Solar Panel Installer Jobs
Solar panel installers are responsible for installing solar panels onto rooftops of residential homes, eco-friendly condominiums, outdoor lighting systems, and anywhere else where solar panels are needed.
Before he can get to work, a solar panel installer must first assess the area where panels are to be placed in order to ensure that there is enough room for panels and that the structure on which they are to be placed is strong enough to hold them. Next structural framing is attached to the surface; this is what the panels will be attached to. A solar photovoltaic installer must next connect the panels to the appropriate wires and then guide these wires to an inverter box. The inverter will take the energy generated by the solar cells and convert it into an alternating current (AC) of electricity which can be used for everyday power needs. This wiring work must be done by a licensed electrician. Some solar photovoltaic installers also hold electricians' licenses, while others work with electricians who complete this part of the work.
Educational and Training Requirements
The majority of solar installers have at least a high school diploma and some sort of experience in mechanical or electrical installation.
Salary and Advancement Opportunities
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics sources, there are an estimated 7,000 solar photovoltaic installers currently working in the US, about half of them located in the state of California. Solar panels are especially popular in California because the state provides great incentives for homeowners to install solar electric power, such as tax credits. As other states and the national government continue to increase incentives like these, the solar energy industry is expected to expand rapidly and opportunities for solar panel installers will increase. The Bureau of Labor Statistics cites industry sources which estimated that an entry-level solar photovoltaic installer earns an average of about $12 to $15 per hour. Those workers with certification or more advanced qualifications, such as an electrician's license, generally earn more than this. Payscale.com reports that a solar system installer with one to four years of experience can expect from $14.24 to $19.50 per hour, while an installer with five to nine years experience earns an average of $17 to $20.96 per hour.