What Do Solar Installers Do and How Much Do They Make?

Interested in a job in solar energy? Here’s a quick overview of what solar photovoltaic (PV) installers do, the training needed to become a solar installer, and the career outlook for solar installers.

Solar Installer Duties

A solar installer typically works at height to install PV panels.  A lot of their work is planning a project safely so the task can be completed without incident.  Setting up scaffolding, ladders and using a variety of lifts are tasks a solar installer will become well acquainted with to get the job done.  

Once access to the working area is established, next will be working with a team to properly mount and align the panels in accordance with sunlight exposure studies that should be completed well in advance. Usually their work is done in direct sunlight so keeping hydrated and wearing appropriate clothing is an important consideration each day.  

Once the panels are properly aligned (sometimes with the help of a crane truck or placed by hand) they need to fixed to the structure.  Great care must be taken to not damage a roof or wall in this process.  Learning in depth about fastening devices is part of a Solar PV installation course.  

Finally, after the panel is put in place, it can be connected to the electrical system for the property and also have a battery setup to store the captured energy.  This task should be completed by a certified and licensed electrician.  However, an solar installer may work alongside them routing wires and placing components while the electrician connects them.  

How Much do Solar Installers Make?

According to Indeed.com average hourly pay for a solar installer is $19.47.  With overtime pay accumulation figures of up to $6500 per year.  Overtime is a part of any job but as a solar installer there will be opportunities to work long days while projects finish up.  Sometimes, new projects won’t start immediately and the overtime pay can make up for downtime losses.  

Solar installers are rarely paid a salary but there are a multitude of careers in solar that promise monthly remuneration.  Having a variety of NABCEP certifications will promise anyone looking for a career in solar energy job security, benefits and a healthy take home pay.



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