Five New Jobs in the Solar Power Sector
But what sort of career opportunities can you look forward to in this shining new industry? Let’s find out!
Solar Power Sector
1) Solar Photovoltaic Installer
This career has a number of alternate titles including Solar Energy Technician, Solar Panel Installer, and Solar Electric Practitioner. The main responsibility of a Solar Photovoltaic Installer is to install and maintain solar power systems for commercial or residential use on existing structures such as roofs and yards.
The educational requirement for this career is the completion of a related course at a trade school or community college. These two-year certificate programs range from PV system design to basic safety and PV knowledge. In some cases, a PV installer may enter the field through on-the-job training that generally lasts around a year.
Installers may also be licensed as general practitioners, which improves their credentials and increases their earnings potential. While there is no specific information on salaries for this career, industry surveys show that installers can earn starting salaries of some $30,000 to $40,000 annually with those licensed as contractors able to earn significantly more.
2) Solar Sales Representative
These professionals offer solar power systems to new or existing customers as well as determining their solar energy requirements, recommending systems and estimating costs. The educational requirements for this career are not very high. If you are selling non-technical products, a high school diploma will suffice for you to enter the field. However, if you are selling technical or scientific systems, you typically will need at least a Bachelor’s degree as well as additional training through workshops and seminars to become familiarize with the products you are selling as well as to be able to perform systems assessing and cost estimation.
Although there are no specific salary data for Sales Personnel, you can get an idea of how much you can earn in this job by looking at the average salary for Sales Representatives. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for the profession as of 2013 is $54,410.
3) Solar Energy Systems Engineer
These professionals perform evaluation or engineering analysis of residential, commercial, and industrial sites to determine their suitability for solar energy installations as well as their energy-efficiency. In addition, they may also apply their knowledge of local climates and structural energy requirements to design space heating or domestic hot water systems.
Becoming a Solar Power Engineer requires substantial educational qualifications. You will need to have at least a Bachelor’s Degree in majors like mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, or electrical engineering. Then you will need to familiarize yourself with solar energy power systems as part of your specialization. While a post-graduate (Master’s or Doctorate degree) is not required, it is preferable since it would improve your career opportunities in the field.
However, because of their high level of technical expertise in a relatively young field, they can command high salaries. While there is no specific salary data for the specialization, wage data for comparable specializations, engineers in the field of Semiconductor and Other Electronic Components Manufacturing show an average annual salary range of $78,910 to $92,820.
4) Solar Manufacturing Technician
This job title covers a wide range of specialists who are engaged in manufacturing in the solar power industry. Technician specializations range from Semiconductor Processors who oversee the manufacturing of solar cells to Industrial Production Managers who oversee work on the factory floor.
The educational requirements vary depending on the specialization. In general, there is more emphasis on training on-the-job, although technicians who are engaged in more skilled positions will need to complete formal training courses and apprenticeships. Mechanical Engineers employed in Manufacturing may pull in an average of $65,000 per year. Solar Power Sector.
5) Solar Power Entrepreneur
This is not a job but a lifetime career prospect. Solarpreneurs are self-employed individuals who run their own small businesses in the solar energy sector. There are a wide range of business opportunities in the solar energy field including solar energy systems installing, distributing and selling solar energy products like PV cells and systems components, and providing related support services like maintaining solar systems.
Do you think there’s a future for you in this industry?
About: Carlo Marco
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