There's no easy way to describe a typical day working in the solar industry, and that's just the way people who have these roles like it. Talk to a solar technician and here's what they'll probably say:
1. It's a busy business.
The Solar Energy Industries Association reports that 1.3 million American homes generate electricity from solar power, and a steep decline in panel prices make solar affordable for even more families. People are demanding solar – which means they're demanding the expertise of solar technicians. There will be no such thing as a "slow day at work".
2. On the road, again — and again.
There are endless opportunities that exist in solar power generator design, construction and operation – so the “office” could be in the research lab one day and in the field with the outdoor crews the next. Projects may exist in the same state or across the country. The solar technician is always on the road, whether they're sitting in on a production meeting at corporate headquarters down the street or installing PV solar panels three states over.
3. Adventure seekers, apply here.
Something's always changing in the solar field and no two days are the same. Projects are found in a variety of locations, from houses to corporate buildings. And, if it's not a different location, then it's probably a different stage of the installation. From setting anchors to secure panels and assembling the needed parts, to grounding the equipment and protecting it from potential surges, solar technicians have to be ready for anything and to do anything. Every day is a new adventure!
4. Safety above all.
By far the most critical part of the solar technician training program is safety. It is part of the culture of employment! Being safe on the job is THE number one priority. When installing PV panels on residential homes, solar technicians work closely with local fire departments to determine means and methods of safe installation, to protect both the technician and the homeowner. In every scenario, residential or commercial, solar technicians are trained to safely handle electricity, as they regularly work with high voltage equipment. Often times, panels are installed on tall buildings as well – solar technicians are always equipped with safety harnesses and know self-rescue techniques. First aid/CPR and electrical safety, among others, are all skills that must be mastered by solar technicians before they can go out in the field.
5. Solar technicians are just like Batman, but with a salary.
Solar technicians are always on call to make the world a better place. There are more solar energy workers in California than there are actors; more solar energy workers in Texas than there are ranchers; and nationwide, there are more solar energy workers than there are coal miners. Solar panels are a clean source of power and are becoming less expensive than they used to be. According to the most recent data, solar technicians can provide and manage a clean source of energy to the entire country while making an average of $37,900 per year. That beats any desk job, doesn't it?
Many solar technicians have decided they'd rather do anything else but sit inside a cubicle for a large part of their day. Some have chosen the industry to make a green, clean difference in current energy usage, or others want a more fulfilling career path – either way, they are the kind of people who like to mix it up, problem-solve and stay on their toes. That's why the traditional desk job doesn't appeal to them. In the solar energy industry, a technician will find themselves outside in the fresh air and sunshine, always presented with new challenges and opportunities to lead.