According to the 11th National Solar Job Census, U.S. solar industry employs over 230,000 workers. However, with the Joe Biden administration targeting “100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity” by 2035, the number of solar workers is expected to rise up to 900,000.
So what is a solar apprentice? The fastest answer to that is, as a solar apprentice you are training under an expert to become a solar electrician. Keep on reading to find out more about this opportunity, the job duties, the qualifications needed and what are your prospects after the training.
What is a Solar Apprentice?
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that employment in the solar industry will multiply by 105 percent — higher than all other vocations in the US. So becoming a solar apprentice just might be the step you need to take for a good career track.
As a solar electrician apprentice or student learner under the guidance of a journey-level solar electrician, you will get the training to become a skilled solar worker. You will travel to different field sites with your superior, shadowing the expert to learn about maintenance tasks across solar farms.
Besides there are several domains you will be trained on like Sales, Solar PV design, Solar PV installation, and Project Management.
What are the duties of a Solar Apprentice?
There are two sides to this apprenticeship. To reach your maximum potential as a solar worker, the apprenticeship includes the following:
This portion of your apprenticeship will be conducted in classrooms. You will be given detailed knowledge about solar farms, their equipment, PV installation, the wiring process, the energy storage system, and the maintenance methods.
You will also be trained about the safety mechanism and the system designs. Besides, you will also be provided guidance to receive certifications as a licensed renewable energy technician.
Other than that you will also learn about the financial, environmental, and moral advantages of solar-powered energy.
This is the part where you will be able to implement your technical learning in practice. You will be guided by engineers and you will work on-
- Assisting in PV installation
- Assisting in equipment reintegration and restoration
- Working on energy storage batteries
- Connecting the wiring to the houses or electrical grids.
What Qualifications do you need to become a Solar Apprentice?
To become a Solar Apprentice you need to be familiar with the basics of electrical and mechanical skills. Also the job will require you to physically be able to work outdoors for long hours or on rooftops and lift heavy objects. Some simple qualifications you will need are:
- High School Diploma or GED certificate
- Some employers also ask for related vocational degree
- Valid driver’s license
- Age must be at least 18 years.
Where can you apply to become a Solar Apprentice?
Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) can be a great place to start. They provide support and information concerning training opportunities, certifications, and training program accreditations. Besides they can also help to find training providers and certification organizations in order to start a solar career.
Besides states like California, Texas, Florida, Virginia, and Oregon have massive solar installation companies that offer apprenticeship programs to grow a skilled solar workforce. Major companies like A&R Solar in Oregon, Ideal Energy in the Midwest, and many others offer solar apprenticeship opportunities.
In order to empower an innovative workforce the US government’s Solar Energy Technologies Office has funded education and training programs and developed several workforce initiatives and other projects to expand the solar labor force.
How much can you make as a Solar Apprentice?
Since Solar Apprenticeship is a work-study program you will not acquire massive college debts. You can look forward to learning and earning money at the same time. Solar apprentices generally earn about $20/hours and the country’s average wage for a solar installer is over $42,000 per year.
Different job fields in the Solar Industry
The Solar Industry is actually a combination of various businesses that manufacture solar PV panels, installation companies that install solar systems in houses and businesses, non-profits that promote solar-powered energy, and companies that manufacture energy storage batteries and design solar panel systems.
Although various companies have different structures and positions, some of the most common job types are mentioned below:
- Solar Technicians: They are in charge of PV panel installation on rooftops, grounds, parking lots, or street side.
- Electricians: They connect wiring from the solar panels, inverter, batteries, and other elements to the household electrical lines.
- Project Managers: They are usually in charge of the entire installation system starting from obtaining permits to running the installation on schedule and within budget.
- System Designers: They design and develop plans for the solar panel installation which can include drawing or using apps to create a blueprint of the PV panel systems.
- Sales: They are solar consultants who inform home and business owners about solar-powered energy, its costs, and the benefits of using it in the long term.
- Marketing: They are in charge of developing the brand of the company to attract more potential consumers.
Read More: What Type Of Solar Panels Does Tesla Use
With the solar job market booming, whether you are starting off your career or just looking for a change, the solar apprenticeship is a great opportunity. With the variety of available training, specialized certifications, and a promising career track solar employment is the future of the US job market.
- Solar Apprentice jobs are the fastest-growing opportunities in the US.
- Solar Apprenticeship is a great way to earn a debt-free technical vocation.