What Does A Solar Photovoltaic Installer Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Stan T.Career, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Solar PV Installers

Solar PV Installers assemble, install, or maintain solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on roofs or other structures in compliance with site assessment and schematics. May include measuring, cutting, assembling, and bolting structural framing and solar modules. May perform minor electrical work such as current checks.

Salary
$48020
Becoming One
Easy
Education
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Low
Job Growth

Personality
Interest Match





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Solar PV Installers assemble, install, or maintain solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on roofs or other structures in compliance with site assessment and schematics. May include measuring, cutting, assembling, and bolting structural framing and solar modules. May perform minor electrical work such as current checks.

  • Install photovoltaic (PV) systems in accordance with codes and standards, using drawings, schematics, and instructions.
  • Assemble solar modules, panels, or support structures, as specified.
  • Apply weather sealing to array, building, or support mechanisms.
  • Determine appropriate sizes, ratings, and locations for all system overcurrent devices, disconnect devices, grounding equipment, and surge suppression equipment.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Solar PV Installers identify electrical, environmental, and safety hazards associated with photovoltaic (PV) installations. They assemble solar modules, panels, or support structures, as specified.

A typical day for a Solar Photovoltaic Installer will also include:

  • Install module array interconnects wiring, implementing measures to disable arrays during installation.
  • Determine appropriate sizes, ratings, and locations for all system overcurrent devices, disconnect devices, grounding equipment, and surge suppression equipment.
  • Test operating voltages to ensure operation within acceptable limits for power conditioning equipment, such as inverters and controllers.
  • Apply weather sealing to array, building, or support mechanisms.
  • Determine photovoltaic (PV) system designs or configurations based on factors such as customer needs, expectations, and site conditions.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Solar PV Installers also demonstrate system functionality and performance, including start-up, shut-down, normal operation, and emergency or bypass operations. They may also program, adjust, or configure inverters and controls for desired set points and operating modes.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Solar PV Installers measure and analyze system performance and operating parameters to assess the operating conditions of systems or equipment. They might also Identify installation locations with proper orientation, area, solar access, or structural integrity for photovoltaic (PV) arrays.

In addition, they identify and resolve any deficiencies in photovoltaic (PV) system installation or materials.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them examine designs to determine current requirements for all parts of the photovoltaic (PV) system electrical circuit.

To some Solar PV Installers, it is also their responsibility to install module array interconnect wiring, implementing measures to disable arrays during installation.

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What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Low

Is this job meaningful

Average

63% said they were satisfied with their job and 56% said they found their job meaningful.


New York Solar Maintenance

My daily routine 5:45am: Check the weather. Start driving truck to a repair while talking to employees on the phone. 8am: Arrive on-site and check in with homeowner and confirm services. Set up ladders to access roof and caution tape to create a safe working area. Begin repairs such as troubleshooting a ground fault, fixing … Read More


ES Solar

I work as a solar PV Installer. I’m responsible for installing the mechanical portion of the system such as the racking attached to the roof, and panel roof outlay by the design team. I work under the direction of the foreman too. Mount racking on rafters Drill holes into rafters Secure the racking with steel … Read More


REenergizeCO

Typically I arrive at the office, drink some coffee, and catch up on computer work. Troubleshooting system errors, inputting systems into our customers’ monitoring portals, coordinating with homeowners, ordering supplies, and ensuring that the crew has all the information and materials that they need for a successful install. Then it’s out into the field to … Read More


Pros

Suitable for people who like practical and hands-on work.

Suitable for people who value achievements and are results-oriented.

This career is perfect for people who love to work outdoors.

It is easy to get into this career. Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to work with designs.

Salary is below average.

Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week).

How much do they make

Average salary

$48020 per year

Average hourly wage

$23 per hour

Entry-level Solar PV Installers with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $32,590 to $37,860 per year or $16 to $18 per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $64,600 $31
Senior (Top 25%) $55,760 $27
Median $46,470 $22
Junior (Bottom 25%) $37,860 $18
No experience (Bottom 10%) $32,590 $16

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Solar PV Installers based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Other Specialty Trade Contractors $50410 $24.24
Nonresidential Building Construction $50290 $24.18
Utility System Construction $49210 $23.66
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution $48850 $23.49
Building Equipment Contractors $48560 $23.35
Employment Services $45220 $21.74
Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors $44610 $21.45
Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods $40520 $19.48
Residential Building Construction $33040 $15.89

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Solar PV Installers work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Solar PV Installers including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
Building Equipment Contractors 8190 $48560 $23.35
Utility System Construction 1150 $49210 $23.66
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution 590 $48850 $23.49
Nonresidential Building Construction 150 $50290 $24.18
Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors 120 $44610 $21.45
Other Specialty Trade Contractors $50410 $24.24
Employment Services $45220 $21.74
Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods $40520 $19.48
Residential Building Construction $33040 $15.89

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
27%

40 hours
32%

More than 40 hours
41%

Working schedule

35%

60%

4%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
24%

Every day
19%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
15%

Every day
59%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
2%

Every day
75%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
62%

Once a year
12%

Once a month
15%

Once a week
10%

Every day
2%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
0%

Slightly competitive
3%

Moderately competitive
59%

Highly competitive
27%

Extremely competitive
12%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
47%

Once a year or more
16%

Once a month or more
23%

Once a week or more
13%

Every day
0%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
22%

Once a year or more
11%

Once a month or more
12%

Once a week or more
24%

Every day
32%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
7%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
12%

Once a week or more
19%

Every day
62%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
49%

Once a year or more
5%

Once a month or more
19%

Once a week or more
25%

Every day
2%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Easy
You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Most careers in this difficulty category usually don’t require a degree. However, you will need a few months of on-the-job training with experienced employees. Similar careers include Customer Service Representatives, Security Guards, and Bank Tellers.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
12%

High School Diploma or equivalent
56%

Post-Secondary Certificate
14%

Some College Courses
2%

Associate’s Degree or similar
16%

Bachelor’s Degree
0%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
0%

Master’s Degree
0%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant majors

Solar Energy System Installation and Repair Technology

A program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to assemble, install, operate, maintain, and repair solar energy systems. Includes instruction in installing, maintaining and testing various types of equipment.

Roofer

A program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to prepare, install, and maintain exterior roofing materials and roofs. Includes instruction in building materials, flashing, lag bolts, site safety, equipment operation and maintenance, layering, site preparation, basic internal structural design, finishing, waterproofing, and applicable codes and standards.

Solar Energy Technology

A program that prepares individuals to apply basic engineering principles and technical skills in support of engineers and other professionals engaged in developing solar-powered energy systems. Includes instruction in solar energy principles, energy storage and transfer technologies, testing and inspection procedures, system maintenance procedures, and report preparation.


Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
23%

1 month
11%

1 to 3 months
0%

3 to 6 months
12%

6 months to 1 year
33%

1 to 2 years
15%

2 to 4 years
2%

4 to 6 years
5%

6 to 8 years
0%

8 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
0%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
11%

1 month
31%

1 to 3 months
3%

3 to 6 months
30%

6 months to 1 year
11%

1 to 2 years
10%

2 to 4 years
0%

4 to 10 years
5%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Builder

People with this personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

The Builder
95%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
38%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
19%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
24%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
24%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
57%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
57%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
50%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
43%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
43%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
57%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
48%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ


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