How to Become a Certified PV Installer
To become a certified PV installer, you must meet prerequisites of related experience and/or education. The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), www.nabcep.org, lists the various requirements for solar PV installer certification. Certification is voluntary. To become NABCEP certified, you must:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Meet prerequisites of related experience and/or education
- Sign a code of ethics and standards of practice
- Pass a written exam
An installer is certified for three years. To maintain this professional designation, you must meet continuing education requirements and install a specified number of systems per year.
What Does a Certified PV Installer Do?
A PV installer mounts electricity-producing photovoltaic (PV) solar panels onto the roof of a residential home or commercial building. The installer applies his or her knowledge of solar electronics to install the solar panels and feed wires through the roof to the battery bank - these panels are added to existing structures. New roofs receive solar shingles, where shingles are put into place like regular roofing shingles and wired together in a solar cell array. Some duties of a PV installer include:
- Work with a design team to set up project timelines and schedule
- Execute installations
- Manage crew and materials
- Schedule follow-up inspections
- Perform troubleshooting
Why Start a Solar PV Career?
Due to the growing demand for clean sources of energy, the manufacture of solar cells and photovoltaic arrays has expanded dramatically in recent years.
- Photovoltaic production has been doubling every 2 years, increasing by an average of 48 percent each year since 2002, making it the world’s fastest-growing energy technology (Source: The Pew Charitable Trusts)
- Renewable energy requires more manpower than harmful fossil fuel - wind power creates 2.77 jobs for every megawatt produced, solar PV creates 7.24 jobs per megawatt (Source: Solarbuzz.com)