Which Of These High Demand Solar Careers Is Best For You
One of the fastest growing job markets is the solar industry. In the coming years, solar careers will dominate the marketplace.
The best thing about solar jobs is that you can easily retool your current knowledge base to fit into a rising green career.
In this section of our web site we discuss some of the career opportunities in the Solar Energy Industry and provide you with some resources to help you if this is an area you are interested in looking into:
Career Salary And Education Information
What They Do: Solar photovoltaic installers assemble, install, and maintain solar panel systems on rooftops or other structures.
Work Environment: Most solar panel installations are done outdoors, but PV installers sometimes work in attics and crawl spaces to connect panels to the electric grid. Installers must also travel to jobsites.
How to Become One: Although most installers need a high school diploma and typically receive on-the-job training lasting up to 1 year, some candidates take courses at a technical school or community college.
Salary: The median annual wage for solar photovoltaic installers is $46,470.
Job Outlook: Employment of solar photovoltaic installers is projected to grow 51 percent over the next ten years, much faster than the average for all occupations. The continued expansion and adoption of solar PV systems will result in excellent job opportunities, particularly for those who complete training courses on solar panel installation.
Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of solar photovoltaic installers with similar occupations.
Solar Photovoltaic Installer Training
Some PV installers learn their trade on the job by working with experienced installers. On-the-job training usually lasts between 1 month and 1 year. During training, PV installers learn about safety, tools, and PV system installation techniques.
Electrician and roofing apprentices and journey workers may complete photovoltaic-specific training modules through apprenticeships.
Solar PV system manufacturers may also provide training on specific products. Such training usually includes a system overview and proper installation techniques for the manufacturer’s products.
Military veterans may benefit from the Solar Ready Vets program, which is a joint effort of the U.S Departments of Defense and Energy to connect veterans with training and jobs in the solar industry.
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Choosing Natural Energy Career: Understanding Job Outlook For Solar Photovoltaic Installers
The solar industry is booming in America and there is money to be made. The career that is going to benefit most from this boom is solar panel installation.
There is more demand for solar power than ever before and it is still growing. With more demand for solar power, there is more demand for skilled technicians to install these systems.
Want a job in the natural energy sector? Why not become a PV installer? Heres what you need to know about the job outlook for solar photovoltaic installers.
Growth In The Solar Field Is Practically Exponential
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the continued expansion and adoption of solar panel installations is expected to create new jobs until 2028. In fact, the market for solar installers is projected to increase by 63%. This is almost six times as fast as any other construction field!
Utilizing solar energy is practically an untouched market and the positive incentives to using renewable energy need to be shared with potential customers.
In 2018, only 17% of the energy generated in the U.S. was from renewable sources and 2% was from solar. With over a 70% decrease in price to install solar, the industry is looking to attract new customers nationwide.
As more and more residential homes and major corporations take advantage of these systems, the greater the demand is for craft professionals.
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Top 3 Solar Installer Jobs
- Solar Installer – Moxie Solar – Dixon, IL
Moxie Solar has been recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in the corridor, and the largest solar installer in Iowa. We pride ourselves on having fun and creating a productive, and …
- Solar Installer – Sandbar Solar & Electric – Santa Cruz, CA
We have an open Solar Installer position with our residential solar and electrical team. This individual must be comfortable working in a dynamic and demanding construction environment. They must be …
- Solar Installer – OE Solar – Albuquerque, NM
Solar Installer Perform duties on Construction Job sites while wearing all proper PPE Perform installations to plans, installation manuals and industry standards as well as to current NEC Codes …
Solar Careers In Education & Publishing
As this and other sites demonstrate there is a strong and growing demand for valuable information about solar energy, solar products, solar news, etc., and there are a number of websites that cater to different niches in this market, as well as ebooks, research reports, magazine articles, etc.
There is also a demand for teachers to offer classes and programs in solar energy, and there is a big demand for solar training classes, seminars, tradeshows, videos, etc.
Become A Renewable Energy Pro And Hero
Did you know? Electricity created with solar panels produces zero greenhouse gas emissions. Thats right, going solar is environmentally friendly. Its another huge selling point that helps make your job easier. Youll also help to create a better world for future generations.
Sunpro Solar offers a month long paid training that teaches you about the renewable energy industry, the ins-and-outs of the solar systems youre selling, and provides you all the tools you need. This means youll be set up for success from day one.
For more perks of working for Sunpro Solar, check out the sales opportunity description below.
Education For Solar Photovoltaic Installers
Most employers require PV installers to have a high school diploma. Some PV installers take courses at local community colleges or trade schools to learn about solar panel installation. Courses range from basic safety and PV knowledge to system design. Although course lengths vary by state and locality, most usually last a few days to several months.
Some candidates may enter the field by taking online training courses. This option is particularly useful for candidates with prior construction experience, such as former electricians.
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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.
Solar Careers In Post Installation
While solar panels don’t require a lot of maintenance they do need to be cleaned regularly, and monitored to make sure they are working within the system design parameters.
Additionally, there are starting to be a number of upgrades coming onto the market that keep the panels cleaner longer, and even a film that can be placed onto existing solar panels to increase efficiency.
With a life span of 25+ years for crystal silicon based solar panels and slightly less for thin film that means long term contracts and good job security.
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Government Rebates And Incentives
Another one of the major driving factors of demand within the industry is the fact that both federal and state governments are offering financial incentives for people to install solar products in their homes.
There are multiple reasons why the government is encouraging citizens to install solar, but one of the major ones is to decrease pressure on the gas and electric grids. With a growing population, it is beneficial if individuals can produce their own power needs.
But on a more simple level, these monetary incentives are also driving up demand from consumers. Consumers want to save and make money from their power usage.
You should check out the various policies and incentives around the country.
What Skills Does A Solar Salesperson Need
Ahlman stressed the importance of time and data management to keep track of important information and manage a busy schedule of meetings. A solar salesperson needs to coordinate calls and visits with busy prospects. Arriving late to an appointment or double-booking someone for a call can quickly sour a relationship.
Vorobyova noted that salespeople need to be able to quickly and clearly explain how much in additional savings a household can enjoy as a result of state and local solar policies.
Communication and self-awareness helps, said Vorobyova. You have to know how to talk to pretty much everybody. Every single day, you meet so many different people from different backgrounds. The majority of them have never looked into solar. The most important skills communication and being a people person.
Ahlman agreed. Speaking is very important being clear with what youre saying and communicating clearly what our promotions are.
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State Requirements For Solar Licensing
No single solar licensure exists for the entire U.S. Each state establishes its own requirements for solar workers as well as reciprocity with other states. What you need legally to work in the solar industry varies by state.
Licensure is mandatory for certain jobs and practices in various industries. States set up licensing requirements to protect consumers from unsafe practices and establish a baseline level of quality. The license essentially grants permission to an individual to work in a certain occupation with a certain degree of competency. If the individual does not have the license, he or she cannot work in that job. Legislatures pass the licensing laws, which are carried out by government agencies.
In the solar industry, licensing requirements began in the 1980s for solar contractors. A dozen states and Puerto Rico require licensure for solar contractors. In most states, licensed plumbers and electricians do not need a specialized solar license to work on a solar project.
Lawrence recommends newcomers to the solar industry enroll in an entry-level certification program. After taking a course, they know the terminology, they know the basics, Lawrence said.
About 200 solar-specific training programs, including those in community colleges, are registered with NABCEP.
Find out the solar licensing requirements in your state at the IREC Solar Licensing Database
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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The Solar Energy Industry Offers Positions In Many Different Fields
While you may only think of solar panel installers, solar support technicians, and highly technical people being in the solar field, there are plenty of other opportunities. These include sales, labor, and support. If you are open to training programs, you have an excellent chance of being successful in a solar career.
Job Prospects For Solar Photovoltaic Installers
About 2,300 openings for solar photovoltaic installers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.
Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
Despite fast growth, this occupation is small and has limited employment therefore, strong competition for jobs is expected. Job candidates who complete a course in photovoltaic systems at a community college or technical school should have the best opportunities. Those who enter apprenticeships also are expected to have very good job opportunities. Candidates with experience in construction occupations, such as laborers, roofers, and carpenters, should have better job opportunities than those without construction experience.Employment projections data for Solar Photovoltaic Installers, 2019-29
Solar Careers In Research
One of the very active areas is in the researching of new solar technologies materials that can be used to produce electricity, as well as new applications for solar energy the demand for architects knowledgeable about solar energy to know how best to use these technologies and incorporate them into the new building is growing rapidly.
Additionally, there is a big market for adding solar technology on existing buildings and typically a part of every review is to look at the structure and condition of the roof, especially on commercial sized projects.
Already Solar Panels are being added to stadiums, government buildings, commercial buildings, schools, airports, parking garages, not to mention infrastructure projects, ships, and a wide variety of locations and facilities.
Additionally, there are numerous ground based utility sized Solar Parks being developed that need to be planned, laid out, etc.
This has given rise to the new position of Solar Operations Engineer. A Solar Operations Engineer is essentially an architect of new solar energy facilities. They design new solar systems, supervise and inspect the structures during construction, then test and monitor the new facilities.
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.
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Solar Gain Is Looking For Quality People
We provide turnkey solar solutions and are looking to fill several positions within our company. Whether you are searching for a solar installer job or a position in engineering, design, or finance, wed love to have you join our team. If you are a driven, skilled, and passionate individual seeking a position at a growing company in a dynamic industry, we encourage you to apply to Solar Gain today!
Growth Of Solar Power In The United States
Because of a growing interest in renewable energy and the increasingly competitive prices of alternative energy sources, solar power has received a lot of attention over the past several years. However, solar power generation itself is not new it has been used for more than half a century, mostly on a small scale or for specialized purposes, such as generating electricity for spacecraft and satellites or for use in remote areas. Large scale solar generation was mostly developed in the 1970s and 1980s, and is considered a clean energy because of its lack of emissions. Continued growth is expected because solar power has many environmental benefits and is decreasing in price, which will allow it to become increasingly competitive with fossil fuels.
The relatively steep cost of solar power compared with traditional sources of electricity generation is caused by the high cost of manufacturing and installing solar panels. However, the cost of solar power has been trending downward as technology has improved and manufacturers have learned how to improve production efficiency. In addition, as solar power generation becomes more widespread, the cost of installing solar-generation capacity will continue to fall. And as the price of fossil fuels increases, solar power will become more cost effective relative to traditional sources of energy.
Map 1. Available solar power energy in the United States
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Interested Heres Whats Next
Sunpro Solar is scheduled to have recruiters and territory sales managers on-site in Richmond, Virginia: November 2-November 6 and Phoenix, Arizona: November 8-November 13. This means you could walk away with an offer in hand, no waiting on follow-up interviews.
If interested, text Michelle Barcelona: 551-0752
Recruiters and territory sales managers will also be onsite in Springfield, Illinois: November 2-November 6.
If interested, text Cynthia Kern: 551-4540
You can see all our solar job opportunities on our career page.
Solar Power Plant Operator
Average salary: $83,173
A power plant operator is integral to the success of solar power generation. Why? This position requires you to run the equipment necessary to maintain output. Your typical day can be spent running, monitoring and repairing boilers, pumps, turbines, controls and gauges. And you should not fear to get your hands dirty since youre responsible for cleaning and lubricating the tech to prevent malfunctions or excessive wear and tear.
While you will man the solar power plant, you will not be running solo. Instead, there will be a team of experts by your side. So, you should not feel intimidated and think youre going to be Homer Simpson in Sector 7G.
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