An expert at installing solar panels on a resident’s property is a solar installer. Your education and prior experience can provide you with transferable abilities that can help you flourish in the solar installation industry. You must acquire excellent technical knowledge and hard skills in order to succeed in this role. This post explains what a solar installer is, how to become one, and offers advice on how to do it.
What is the job of a solar installer?
In order to facilitate the conversion of solar energy into electricity, solar installers are in charge of installing solar panels and associated equipment. A solar installer should possess technical abilities for installing wiring, solar panels, and other equipment, as well as an understanding of solar energy technology and expertise in adhering to safety protocols.
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To complete the installation procedure, the solar installer must be able to handle both hand and power tools with precision and attention to detail. It can also be necessary for them to offer continuous assistance, including upkeep and fixing services, to guarantee the solar systems’ continuous efficiency.
Duties of a solar panel installer
Installers of solar panels are responsible for a variety of tasks, some of which include:
- When necessary, installing brand-new solar panels and connecting them to the current electrical grid; routinely maintaining solar panels to guarantee their continuous performance
- Educating clients on the advantages of solar energy as a substitute energy source
- Putting up new solar panels on buildings that are residential, business, or industrial
- Installing new solar panels with cranes and other heavy equipment on parking lots or roofs
- Installing new solar panel parts or fixing broken sections in systems that already have solar panels
- Wiring solar panels that are not linked to the grid to be installed
- Installing inverters to transform solar panels’ DC power into AC power suitable for use in buildings or commercial spaces
- Installing batteries to store solar energy for use in cloudy or dark conditions
A high school diploma or its equivalent is usually required by employers. It might benefit to have prior mechanical or electrical installation experience. Individuals with prior military or trade experience are at a disadvantage and could require less extra training.
A lot of solar technicians get up skills on the job. Obtaining a degree, certificate, or diploma from a nearby trade school or community college is an additional option. Apart from providing practical instruction in solar panel installation, the courses include photovoltaic applications, safety, fundamentals of power, and system architecture.
Upon program completion, students are eligible to sit for the Photovoltaic Associate (PVA) exam offered by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Keeping up with the latest developments in solar technology requires ongoing study. Numerous certifications are available, such as those provided by NABCEP and the Electronics Technicians Association.
If you’re looking for another approach to improve your abilities, consider enrolling in a certification program offered by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Certifications show that you are knowledgeable about solar panels and that you are prepared to further your education, which is why employers respect them. Solar installers are even required by several jobs to possess this kind of accreditation.
Verify which states demand NABCEP accreditation in order to work as a solar installer so that you may move forward with your next professional step right away.
To obtain this certification, you need to complete 58 hours of advanced photovoltaic training at a recognized institution. Additionally, you must have finished the Occupation Safety & Health Administration’s 10-hour construction safety course (OSHA). Pass the test and submit proof that you oversaw three to five projects.
Skills of a Solar Installer
- Experience in sales
- Strong communication abilities
- The capacity to interpret technical plans and drawings
- Familiarity with renewable energy technology
- Outstanding ability to serve customers
- High technical ability and effective problem-solving abilities
- Capacity to function both alone and collaboratively
- Obtain the necessary state and municipal contractor licenses before working as an installer.
- A minimum of one year of solar installation experience, or equivalent
- General understanding of the fundamentals of electrical engineering
- Comprehensive knowledge of construction codes
- Exceptional attention to detail
- Capable of working outside in a range of weather situations
- The ability to read and finish blueprints is required.
- Must be able to lift 50 pounds on your own without help.
Pay & Prospects
The type of solar panels used, the size of the installation, and the installer’s degree of expertise all affect how much a solar panel installer gets paid.
- $52,500 is the median annual salary ($25.24 an hour).
- Top 10% Annual Salary: $46.63 per hour, or $97,000.
Over the next ten years, it is anticipated that the employment of solar panel installers will increase far faster than average.
The need for solar panel installers will grow as more individuals install solar panels. Additionally, employment will increase when outdated panels need to be replaced.
Installers of solar panels usually carry out their job outside on roofs or in other high places. They may have to labor in awkward postures for extended periods of time, and they must be able to lift and move large equipment and supplies. In order to prevent electrical shocks, they must take safety precautions when using power tools. Installers of solar panels usually put in long hours, including weekends, holidays, and early mornings and evenings. To make deadlines, they could also put in extra hours. Installers may be subjected to adverse weather conditions and physically taxing jobs.
Residential installers are more affected than other occupations by the seasonality of their employment. For instance, you will have more consistent work hours all year round if you are a technician at a solar farm performing repairs and maintenance.
It is also common for solar specialists to anticipate spending a lot of time on roofs, whether they are on residential or commercial structures. Make sure you can handle the physical demands of working on a rooftop and that you are comfortable working at the heights required for this type of work. Additionally, while connecting the solar panels to the electrical grid, solar professionals occasionally operate in crawlspaces or attics.