Train to Be a Wind or Solar Technician

Train to Be a Wind or Solar Technician

by William Hauselberg
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

One of the fastest-growing segments of today’s job market are “green careers,” such as wind and solar technicians. These careers are perfect transitions for those with previous construction experience who are seeking a career with potentially unlimited job growth. As more businesses and homeowners become more concerned about protecting natural resources and using alternative energy sources, these careers will be in high demand.
People who are interested in becoming solar technicians can begin by researching online green energy courses. One of the best available resources is Solar Energy International, or SEI. This online training resource lets those who have previous construction experience or have completed an apprenticeship program gain access to training resources prior to beginning their studies.

Solar Installation Careers
There are many areas of interest that solar technicians can choose to specialize in such as:
– Photovoltaic installation (PV)
– Solar thermal installation
– Sustainable building

Photovoltaic installation, also known as PV, involves the placement and repair of solar panels. Solar thermal installation involves installing solar water heating equipment, mostly for homeowners. Sustainable building involves designing and implementing long-term solar energy systems for residential and commercial properties.

Selecting a Training Program
The key to beginning a career in solar energy is selecting a training program that is properly certified and offers a combination of coursework and hands-on training. When searching for online green energy courses, it’s a good idea to select programs that work with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners. Technicians who become certified usually have more work opportunities available to them, so it’s important to make sure the training program selected meets the desired certification standards. Most introductory training programs last six weeks, with one of those weeks designated for hands-on training at a solar energy facility.

What Skills Do I Learn?
Once a person is registered for a solar technician training program, it’s time to start learning the specific skills needed for the job. Since most technicians have previous construction experience, they are already skilled in blueprint reading, basic math and safety procedures associated with construction. Most solar technicians begin by taking classes in Solar Electric Fundamentals and Grid-Direct Design, introducing them to the basics of solar energy installation and repair. These courses provide information on renewable energy resources and how to measure solar electrical efficiency and load analysis. After learning the basics, students move on to learning basic PV system applications, system components and site and safety analysis.

Hands-on Training
Many community colleges are leaders in solar energy training, offering combinations of online and hands-on training. Students should sign up quickly for classes, because they can fill up fast. Solar energy programs are popular with military veterans who have been discharged and are seeking civilian jobs.

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