The solar industry allows homeowners and commercial property owners to transition to renewable energy by installing solar energy systems. Solar installers can help provide eco-friendly energy solutions by facilitating seamless transitions to solar. If you’re looking for an impactful career in clean energy, here’s how to become a solar installer:
Complete High School
A high school diploma is a basic requirement for many solar installation companies. Work hard in subjects like science and mathematics, as you’ll likely need a solid understanding of these concepts in your career. Consider taking advanced courses like physics, trigonometry, and geometry to understand energy principles and learn how to calculate correctly. There’s a lot of math involved in installations, as you’ll need to determine factors like appropriate system sizing and suitable energy production for your clients. You can also acquire valuable skills by joining STEM or environmental conservation clubs. They may involve learning about environmental conservation and sustainable energy sources like solar.
Build on what you learn in high school by seeking training after graduation. You can attend a local community college or trade school for specialized training that focuses on electrical engineering and renewable energy courses. You can also choose the apprenticeship route. This is suitable if you have experience in construction or electrical work, as you’ll likely have some basic knowledge of appliance installations. During an apprenticeship, you can learn from experienced solar installers while on the job. Look for a solar installation company that offers apprenticeship programs to help jumpstart your career.
Gain Practical Experience
Gaining practical experience exposes you to real-world challenges you may not encounter in a classroom setting. It’s also a requirement for many certification programs. Installers must have experience in the field and pass certification exams to become certified. Find an internship or entry-level position with a reputable solar company to broaden your skills. Such opportunities can also help you network with other solar energy professionals. Building solid relationships with experienced installers can lead to potential job and industry connections.
Certifications are an excellent way to gain additional skills and credibility. This makes them worth considering even if your state doesn’t require them before getting licensed. The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) offers certifications designed for sales professionals and photovoltaic (PV) installers. These certifications are considered to be the gold standard within the renewable energy industry.
Installer-focused options include the PV Installation Professional (PVIP) Board Certification and PV Installer Specialist (PVIS) Board Certification. The PVIP board certification is suitable if you want to take a leadership role or start your own installation business. A PVIS certification is ideal if you want to focus solely on solar installation. Both certifications require you to complete hours of solar and OSHA training, pass a certification exam, and obtain solar installation experience. The key difference is that PVIP requires a broader scope of knowledge than PVIS.
Seek Continous Training
There are constant technological advancements in the solar industry, necessitating continued learning. Keep up with the latest developments by attending workshops, participating in manufacturer training programs, and joining industry organizations like the NABCEP. This equips you with relevant knowledge to offer your clients the latest solar solutions. Keep up with federal, state, and local regulations to make sure your installations meet legal and safety standards at all times. This may help you avoid potential legal issues.
Join the World of Solar Installers Today
The demand for solar installers will likely increase as more homes and commercial properties move to solar power. With proper training and certification, you can work with cutting-edge solar technology, enabling property owners to embrace energy independence and decrease their carbon footprints. Contact a solar company near you to ask about recommendations and requirements for becoming a solar installer.