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Career Profile: Solar Photovoltaic 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 and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 11,800 people employed as solar photovoltaic installers in the United States. The median annual salary is $46,500. Entry level employees earn approximately $32,590 per year and senior employees earn approximately $64,600 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • 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.
  • Install module array interconnect wiring, implementing measures to disable arrays during installation.
  • Identify methods for laying out, orienting, and mounting modules or arrays to ensure efficient installation, electrical configuration, or system maintenance.
  • Identify electrical, environmental, and safety hazards associated with photovoltaic (PV) installations.
  • Install active solar systems, including solar collectors, concentrators, pumps, or fans.
  • Activate photovoltaic (PV) systems to verify system functionality and conformity to performance expectations.
  • Demonstrate system functionality and performance, including start-up, shut-down, normal operation, and emergency or bypass operations.
  • Measure and analyze system performance and operating parameters to assess operating condition of systems or equipment.
  • Compile or maintain records of system operation, performance, and maintenance.
  • Diagram layouts and locations for photovoltaic (PV) arrays and equipment, including existing building or site features.
  • Select mechanical designs, installation equipment, or installation plans that conform to environmental, architectural, structural, site, and code requirements.
  • Examine designs to determine current requirements for all parts of the photovoltaic (PV) system electrical circuit.
  • Check electrical installation for proper wiring, polarity, grounding, or integrity of terminations.
  • Test operating voltages to ensure operation within acceptable limits for power conditioning equipment, such as inverters and controllers.
  • Identify and resolve any deficiencies in photovoltaic (PV) system installation or materials.
  • Program, adjust, or configure inverters and controls for desired set points and operating modes.
  • Identify installation locations with proper orientation, area, solar access, or structural integrity for photovoltaic (PV) arrays.
  • Visually inspect and test photovoltaic (PV) modules or systems.
  • Install required labels on solar system components and hardware.
  • Determine photovoltaic (PV) system designs or configurations based on factors such as customer needs, expectations, and site conditions.
  • Determine materials, equipment, and installation sequences necessary to maximize installation efficiency.
  • Determine connection interfaces for additional subpanels or for connecting photovoltaic (PV) systems with utility services or other power generation sources.
  • Perform routine photovoltaic (PV) system maintenance on modules, arrays, batteries, power conditioning equipment, safety systems, structural systems, weather sealing, or balance of systems equipment.
  • Install photovoltaic (PV) systems in accordance with codes and standards, using drawings, schematics, and instructions.
  • Assemble solar modules, panels, or support structures, as specified.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
11,800
Annual Openings:
2,300
Increase in Openings by 2030:
52%
Annual Salary Range:
$32,590 - $64,600
Education Requirements:
High school diploma