Solar energy installers are the boots on the ground in the renewable energy movement, helping homeowners, businesses, and industry to reduce energy usage and costs. Solar photovoltaic installers, or PV installers, set up and maintain solar panels. They connect PV, or solar panels, to the power grid, and test solar-powered systems for quality performance. Solar thermal installers and technicians install systems that use solar-heated water. They mount collectors on roofs and install plumbing including pipes, fittings, pumps, and electrical equipment. Solar thermal workers test all related systems, and make sure pipes and tanks are sealed and secure. Customer service skills are helpful, as solar installers often train users on how to operate solar equipment. Installers need agility and balance and must be able to lift heavy equipment, parts, and tools. These workers risk falls, and use protective gear and practices to avoid electrical shocks and burns from hot equipment. PV installer training can last from a few days to a few months, and is available at technical and trade schools. Solar thermal technicians typically need technical training, related on-the-job experience, or an associate’s degree. Electrician or construction experience may be helpful.
What they do:
Install or repair solar energy systems designed to collect, store, and circulate solar-heated water for residential, commercial or industrial use.
On the job, you would:
Test operation or functionality of mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and control systems.
Apply weather seal, such as pipe flashings and sealants, to roof penetrations and structural devices.
Install solar collector mounting devices on tile, asphalt, shingle, or built-up gravel roofs, using appropriate materials and penetration methods.
Engineering and Technology
building and construction
Arts and Humanities
Education and Training
teaching and course design
reading work related information
keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
listen and understand what people say
communicate by speaking
Hand and Finger Use
keep your arm or hand steady
put together small parts with your fingers
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
order or arrange things
pay attention to something without being distracted
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Computer aided design CAD software
Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS
Development environment software
Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications VBA
National Instruments LabVIEW
high school diploma/GED or some college usually needed
New job opportunities are likely in the future.
You might like a career in one of these industries: