Day in the life of
Solar Installer – Pat Coppens
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 install inverters, batteries, and backup technology. This includes completing all of the wirings while working closely with a master electrician.
Depending on the day, I also do job site walks prior to the scheduled install date. These job walks entail analyzing and photographing the home’s electrical service, mapping the proposed panel layout on the roof, and making a game plan for our wiring. Most of my time is spent installing inverters/backup technology and completing grid interconnections with our electricians.”
Pros: The CONSTANT flow of knowledge being passed around, working outside, meeting and working with a different client on a daily basis, and the variability of what a day holds. We have to always be on our toes and make informed decisions to roll with the punches. The comradery of working with a great crew is also a huge pro. We have a lot of fun while tackling the day.
Cons: When it’s hot out, we’re hot. When it’s cold out, we’re cold. There’s also not always a restroom available on the job site, so that can lead to some urgent situations…
What advice would you give to students who are interested in this job?
My advice would be to stay informed about the emerging technologies. This is an ever-changing industry, and the technology is constantly improving. Stay sharp and make research a part of your daily routine. The more you know, the more competitive you can be.
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.