Solar installation companies can have their employees certified by national certification companies. These companies are collaborations between solar installers who have teamed up to ensure that they develop safe practices for solar installations.
NABCEP – One of the oldest and longest running solar certification companies, NABCEP provides a professional program for certifying solar installers.
Solar Consortium Membership – The solar consortium requires its members to meet certain minimum standards of professionalism and verifies that its members carry the right kind of insurance to install solar panels.
Relevant solar job titles.
These jobs typically require at least a high school diploma as well as some specialized training.
Basic Solar Installer
Basic installers put together solar modules and safely attach the photovoltaic systems to rooftops or ground mount structures. Experience with construction helps, and a high school diploma is often required. The ability to climb ladders while carrying things and to work safely in high places is a must. Many solar companies offer on-site training for newbies interested in learning how to install solar. By continuing this training basic installers can advance to team leaders or even become electricians with solar experience.
Is a solar electrician a job all on its own? Yes, of course it is! But in most jurisdictions electricians must be trained to handle all kinds of tasks, because solar panels are installed on more than just residential rooftops. The job of a solar panel electrician is to connect all the solar wiring into the grid wiring that powers the rest of the house. If the system is an off-the-grid system, the electrician has to wire all the wiring and battery backup system. Often this requires a high school diploma and maybe even some college, as well as an electrical apprenticeship. Getting an electrician’s license is usually required. The job also requires some fine motor skills and good judgement.
Computer Aided Drawing / Schematics Drafter
Some technical engineering student or engineering technology student experience would be necessary for this job, which includes creating the designs for actual solar panel installations. You have to be able to sketch plot plans of solar panel installations and know how the wiring will be run. This requires a bit of familiarity with the actual process of installing solar panels as well as familiarity with electricity – particularly with the numbers bit. You need to ensure that all wiring you specify will be what the electrician expects as well, and you may help the electrician order these parts and keep the equipment room stocked.
Licenses Required for Solar
California has some of the most strict licensing requirements for solar installers, as anyone doing more than $500 in solar installation must get a C-46 California solar installer license and pass an exam to do so. “A solar contractor installs, modifies, maintains, and repairs thermal and photovoltaic solar energy systems.” per the California Code Title 16-8.3. The state code also says that a licensee classified as a solar installer shall not undertake or perform building or construction trades, crafts, or skills, except when required to install a thermal or photovoltaic solar energy system.
Every other state has its own rules and regulations on how to install solar power. Some require advanced degrees and certifications, while others are less strict.