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.