Sunlight has been touted as the key for energy efficiency. As concerns over global warming increase, the technicians responsible for installing the technology that harnesses the energy of the sun to provide people with clean electricity—solar panels—may be needed. 1
Solar Panel Technician Job Description
Your work as a solar panel technician entails assembling, installing, and maintaining solar photovoltaic panels on roofs and other structures. Solar Photovoltaic Installers also configure and install solar panel systems and support structures based on site conditions, customer needs, and building codes. 2
Where Solar Panel Technicians Work
As a solar panel technician you could work for a plumbing, heating, and air conditioning business; electrical or other wiring installation shop; or power and communication line construction company—the top three employers of PV installers. 3 In some areas, there are companies who are dedicated to only solar energy.
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Solar Panel Technician Salary & Jobs
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job growth will be 24 percent through 2024, much faster than the national average for all occupations. 4 While solar panel technicians in the median pay bracket brought in $18.19 per hour and $37,830 annually, those in the 90 percentile for earnings enjoyed $56,670 a year. 5
Job markets for solar photovoltaic installers is more prevalent in some states than others, so work opportunities and pay can vary by location. California, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Massachusetts boast the highest levels of employment of PV installers in the nation. 6
The long term outlook for the industry is reliant on government incentives. 7 Fortunately, innovations in solar technology continue to improve efficiency while lowering costs, and the federal government has promised some tax credits for eligible homes through 2023. 8
Solar & the Green Careers Revolution
2015 marked a record breaking year in solar panel installations as the price has dropped significantly in the past 10 years. The Solar Energy Industries Association predicts that the industry will likely break this record in 2016 by more than doubling solar power capacity through installations. 9 This could not only save on energy costs and consumption but could mean more jobs for technicians.
The demand for cleaner, more energy efficient sources, has had an impact on the green careers revolution. There will be opportunities for those with the training and skills to work on energy efficient equipment and meet new environmental compliance standards. This is certainly the case for Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers. 10sup>[x]
Become a Solar Panel Technician
Does this type of career sound good? The possibility of more opportunities tend to be available to individuals who’ve taken photovoltaic systems classes which are offered in electro mechanical training at a trade school, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 11 Although it is not always required by states, workers can obtain a certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners. 12
As far as careers in renewable energy go, the outlook for solar panel technicians should be sunny for some time to come!
1 – http://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/solar-photovoltaic-installers.htm#tab-6
2 – http://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/solar-photovoltaic-installers.htm#tab-2
3 – http://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/solar-photovoltaic-installers.htm#tab-3
4 – http://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/solar-photovoltaic-installers.htm#tab-1
5 – http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes472231.htm
6 – http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes472231.htm
7 – http://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/solar-photovoltaic-installers.htm#tab-6
8 – http://www.seia.org/policy/finance-tax/solar-investment-tax-credit
9 – http://www.seia.org/research-resources/solar-industry-datain
10 – http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/heating-air-conditioning-and-refrigeration-mechanics-and-installers.htm#tab-6
11 – http://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/solar-photovoltaic-installers.htm#tab-6
12 – http://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/solar-photovoltaic-installers.htm#tab-4