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Solar installers are responsible for installing solar panels on roofs and buildings. During their work, they take into consideration site-specific schematics and install solar and photovoltaic devices based on codes and standards defined by precise instructions.

As a solar installer, your job will be to measure and assemble solar modules and secure them to structural frames. Setting up the electrical circuits fed by solar energy will also be your task, as well as preparing faulty structures and performing maintenance work on the devices.

You will also be expected to identify any safety hazards related to the installed panels and make sure they are sufficiently sealed and correctly wired. You need specific training to do the job successfully and be aware of necessary safety measures while performing the tasks.

What Does a Solar Installer Do

Solar photovoltaic (PV) installers, often called PV installers, assemble, install, or maintain solar panel systems on roofs or other structures.

Learn more about what a Solar Installer does

How To Become a Solar Installer

There are multiple paths to becoming a solar photovoltaic (PV) installer, often called PV installers. Some workers need only a high school diploma and receive on-the-job training lasting up to 1 year. Other candidates take a course at a technical school or community college. Some PV installers learn to install panels as part of an apprenticeship.

Education

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 length varies 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 is particularly useful for candidates with prior construction experience, such as former electricians.

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 which workers learn about safety, tool use, and PV system installation techniques.

Solar PV system manufacturers may also provide specific training on a product. Such training usually includes a system overview and proper installation techniques of the manufacturer’s products.

Some large construction contractors provide training to new employees on their own. Workers learn basic PV safety and are given increasingly complex tasks as they prove their abilities.

The U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Defense launched the Solar Ready Vets program in 2014 to connect veterans with jobs in the solar industry.

Although there are currently no apprenticeship programs for solar photovoltaic installers, some learn PV installation through other occupational apprenticeship programs. Electrician and roofing apprentices and journey workers may complete photovoltaic-specific training modules.

In most states, an electrician is fully qualified to connect PV systems to electric grids. They are also able to connect panels to inverters and batteries.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Residential panel installers must work in customers’ homes. As a result, workers must maintain professionalism and perform the work in a timely manner.

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. They must be able to build support structures that hold PV panels in place and properly 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 during the course of the day.

Physical strength. PV installers must often lift heavy equipment, parts, and tools. Workers should be strong enough to lift panels that weigh up to 50 pounds.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Experience in construction may shorten a new employee’s training time. For example, workers with experience as an electrician, roofer, carpenter, or laborer typically already understand and can perform basic construction duties.

In addition, those with knowledge of electrical work, such as electricians, are highly valued by contractors.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not mandatory, PV installers may obtain certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners. Certification can demonstrate professionalism and basic PV knowledge to employers. To qualify, workers must complete at least 58 hours of advanced PV training at an accredited school or organization, as well as a 10-hour construction safety course through Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). They also need to pass an exam and show documentation of having led three to five PV installation projects, depending on prior experience.

The Electronics Technicians Association, International (ETA) also offers photovoltaic installer certification. Education and training must be taken from an ETA-approved school.

There is also the Certified Solar Roofing Professional (CSRP) credential offered by Roof Integrated Solar Energy (RISE) Inc. In order to qualify, workers need to prove they have 40 hours of education or training related to basic competencies. Additionally, candidates need to have 3 years of roofing or PV installation experience and have completed at least five PV installations. They must also pass a test.

Solar Installer Career Paths

Average Salary for a Solar Installer

Solar Installers in America make an average salary of $35,356 per year or $17 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $49,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $25,000 per year.
Average Solar Installer Salary
$35,356 Yearly
$17.00 hourly
$25,000
10 %
$35,000
Median
$49,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Solar Installer Education

Solar Installer Degrees

High School Diploma

39.6 %

Bachelors

20.0 %

Associate

17.5 %

Top Skills For a Solar Installer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 15.6% of solar installers listed hand tools on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and mechanical skills are important as well.

  • Hand Tools, 15.6%
  • Customer Service, 14.3%
  • Safety Hazards, 9.6%
  • Electrical Systems, 7.3%
  • Safety Rules, 6.7%
  • Other Skills, 46.5%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Solar Installer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Solar Installer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Solar Installer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Solar Installer Demographics

Solar Installer Gender Distribution

Male
Male
95%
Female
Female
6%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among solar installers, 5.5% of them are women, while 94.5% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among solar installers is White, which makes up 59.3% of all solar installers.

  • The most common foreign language among solar installers is Spanish at 94.2%.

Online Courses For Solar Installer That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Solar Energy: Photovoltaic (PV) Systems
edX (Global)

In this course you will learn how to turn solar cells into full modules; and how to apply full modules to full photovoltaic systems. The course will widely cover the design of photovoltaic systems, such as utility scale solar farms or residential scale systems (both on and off the grid). You will learn about the function and operation of various components including inverters, batteries, DC-DC converters and their interaction with both the modules and the grid. After learning about the...

SOLAR ENERGY Design Course(With SketchUp & PVSYST)-PV system
udemy
4.2
(969)

PV system/Solar Energy deisgn Course. Components, Site survey, Design, SOFTWARES, Pricing, Technical & finanical Reports...

Ultimate Solar Energy Course Bundle From Zero To Hero
udemy
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Learn How To Design And Install Solar Energy Systems With Step By Step Examples In 10 Solar Energy Courses...

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Best States For a Solar Installer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a solar installer. The best states for people in this position are Hawaii, Nevada, California, and Maryland. Solar installers make the most in Hawaii with an average salary of $45,610. Whereas in Nevada and California, they would average $43,999 and $43,677, respectively. While solar installers would only make an average of $42,622 in Maryland, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Nevada

Total Solar Installer Jobs:
80
Highest 10% Earn:
$65,000
Location Quotient:
1.78 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Connecticut

Total Solar Installer Jobs:
187
Highest 10% Earn:
$55,000
Location Quotient:
2.62 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Ohio

Total Solar Installer Jobs:
183
Highest 10% Earn:
$59,000
Location Quotient:
0.83 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Solar Installers

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Top Solar Installer Employers

Most Common Employers For Solar Installer

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Swinerton$90,278$43.4010
2First Solar$69,459$33.3921
3Sunrun$63,576$30.5771
4Vivint Solar$62,166$29.8927
5McCarthy Holdings, Inc.$61,314$29.4816
6Blattner Energy$37,131$17.8532
7Direct Energy$36,706$17.6512
8Eastridge Workforce Solutions$35,356$17.0023
9REC$35,356$17.0020
10Horizon Solar Power$35,356$17.0015

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