Solar PV Installer – Matthew Messer

Stan T.

Day in the life of
Solar PV Installer – Matthew Messer

Matthew Messer
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 broken solar panels, installing critter guard around the perimeter of the panels.

11am: Quick lunch. Check emails for new inquiries.

4pm: Finish job and collect payment. Write up notes from the job and upload all the photos taken to our records database.

6pm: Arrived home and return sales calls. Phone off at 7.

Do you spend all your day servicing one client or do you go job to job in between your work day (8am-4pm)?

Half of the time, days are only spent on one site, for example removing a solar system that is broken. The other half the time, we are making 3-4 stops a day doing system inspections to find a problem, then scheduling the repair work for another day or fixing it while on site. We carry all sorts of repair equipment in the van so if it’s a quick fix, we can fix it during that first inspection.

Days are normally 8-4pm but one or two days a week stretch to 8am-6pm.

Pros

  • Working outside on the roof you get amazing views, amazing sun exposure both of which are great for fighting depression
  • Rapid wage growth, average solar maintenance pro is making $30/hour
  • Get to use the newest power tools and sophisticated speciality tools for solar
  • Get to help out homeowners, fixing their solar starts saving them money immediately
  • No degree required

Cons

  • Long days, solar is highly geographically distributed means average of 50 miles driven per day to job site.
  • High incidence of shoulder injury in this industry from carrying solar panels.
  • “Solar-Coaster”, a term the industry has for the boom busy cycle of sales that happen when government subsidies shift and there is more or less work leading to jumps from company to company

Matthew Messer
New York Solar Maintenance

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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
Salary Rank: C
Education: No degree required
Becoming One: Easy
Job Satisfaction: Low
Job Growth: Very High
Suitable Personality: The Builder