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how to become a photovoltaic installer

How to Become a Photovoltaic Installer


If you are interested in renewable energy and have a passion for working with your hands, becoming a photovoltaic installer could be the perfect career for you. Photovoltaic installers, also known as solar panel installers, are responsible for assembling, installing, and maintaining solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on rooftops or other structures. Here’s a guide on how to become a photovoltaic installer.

Educational Requirements

To become a photovoltaic installer, a high school diploma or equivalent is typically required. While some individuals may be able to enter the field through on-the-job training, completing a postsecondary training program in photovoltaic systems installation can provide a competitive edge. These programs are offered by technical schools and community colleges and can range from several weeks to a year in length.

Gain Practical Experience

After completing a training program, it’s essential to gain practical experience in the field. Many aspiring photovoltaic installers start as helpers or apprentices to experienced professionals. This hands-on experience allows individuals to learn about the installation process, safety procedures, and best practices for working with solar PV systems.

Obtain Certification

While certification is not always required, becoming certified can demonstrate a high level of competency and professionalism in the field. The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) offers a Photovoltaic Installation Professional certification, which requires a combination of training, experience, and passing a rigorous exam.

Develop Soft Skills

In addition to technical skills, photovoltaic installers need to have strong communication, problem-solving, and customer service skills. As solar PV systems are often installed at residential or commercial properties, the ability to interact with customers in a professional and courteous manner is crucial.

Career Advancement

As photovoltaic installers gain experience and expertise, they may have opportunities for career advancement. Some may choose to specialize in a specific type of solar PV system, such as residential or commercial installations. Others may become project managers, overseeing multiple installation projects and coordinating with clients and other professionals.


Becoming a photovoltaic installer requires a combination of education, practical experience, and soft skills. With the increasing demand for renewable energy, the job outlook for photovoltaic installers is promising. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can embark on a rewarding career in the growing field of solar energy installation.

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