This year, the U.S. solar industry hit a major milestone when it hit 1 million solar installations. The Solar Energy Industries Association predicts that this number could double in just two years. The growing demand for solar means that there is also a growing demand for a trained workforce. Basically, it's a good time to work in solar energy.
But what does it take to be a successful solar energy technician? Here are a few signs that this exciting career might be right for you:
You're a Problem Solver
Solar technicians spend much of their time identifying and solving problems when installing solar systems and repairing solar panels. In addition to having the technical know-how of an electrician, it takes curiosity and critical thinking skills to get the job done.
You Prefer Hands-On Work
If you enjoy being outdoors, staying active, and spending as little time behind a desk as possible, working in solar energy might be for you. Solar energy technicians spend most of their days on rooftops or at solar farms doing hands-on work that is anything but boring. It's also physically demanding, so prepare yourself for a (very rewarding) workout on the field each day.
You Have an Attention to Detail
Working with solar panels means working with electrical components. It takes a strong attention to detail to assemble solar systems as well as make repairs, all while keeping yourself and your co-workers safe. This engaging career can be electrifying — but the goal is to keep that feeling metaphorical.
You're Ready to Join a Rapidly Growing Workforce
According to the Solar Energy Foundation's Solar Job Census, solar industry employment has grown by 123 percent in the past six years alone. As of November 2015, the solar industry employed 208,859 solar workers. Over the course of 2016, employers expect the number of jobs to grow nearly 15 percent. If you are looking for an opportunity to start a new career, the solar industry is a good place to be.