Twenty-two cities and metropolitan divisions, and three non-metropolitan areas are all that have detailed employment and wage statistics. The states and cities that have not reported may have significantly higher or lower averages.

The reported salaries do not necessarily reflect the economic status of individuals because the numbers do not account for the differences in the cost of living. For example, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center , the cost of living index for Hawaii was 191.8. That is the highest cost of all the states, which some attribute to the Jones Act, and it means that Hawaiians paid $191.80 for what cost $100 in other states.

Develop Strategies To Boost Brand Awareness And Create A Corporate Identity

How to Become a Solar Installation Lead

The solar panel installation industry, by comparison, is still relatively new, and many companies are searching for their own version of V Power. Ways to get your own V Power may include

  • Research the customers mind set in each local market
  • Nail your message
  • Ride the locavore movement

23. Create a Supplier/Distribution Network

The need to develop alternative energy sources has been widely accepted in the world. Solar energy is one of the alternatives being developed and its potential contribution is highly touted. The possible utilization of solar energy for heating and cooling of public, commercial and residential buildings has gained considerable attention and support.

Information on the application and viability of solar energy for heating and cooling buildings is being distributed by both public and private sources in an attempt to generate awareness and interest. Recognizing that information alone will not result in widespread adoption, both Federal and state governments are offering financial incentives to encourage interested consumers to incorporate solar options into their homes.

24. Tips for Running a Solar Panel Installation Business Successfully

Managing a solar installation business isnt an Easy task. Whether its a small local installer working on one system a week on neighbourhood homes, or a large installer working on 500 systems a week in multiple states, the logistics, engineering, financing, customer relations and project management are daunting.

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What Does A Solar Technician Do

Solar technicians are responsible for assembling, installing, and maintaining solar panel systems on rooftops or other structures. Solar technicians are often mechanically minded and like to work outdoors. Their work is physical, requiring them to be on their feet most of the day, climb ladders, and carry the panels. A solar technician cannot be afraid of heights and should be comfortable working individually as well as in groups. The installation of solar panels often requires the ability to work as part of a team, while service and maintenance are often solo work.

Solar technicians have a variety of job responsibilities, which depend on their experience. Before installation, solar technicians must identify the location and configuration of the panels, which includes determining the orientation of the panels and confirming the structural integrity of the building. Additionally, installations must conform to federal, state, and local building codes. With these responsibilities, technicians must be able to read blueprints, schematics, and specifications and may need to confer with building inspectors occasionally.

What Are The Requirements For A Solar Installer Certification

  • To become a certified solar PV installer, an individual must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Individuals may need at least a high school diploma or equivalent to enter an entry-level position as a solar installer.
  • From there, a student would learn how to assemble, install, and maintain solar panel systems on-the-job over a year.
  • If you dont get hired to learn on the job, you might want to look for a community college or vocational school that offers courses or even look for an apprenticeship program.
  • Students must pass the NABCEP entry-level written exam, which is not the same as a certification, but it opens a way for them to demonstrate that they have obtained basic PV systems.
  • Candidates also need to pass an exam and show documentation of having led three to five PV installation projects, depending on prior experience.
  • Registration for an exam can accomplish through an entry-level course or a testing center.

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Important Qualities For Solar Photovoltaic Installers

Communication skills. PV installers often need to communicate effectively with clients to ensure customer satisfaction and with other workers to ensure that proper safety and installation procedures are followed.

Detail oriented. PV installers must carefully follow instructions during installation. If they fail to do so, the system may not work properly.

Mechanical skills. PV installers work with complex electrical and mechanical equipment in order to build support structures for solar panels and to connect the panels to the electrical system.

Physical stamina. PV installers are often on their feet carrying panels and other heavy equipment. When installing rooftop panels, workers may need to climb ladders many times throughout the day.

Physical strength. PV installers often lift heavy equipment and materials weighing up to 50 pounds.

Q How Long Does It Take To Become A Solar Panel Installer

How to Become a Certified Solar Installer

Its possible to start working as a Solar Panel Installer as soon as you graduate from high school.

However, there are employers who require at least a two-year degree or certification from a solar installer program, which can take anywhere from several weeks to a year or more to complete.

If this is something that you are interested in, speak to the employer that you want to work for to see what their requirements are.

It can take several years to become a Solar Panel Installer, or it may just take a couple of weeks in order to learn the ropes of the career.

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States That Require No Certification

At present, there are still states that do not have dedicated solar licensing requirements. These states may have other requirements, which are listed below:

  • Colorado While some counties, including El Paso, have solar licensing requirements, the state as a whole does not
  • Kentucky While a licensed electrician needs to be involved with aspects of solar installation, there are no requirements as to who can perform the installation
  • Maine Requires electricians install solar panels
  • Massachusetts Requires electricians install solar panels
  • Michigan Requires state-specific licensing
  • Nevada Requires state contractor license
  • New Hampshire Requires an electrician license
  • New Jersey Requires a home improvement registration
  • New Mexico State contractor license covers solar installation
  • North Carolina Requires an electrician license
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio State contractor electrician or HVAC license required
  • Rhode Island Requires state licensing
  • South Carolina Requires electricians install solar panels
  • South Dakota Requires electrician license
  • Tennessee Requires electrician license
  • West Virginia Requires electrician license
  • Wyoming Requires electrician license

How Much Can You Earn As A Solar Installer

Once youve received your solar installation certification or licensing, youll be eligible to earn up to $74,000 per year.

This is the high-end of the salary range, according to Glassdoor.

Your actual salary will vary greatly upon location states with higher demands for solar installation will pay better and experience and source of your certification.

The national average salary for a solar installer is about $54,000 per year, while the low end is closer to $33,000 per year.

Read Also: Why Should We Use Solar Energy

What Are The Similarities And Differences Of Certifications Vs Licenses

In general, states require licensing to perform certain types of work, while certifications are voluntary. State and local governments created contractor licenses to impose specific standards and protect consumer safety. Unfortunately, many licenses are limited to a particular state. This makes it difficult for installers to move because their license may not be valid in a different state. One benefit of NABCEP certification is that it is nationally recognized and is not limited to a specific state or locality.

Starting Your Own Business

How to Install Solar Panels – a COMPLETE DIY Guide

The solar industry is booming, and there are many opportunities for those who want to get into solar installation.

There are many different ways to make money in this field, including selling products to homeowners, installing solar panels, and working as an installer.

Becoming an expert in selling and installing solar panels means more than knowledge about how to navigate financial incentives and rebates.

It also means being able to work with utility companies and regulations that arent immediately obvious during the planning process.

Companies who do the research to save customers time and money get contracts.

Regulation and finance ninjas help solar companies succeed. There is a lot of competition, but there is still room for one person to do well in their solar panel business.

Solar installers are usually the most saturated business in the market, but if youre looking to start a solar installation company, roofing is a great place to start.

Both roofing and solar have about the same lifespan, so combining them makes sense.

Roofing contractors are already familiar with roofs, and solar installers know how to work with solar systems.

There are lots of overlapping markets between roofing and solar, and both industries are growing quickly so its useful to bear this in mind when planning your business.

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Licenses Certifications And Registrations

Some states require a license for PV installers. Contact your stateâs licensing board for more information.

PV installers must travel to jobsites, so employers may require them to have a driverâs license.

Although not required for employment, certification demonstrates competency in solar panel installation. The Electronics Technicians Association, International and the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners offer certification for PV installers. Some states require that for projects to qualify for solar-related subsidies, all PV installers working on the projects must have certification.

Find The Best Location

The Goal Is to find the best location for the array to receive the most sun and the best quality sunlight. That ideal location may be the roof of your house, garage, or barn, or it may be on a platform on the ground.

For most areas, a direct southern view is best. The sun rises in the East and sets in the West, making a southern facing array always in the sun. There is much less chance of shading if the solar panels face the South.

The best angle for solar panels will depend on where you are in the world. Direct south is best for most applications. Because the sun moves throughout the day, the south is the best location unless you use solar trackers.

Tip: Improve solar locations with sun trackers. These devices follow the sun and reposition the panels or array to face the sun directly. A direct position provides more sunlight on the panels. A glancing direction means more of the incoming sunlight refracts off that glass rather than absorbs into the solar panel.

Not only is the correct location about harnessing as much sunlight as possible, but also about keeping the distance between the array and house as short as possible. The longer the distance that energy must travel, the more energy is lost.

If you have a ground installation at some distance from the house, you will need to use heavier gauge wire.

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What Are The Key Solar Energy Concepts That Everyone Should Know

Solar PV systems are cells that are made of two semiconductor layers.

When photovoltaic cells are exposed to sunlight, and photons are absorbed by the negative layer of the cell, this will cause electrons to be freed

These freed electrons migrate naturally to the positive layer creating a voltage differential.

Each solar energy cell produces only 1- 2 Watts of energy.

So to increase the output power, cells are combined in a weather-tight package called a solar module, commonly called a solar panel.

The inverter is known as the brain of a solar system.

It converts the electricity from your solar panels to generate DC or Direct Current into power that can be used by domestic appliances, which use AC or Alternating Current.

Sunlight is considered an environmentally friendly resource of energy.

With the help of photovoltaic panels, sunlight is transformed into electrical energy.

Recent advanced technologies have sufficiently reduced the cost of solar panels to make them a viable source of power for businesses and homeowners alike.

A solar installer puts these systems in place.

A solar panel installer performs two essential tasks installing PV systems & maintaining solar systems that are already in place.

What Are The Steps To Becoming A Solar Technician

Benefits Of A Solar Power System

There are different paths to becoming a solar technician. It is essential, however, to be aware that electronics are becoming more sophisticated and that equipment is increasingly complex, meaning that there is a higher threshold for expertise. Technicians must have more knowledge to obtain entry-level positions than in the past. Below, aspiring solar technicians can find the four most common steps towards this profession.

Step 1: Obtain a high school diploma or GED .

Aspiring solar technicians are advised to take shop classes and learn how to work with their hands from an early age. Since electronics are a growing component of solar installations, students should also take courses in science, math, computers, and electronics.

Students should maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 and participate in extracurricular activities, which include physical education classes, sports clubs and teams, and volunteer work, internships or part-time jobs for solar or construction companies.

Step 2: Gain further education or training .

Prospective technicians who have worked for solar companies as high school students may be able to continue their on-the-job practice after graduating. Others may be able to find a company willing to hire them without further formal training.

Step 3: Acquire an advanced degree or certification

Step 4: Get licensed

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