FIND PERSONALIZED JOBS
Sign up to Zippia and discover your career options with your personalized career search.

Log In

Log In to Save

Sign Up to Save

Sign Up to Dismiss

or

The email and password you specified are invalid. Please, try again.

Email and password are mandatory

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Sign Up

reset password

Enter your email address and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Back to Log In

FIND
PERSONALIZED JOBS

Become A Solar Installer PV

Where do you want to work?

To get started, tell us where you'd like to work.
Sorry, we can't find that. Please try a different city or state.

Working As A Solar Installer PV

  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • $50,297

    Average Salary

What Does A Solar Installer PV Do

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

Duties

PV installers typically do the following:

  • Plan PV system configuration based on customer needs and site conditions
  • Install solar modules, panels, or support structures in accordance with building codes and standards
  • Connect PV panels to the power grid
  • Apply weather sealing to equipment being installed 
  • Activate and test PV systems to verify performance
  • Perform routine PV system maintenance

Sunlight is considered an environmentally friendly source of energy. By way of photovoltaic panels, sunlight is transformed into electricity. Recent technological advances have sufficiently reduced the cost of solar panels to make it a viable source of electricity for businesses and homeowners alike. PV installers put these systems in place.

PV installers use a variety of hand and power tools to install photovoltaic panels. They often use wrenches, saws, and screwdrivers to connect panels to frames, wires, and support structures.

Many new workers begin by performing basic tasks, such as installing support structures and placing PV panels or PV shingles on top of them. Once the panels are in place, more experienced installers usually perform more complex duties, such as connecting electrical components.

Depending on the job and state laws, PV installers may connect the solar arrays to the electric grid, although electricians sometimes perform this duty. Once installed, workers check electrical systems for proper wiring, polarity, grounding, and integrity of terminations, and perform maintenance as needed.

Show More

Show Less

How To Become A Solar Installer PV

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.

Show More

Show Less

Solar Installer PV Demographics

Gender

Male

90.1%

Female

8.5%

Unknown

1.4%
Ethnicity

White

62.8%

Hispanic or Latino

27.6%

Asian

6.7%

Unknown

1.6%

Black or African American

1.2%
Show More
Languages Spoken

Spanish

100.0%

Solar Installer PV Education

Schools

William M. Maguy School of Education

8.7%

Drexel University

8.7%

Fresno City College

8.7%

Western Washington University

4.3%

International Academy of Design and Technology

4.3%

Kapiolani Community College/University of HI Community Colleges

4.3%

San Antonio College

4.3%

Adelphi University

4.3%

Lincoln Technical Institute

4.3%

Allan Hancock College

4.3%

University of Antelope Valley

4.3%

Harvard University

4.3%

Cuyamaca College

4.3%

Palo Verde College

4.3%

San Jose City College

4.3%

Bakersfield College

4.3%

Santa Fe College

4.3%

University of Texas at Austin

4.3%

San Joaquin Valley College

4.3%

Bryant and Stratton College

4.3%
Show More
Majors

Business

14.8%

Electrical Engineering Technology

11.1%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

11.1%

Electrical Engineering

11.1%

General Studies

7.4%

Criminal Justice

7.4%

Audiovisual Communications Technologies

3.7%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

3.7%

Psychology

3.7%

Photography

3.7%

Project Management

3.7%

Electrical And Power Transmission Installers

3.7%

Agricultural Engineering

1.9%

International Business

1.9%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

1.9%

Medical Technician

1.9%

Computer Information Systems

1.9%

Health Education

1.9%

Mechanical Engineering

1.9%

Cosmetology

1.9%
Show More
Degrees

Associate

27.3%

Other

27.3%

Bachelors

22.7%

Certificate

15.2%

Masters

3.0%

Diploma

3.0%

Doctorate

1.5%
Show More
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills for A Solar Installer PV

SafetyProceduresConfigureInvertersLayoutSolarModules/ArrayAc/DcJobSiteElectricalEquipmentInstallPVMechanical/StructuralBasicHandToolsSolarArray/SystemInstallationJobAdditionalSubpanelsSolarPhotovoltaicElectricalInstallationSupportStructuresJobComponentsSiteAssessmentCombinerBoxesPre-Assemble

Show More

Top Solar Installer PV Skills

  1. Safety Procedures
  2. Configure Inverters
  3. Layout
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Reviewed and implemented engineer's designs Prepared and installed rooftop PV panels in accordance with electrical code and safety procedures
  • Program, adjust, or configure inverters and controls for desired set points and operating modes.
  • Job Duties: Design, Layout, DC electrical work, Panel racking, solar panel mounting, fine finish work.
  • Load supplys into box trucks, drive to job site, and performed the job to install solar panels.
  • Lay racking system and install pv solor.

Top Solar Installer PV Employers