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The best way to get the most competitive prices for solar is to compare multiple quotes. EnergySage is the nations online Solar Marketplace: when you sign up for a free account, we connect you with solar companies in your area, who compete for your business with custom solar quotes tailored to fit your needs. Over 10 million people come to EnergySage each year to learn about, shop for, and invest in solar. .
Occupations In Solar Power Engineering
Engineers apply the principles of science and mathematics to develop economical solutions to technical problems. Their work is the link between scientific research and commercial applications. Many engineers specify precise functional requirements, and then design, test, and integrate components to produce designs for new products. After the design phase, engineers are responsible for evaluating a design’s effectiveness, cost, reliability, and safety. Engineers use computers extensively to produce and analyze designs, and for simulating and testing solar energy systems. Computers are also necessary for monitoring quality control processes. Computer software developers design the software and other systems needed to manufacture solar components, manage the production of solar panels, and control some solar generating systems.
Most engineers work in offices, laboratories, or industrial plants. Engineers are typically employed by manufacturers of solar equipment and may travel frequently to different worksites, including to plants in Asia and Europe.
Engineers are one of the most sought-after occupations by employers in the solar power industry. According to the Solar Foundation, 53 percent of manufacturing firms reported difficulty in hiring qualified engineers in 2010.
Software developers typically have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related discipline, combined with experience in computer programming and software design.
Occupational Employment And Wage Statistics
The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link below go to OEWS data maps for employment and wages by state and area.
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What Do Solar Energy System Installers Do
Solar energy system installers’ main responsibility is to install solar equipment in residential and commercial buildings. They must make sure that the installation is done properly, as well as provide excellent customer service to the client. These installers generally work with a construction manager to make sure that the installed solar energy system will meet the client’s expectations. Additionally, they must ensure that the warehouse and trucks they use are stocked properly, as well asRead more
- Assemble and install solar photovoltaic systems.
- Test installed system for desired performance.
- Prepare the site for the solar system, including cutting holes and connecting electrical wiring.
- Assess placement site and measure for security and fit.
Salary For Solar Photovoltaic Installers
Also known as: Bridge Ironworker, Construction Ironworker, Iron Guardrail Installer, Metal Tank Erector, Ornamental Ironworker, Pre-Engineered Metal Building Ironworker, Precast Concrete Ironworker, Steel Fabricator, Steel Fitter, Structural Steel Erector
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Occupations In Solar Power Plant Construction
Once a site has been selected, civil engineers are responsible for the design of the power plant and related structures. When construction begins, workers are needed to build the actual plant. For a concentrating solar power plant, large mirrors are arranged to catch and focus sunlight for power generation, therefore storage tanks, pipes, and generators must be installed before the plant is connected to the electrical grid. Photovoltaic plants are less complex, requiring installation of arrays of photovoltaic panels before they are connected to transformers and the grid. Construction managers have the responsibility of managing the entire construction process.
Construction managers oversee the construction of solar power plants, from site selection to the final construction of the plant. They supervise a team of diverse occupations, including engineers, scientists, construction workers, and heavy-equipment operators. Construction managers are employed by large construction companies, energy companies, or utilities companies and work under contract or as salaried employees. Because of the size of a power plant and the complexity of the construction, a project manager will typically oversee several construction managers, who then supervise individual aspects of the construction.
How To Become A Solar Installer
Becoming a solar panel installer is probably not as hard as you think. It sounds like a highly technical career, but in fact, you do not need years of college education to become one.
Most solar technicians have a high school diploma and have received certification from a trade school. The sorts of things you will learn in a trade school are basic electrical safety, necessary mathematics, the technology and functionality of solar systems, as well as installation techniques.
These courses do not typically take too long and you can be a practicing solar technician within months or weeks. If you are still unsure, why not read what other people are saying about our courses.
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What Do Solar Salespeople Do
Jenna Ahlman, an inside sales representative at Blue Raven Solar based in Utah, spends her day calling prospective solar customers over the phone to see if their homes are a good fit for solar. Ahlman is a solar salesperson, and her role is the link between solar companies and the people they serve.
I spend my day talking to people who say theyre curious about solar but arent convinced that they should look into it. I tell them why its important and give them information, said Ahlman.
Residential solar salespeople spend their time gathering leads, explaining the value proposition of solar to interested people and following up with potential customers.
Solar sales can be broken out into two types of jobs: inside and outside sales.
Inside solar salespeople connect with households over the phone, calling lists of potential leads or responding to inbound inquiries to talk with the goal of arranging a time for another salesperson to visit the customers home.
Dont want to sit at a desk? Outside salespeople usually start their career in solar sales by canvassing door to door to set up appointments, before moving into a more senior position that entails longer, more detailed home visits. Viktoriya Vorobyova from Venture Solar, who is based in Brooklyn, New York, described it as like cold-calling but in person.
Not all solar companies have door-to-door canvassing teams, but it remains a mainstream tactic for local installers.
Ways Homeowners Can Get Paid To Go Solar
by Ryan | Sep 15, 2017 | Economy, Residential |
Let me ask you a question:
Can you afford to go solar today?
you might say no.
Many homeowners still believe that solar power is out of their reach. They think its too expensive and that only people with savings can afford to install solar on their home.
Those homeowners are misinformed!
In fact, when you add all the incentives and savings from lowering your electricity bill, youll see that the average homeowner actually comes out on top!
You actually make money when you install solar.
I know, that sounds crazy. I didnt believe it when I first heard that. But the math works out.
Youll see at the end of the post.
If you are a homeowner and the last few sentences made you curious, take a few minutes to read through this article. Youll be glad you did.
Im going to explain the five top reasons why solar is a great investment for the average homeowner. By the end, youll know more than 99% of homeowners about this incredible opportunity.
Then well tally up all the savings an average homeowner can expect with an average system
And youll see exactly how it pays to go solar right now.
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How Much Does A Solar Farm Cost
While the per watt cost of building a solar farm is lower than residential solar, potential savings for individuals are not nearly as high. Subscribing to a community solar farm will generally save you about 5-15 percent on your electricity bill, whereas with rooftop solar, once youve paid off your system, youll be generating electricity for free!
Compared to residential solar panel setups, a solar farm is much cheaper to build on a dollar per watt basis at between $0.80 and $1.30 per watt rather than the $2.76 per watt average cost of a residential install. Depending on the size of install, solar farm cost can be between $800,000 to over 1.3 million dollars significantly higher than the $20,474 average cost of a residential install. However, solar panel farms at the utility-scale will typically be at least one megawatt , which is a power plant capable of supplying some 200 households.
Solar Panel Cost By State
As interesting as it is to look at the average solar panel cost in the United States, its also very helpful to understand what solar will cost in each state, as prices can vary significantly depending on where you live. Why? There are a number of reasons, but one important factor to keep in mind is system size.
In general, states where homeowners need to use air conditioning more often have more average electricity used per household. As such, some of the largest solar panel systems are installed in sunny, warm states like Arizona and Florida. Why does this matter? For solar installers, the larger your system, the less they will usually charge per kilowatt-hour . Its like buying in bulk at Costco you might pay a higher sticker price, but your per-unit costs are lower when you buy more at one time. Well dive into this phenomenon more below.
Back to solar panels. In the end, this very roughly translates to lower $/W pricing in warm states and higher $/W pricing in cold states. But in the end, total pricing is usually close to a wash warm states have a lower price per watt, but larger system sizes, and cold states have a higher price per watt, but smaller system sizes.
Table: cost of solar panels by state
NOTE: These ranges are system prices BEFORE the 26 percent federal tax credit for solar. Additionally, EnergySage does not currently provide quotes in all 50 states, which limits our ability to provide solar panel cost estimates in each.
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What Might People Not Know About Being A Solar Salesperson
You have to be resilient to sell solar.
People can be rude, said Ahlman. Even those who have requested something from you, not cold calls.”
One thing that surprised Vorobyova was the lack of environmental motivation among potential customers.
Not too many people really worry about the environment or believe inwhats happening, she said, referring to climate change. I was surprised about that. But hopefully, thats starting to change now.
At the same time, Vorobyova noted, salespeople need to understand policy to pitch solar effectively. Although most solar sales conversations focus on the value proposition of home solar for a specific prospect, solar salespeople need to always keep the big picture of their city or states solar market in mind particularly incentives that might impact how much savings a customer will get from solar.
In New York, rebates and tax credits can cover nearly three-quarters of gross costs for most solar projects, according to Brooklyn-based installer Brooklyn SolarWorks.
Its good that there are state, federal and city benefits, said Vorobyova. those benefits are starting to go away, so talking about that gives people a sense of urgency.
Are Solar Farms Worth It
The trend over the past 10 years shows more and more agricultural land being dedicated to solar farms, indicating that solar farms are worth it.
Several things are driving this phenomenon:
- Depending on farm-land output, it is simply more profitable to launch a solar farm
- The land is easier to manage, requiring little work after installation
- Energy is in big demand and new sources are desperately needed
- Government loans and grants are making it more attractive for land-owners
- Leasing land to solar companies is an easy way to monetize under-performing land
Solar farms are a big investment and investments are measured in ROI . This asks the questions How much money do solar farms make over time?.
Its hard to generalize due to different conditions from state to state, but as a general rule ROI for a solar farm is between 13% to 15% and payback time is between 8 to 12 years.
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What Barriers Might Stop Someone From Succeeding
Certain physical abilities are a requirement for outside solar sales, as salespeople need to travel long distances and enter many types of homes that might not meet accessible design standards. Evening hours and weekend work can also be expected in some solar sales roles.
But when it comes to education, solar sales can be more accessible than some other positions in the cleantech industry. Salespeople learn about the product they sell on the job, and a college degree typically isnt required, although salespeople come from a variety of educational backgrounds.
The first few days, we had in-house training and learned everything about the company and the benefits of solar, so education isnt much of a barrier, said Vorobyova.
The role is also flexible and potentially lucrative, Vorobyova said. It can take up as much time as you put into it. It can be a little difficult sometimes on very busy days, working so many hours, but if thats something youre willing to do, then you can succeed. If you want time off, theyll approve it. And theres no cap on how much you can get paid, or on your satisfaction.
Every solar company is different. Often, new salespeople can succeed and move up quickly based on strong performance. Vorobyova canvassed for three months before being promoted.
What Are The Requirements To Become A Solar Technician
Most companies require that solar technicians have a high school diploma and a valid drivers license. Learning safety procedures is a priority for companies that offer on-the-job training. Professionals who have attended classes and training programs have better job opportunities, as well as individuals who have related trade experience, such as electricians, roofers, or carpenters, as they already understand aspects of construction and only require minimal additional training.
Salary data website PayScale confirms the report above by the BLS, noting that companies are beginning to expect solar installation applicants to have specific certifications and job experience.
Outside of the hard skills and training required for this profession, successful technicians must also have excellent communication skills and be able to interact effectively with co-workers, supervisors, and customers.
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Rooftop Solar Vs Solar Farms
Joining a community solar farm can be a great option if your roof isnt right for solar or dont want solar panels installed on your property. Even if your roof is good for solar, enrolling in a community solar project can still be worth it if the costs are low and the contract terms are beneficial. As community solar projects become more common and the contract terms become more consumer-friendly, solar farm options will compete even more with rooftop solar. However, each individual property has unique challenges and considerations, and theres no easy way to determine if youre the right candidate for joining a solar farm.
Check out our comparison of rooftop and community solar for a more in-depth look at how the two options stack up against one another.
Occupations In Manufacturing For Solar Power
Manufacturing in the solar industry focuses on three technologies: concentrating solar power , photovoltaic solar power, and solar water heating. However, the vast majority of solar manufacturing firms focus mainly on photovoltaic solar power and producing photovoltaic panels. The production process for photovoltaic panels is more complex than for CSP components, and it involves complicated electronics. Making photovoltaic panels requires the work of many skilled workers, including semiconductor processors, computer-controlled machine tool operators, glaziers, and coating and painting workers. The manufacture of CSP mirrors includes many of the same occupations.
Semiconductor processors are workers who oversee the manufacturing process of solar cells. Semiconductors are unique substances, which act as either conductors or insulators of electricity, depending on the conditions. Semiconductor processors turn semiconductors into photovoltaic cells. The process begins with the production of cylinders of silicon or other semiconducting materials, which are called ingots. The ingots are sliced into thin wafers using automated equipment, and are sometimes polished. The wafers are then connected to metal strips and placed into the cells. These cells are then arranged into larger solar panels.
Industrial production managers are typically required to have college degrees in business administration, management, industrial technology, or engineering.
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Solar Panel Costs In : National Pricing For Solar Panel Systems
On average, a 10 kilowatt solar panel installation costs $20,424 after taking into account the federal solar tax credit . Generally, solar panels will cost between $15,000 and $25,000.
What is the average cost range for a solar installation? For a 10 kW solar panel installation in the United States, quotesrange from $17,612 to $23,236 after taking into account the federal solar tax credit .
Cities That Have The Highest Pay
The BLS reports the following cities as having the highest average annual pay for solar photovoltaic installers:
- Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA: $72,300 average annual salary
- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA: $58,650
- Visalia-Porterville, CA: $58,590
- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI: $55,450
The high wages of these cities is tied to the economy, regulations, and the weather. California and Hawaii both have thriving energy sectors due to the high cost of electricity and good solar resources.
Hawaii has one of the highest per capita rates of solar power in the country and is the first state to reach grid parity for photovoltaics. California is not far behind, as the state saw its share of solar rise from 0.5 percent of generation in 2010 to ten percent in 2017, as reported in the LA Times. California also recently proposed legislation that will require that all of the states power come from renewable sources by 2045.
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