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What Are the Different Types of Solar Career Opportunities?

Britt Archer
Britt Archer

Information about solar energy seems to be in the news seemingly every day, with reports of a variety of applications and increasing numbers of buildings converting to solar power. Many schools, government buildings and private homes are all making the change for reasons of efficiency and cost. The field of solar energy is expanding with a number of solar career opportunities that include solar operations engineers, solar panel installers, lab and testing technicians, solar hot water installers, designers, accountants, solar radiant heating installers, sales, marketing experts and administrators. Even plumbers and teachers will see job opportunities in the field of solar power.

Designs for solar power harness the heat of the sun and convert it into energy that is used to power and heat homes and other buildings. Some of the solar career opportunities will make use of skills that job seekers may already have, such as salesmanship to sell the panels or water heaters, or electrical and construction skills for an installer who will connect the solar roof panels to a building’s electrical grid. In other cases, some additional training in “green” design and energy production may be necessary.

Solar technicians install solar panels on the roof of a home.
Solar technicians install solar panels on the roof of a home.

The expansion in solar career opportunities may be great, but at the same time some employment opportunities may call for a lower starting salary with the chance for future gains in salary. Solar technicians, for example, may start out with a lower pay rate. A solar energy technician is responsible for performing the work of installation, repairs and upkeep. The advantage for these workers will come as they have a foot in the door in the solar power industry, poised and already trained to take a leap of advancement when the time is right with opportunities and corresponding increases in pay rates.

New ways of harnessing solar energy are always in the works, and related solar career opportunities will increase. Solar energy producers will work side by side with steel producers as the invention comes to fruition. One new method involves solar or photovoltaic paint, whose design calls for its use on steel as it is being manufactured. The plan is to use these specially painted panels in the construction of buildings. The solar paint would allow the harnessing of solar energy on cloudy days as well as sunny days.

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    • Solar technicians install solar panels on the roof of a home.
      Solar technicians install solar panels on the roof of a home.