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Career Training and Prospects for Solar Energy Technicians

A greater awareness of the need to protect the environment has led to a growing popularity of solar energy to meet the needs for electricity and heating through the use of the light and heat from the sun. With newer technologies to tap solar energy rapidly coming into use, the need is felt for the professional expertise of qualified and experienced solar energy technicians.

Schools and colleges have come up with courses that can train any person in the field of solar energy where different aspects of solar energy are taught. It has also led to professional bodies being set up that certify the solar energy technicians and even set up standards and help with licensing people to work in this new field of renewable energy. The demand for energy alternatives that are renewable cuts across many sectors, and comes from homeowners, industries, public utilities, transport, and others.

 

Every solar energy usage is based on photovoltaic cells that are manufactured in many different configurations to meet the particular demand that the cells have to be put to. Solar energy technicians need to be aware of all of these so that they can customize any solar power installation to the demands of the customer. They also need to advise on the right locations for tapping into solar power that will allow for the best efficiency of the working of the solar panels. They will also need to be aware of automation in an installation that allows the panels to track the movement of the sun, so that power is produced to the maximum. In addition, their training must also allow them to decide on the capacities of solar panels and the areas required for the installation to meet the electrical energy needs of the customer.

Many solar panel installations need to be coupled with inverters that will allow the power produced to be converted from direct current to alternating current, as this is the form of energy that is required for most electrical equipment in use. Technicians will also need to be trained for the installation of batteries to store energy when the power is being produced and not being used. They will need to be aware of local utility providers rules for connecting solar power installations to grids to feed them the unused power from solar panels and allow for rebates in electricity used from the grid.

Solar panels that collect heat from the sun can also be required by customers and connected to feed water for boilers or to heat swimming pools, and an experienced solar energy technician should have complete technical knowledge of these devices, their capacities, their installation, and maintenance.

Training for careers as a solar energy technician are also available online and they can easily be availed of by people interested in changing their careers or enhancing their knowledge about this new and greatly in-demand profession. With the authorities in all countries encouraging the use of renewable energy through rebates and grants, a career as a technician in this field can be quite remunerative.

The Bright Future Of Solar And The Technicians That Install And Maintain Systems

There are many types of technological advances that produce products that are constantly improving in quality while the price simultaneously drops. Solar power has been just such a product for the past few decades. When you look at a graph the price has dropped steeply at the same time efficiency has continued upward. Now, as we near 2019, in many parts of the US solar is starting to drop below standard grid electricity. This will cause the demand for solar technicians to soar as millions of homeowners take advantage of the lower prices for panels.

The Education Needed To Become A Solar Tech

If you run a search on Google you’ll find that there is quite a range of different educational courses that can be applied to the solar field. Lots of these courses overlap in the materials studied and they all do apply to solar, electricity, and battery storage.

Most will be covering topics such as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and solar engineering for their bachelors degree. The individual courses will involve math, science, and mechanics that are needed to get the basic understanding of solar panel installation.

Of course, not everyone that actually installs the solar panels will have the degree needed to be a solar technician or solar engineer. There will most likely be a supervisor that has the degree on-site while many of the other employees are considered installers. The installers will know the basics of mounting the panels and running the wires, however the technician knows how it all fits together and how to read blueprints. There may also be special certifications needed like an electrical contractors license that would differ by state.

What Does The Average Solar Technician Earn?

This pay is going to range quite a bit depending on the amount of supervisory duties involved. In many cases the solar technician is going to have several employees that they supervise that make less money.

There is also going to be a large difference between various states and municipalities depending on the shortage of workers and the amount of work locally. Most technicians are going to start out at around $20 per hour or more in most locations. While there could be some newer employees making less, the future is bright for the industry and pay raises are needed to keep good employees from moving to higher paying positions in other companies.

In the longer term, after a few years on the job, the pay will advance on up to $25 and then $30 per hour, which can bring in about $60,000 per year in annual income. Again, the pay can be higher if the solar tech is the on-site supervisor with a crew of laborers or installers that they are responsible for.

If you’re looking for a bright future, you can’t hardly go wrong by getting into the solar industry right now. The installation of rooftop solar or larger solar farms is growing exponentially as the price has fallen and efficiency risen. In most of the Southern and Western US, solar is now the least expensive and cleanest power available, yet still getting better.