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Solar Photovoltaics Technician Career Paths in NJ and PA

Solar installer connects solar photovoltaic panelDriving around rural areas, motorists may see stands of black panels soaking up the sun’s rays. These solar arrays are generating electricity. Some farmers have been using solar power to reduce their electricity bills for decades. Nowadays, it’s becoming more common to see these photovoltaic panels attached to rooftops on buildings, whether neighborhood homes or large office buildings. With advancing technology in renewable energy and its increasing popularity, the employment of solar installers is growing.

Pennco Tech, our vocational school serving New Jersey and Pennsylvania, is enrolling students in the electrician program to help them develop the knowledge and skills required to embark on this exciting career. The program is available at both of our campus locations, in Blackwood, NJ, and Bristol, PA. Learn how enrolling in our electrician program can be the first step toward a career as a solar voltaic technician.

What Do Solar Photovoltaics Technicians Do?

Renewable energy that is converted from sunlight is called solar power. Electrical energy is generated by this semiconducting photovoltaic technology, which absorbs energy from the sun. These semiconducting photovoltaic materials are called solar cells and are usually connected to form larger panels. The resulting solar panels are those seen attached to roofs and freestanding structures. The goal of this process is to collect sunlight and convert it into electricity. Solar installers are photovoltaic technicians who assemble the cells and panels and then set them up to generate electricity. These skilled electrical technicians also repair and maintain these systems.

Duties performed by solar installers are varied because there can be multiple steps when customizing a design for solar power generation. Depending on the site of the installation, setting up the photovoltaic panels and wiring them properly can also be physically demanding work. Some of the tasks involved with solar installation include:

  • Designing photovoltaic systems based on customer desires, site specifications, and the infrastructure of the area
  • Constructing support structures for panels when necessary
  • Understanding, and working within, building code requirements and other quality standards
  • Connecting the photovoltaic panels to independent electrical storage or public grid systems
  • Weatherizing solar panel systems to account for site-specific conditions
  • Activating and testing all systems for efficiency
  • Maintaining photovoltaic panels, wiring connections, and batteries if applicable

Career Paths for Solar Photovoltaics Technicians

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports employment of solar installers is expected to grow 27% through 2031, with about 2,500 open jobs per year. In May 2021, the median wage for these electrical technicians was $47,670, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $72,080. The top industries employing solar photovoltaic installers were utilities, plumbing, heating and air-conditioning contractors, and electrical contractors.

Career paths for solar installers start with trade school programs, such as the electrician program at Pennco Tech, and on-the-job training. Entry-level electrician skills are required. Some photovoltaic technicians serve in electrician or roofing apprenticeships to develop more skills and gain practical work experience. Other solar installers enter the field through backgrounds in the construction industry. Licensing requirements vary by state.

In the renewable energy field, technological advancements are always underway to develop new materials and better systems. Technicians must keep up with advancements and continue to gain knowledge and learn new skills. Solar installers may work in teams on the ground with large solar arrays or scale the heights connecting panels to generate solar power on skyscrapers. As they gain experience, solar installers may manage projects, utilize their knowledge in sales roles, or become self-employed contractors.

Our Quality Electrician Training Program

Light up your career in the electrician program at Pennco Tech. Students in New Jersey and Pennsylvania interested in becoming solar installers learn about photovoltaic cells and gain experience servicing and maintaining solar panels. Our experienced, professional instructors provide supportive, individual attention to students in the program. And the hands-on experience gained in the lab facility is key to developing the troubleshooting skills and physical dexterity necessary for electrical technicians. This trade career training includes:

  • Basic electrical theory and mathematics
  • Voltage, current, transformers, and power
  • Wiring and electrical controls
  • Understanding generators

Pennco Tech also offers students in the electrician program the option to receive Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) certification. This training teaches students how to maintain safe practices at their worksites. In Philadelphia and at government-funded job sites, this certification is required.

Discover Your New Career at Pennco Tech in NJ & PA

If working in the renewable energy sector appeals to you, learning the basics of photovoltaic installation at Pennco Tech is an ideal opportunity. With campuses in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, our affordable vocational school offers basic training for solar installers in our electrician program. Contact us to request more information about solar installation and the electrician program at Pennco Tech.

‘I got it!!!!!I got it!’, Anthony said as he raced into the Career Services Office. He was talking about his new job. Hired by a former graduate of Pennco Tech, Anthony will begin his new career with a two-day OSHA training course.

Anthony Z. - Air Conditioning/Heating Graduate

I enjoyed all my teachers. They made it interesting and challenging. I enjoyed going back to school at the age of 48! Career Services was a big help to me. Danielle was great. She helped me with my resume and showed me how to apply. I got the job with Dietz and Watson! Pennco Tech was the right choice for me as I get ready to start my career.

Mark E. - Electrician Graduate

I just wanted to say thank you again for all your help…I just got a full time job at Kennedy Healthcare in Stratford, NJ as a Patient Services Representative. Thank you again.

Maria Z. - Medical Assisting Administrative Graduate
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