How to Become a Solar Installer in the United States

How to Become a Solar Installer in the United States

October 27, 2023

Solar energy is rapidly gaining popularity in the United States as an environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative to traditional energy sources. With the increasing demand for solar panels and renewable energy solutions, there is a growing need for skilled solar installers. If you’re interested in joining this booming industry and want to know how to become a solar installer, you’ve come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps, requirements, and potential earnings of a solar installer.


What Does a Solar Installer Do?

Before we delve into the process of becoming a solar installer, it’s essential to understand the role and responsibilities of this profession. Solar installers, also known as solar photovoltaic (PV) installers, are responsible for assembling, installing, and maintaining solar panel systems on rooftops or other structures. Their primary tasks include:

  • Assessing Site Suitability: Solar installers evaluate the location where the solar panels will be installed to ensure it’s suitable for optimal energy production.
  • Installing Solar Panels: They mount and secure solar panels, as well as connect them to the electrical systems of homes or businesses.
  • Wiring and Electrical Work: Solar installers work on the electrical components, ensuring that the system functions correctly and safely.
  • Maintenance and Repairs: After installation, they may be responsible for routine maintenance and troubleshooting to ensure the system’s long-term performance.


Educational Requirements

To start your journey as a solar installer in the United States, you don’t necessarily need a traditional four-year degree. However, there are educational and training requirements that you should consider:


1. High School Diploma or Equivalent

A high school diploma or GED is usually the minimum educational requirement. It’s essential to have a strong foundation in mathematics, as solar installers often need to make calculations related to panel placement and electrical connections.


2. Solar Installation Training Programs

Many community colleges, vocational schools, and trade organizations offer solar installation training programs. These programs typically last a few months and cover various aspects of solar panel installation, including safety protocols, electrical work, and system maintenance.


3. On-the-Job Training

In addition to formal training programs, on-the-job training is crucial. Many aspiring solar installers start as assistants or apprentices under the guidance of experienced professionals. This hands-on experience is invaluable in honing your skills.


Certification and Licensing

Becoming a certified solar installer can enhance your career prospects and earning potential. While certification requirements may vary by state, one of the most recognized certifications is the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certification. To attain NABCEP certification, you’ll need to pass a rigorous exam and demonstrate your competence in solar installation.

Licensing requirements are typically set by individual states. It’s essential to check your state’s specific requirements for solar installer licensing. The NABCEP certification can often be a helpful step towards meeting these requirements.


How Much Can You Earn as a Solar Installer?

One of the most important factors when considering a career path is potential earnings. The salary of a solar installer can vary based on factors such as location, experience, and the employer. On average, a solar installer in the United States can expect to earn between $40,000 and $60,000 per year. However, more experienced installers and those in high-demand areas can earn well above this range.


Job Outlook for Solar Installers

The future looks bright for solar installers. As the demand for clean energy continues to grow, so does the need for skilled professionals in the field. The solar industry is expected to experience significant job growth, providing ample opportunities for those considering a career as a solar installer.  JNA Dealer Program can help you to find the perfect dealer opportunities.


How to Get Started

Now that you understand the educational requirements and potential earnings, let’s outline the steps to become a solar installer:


1. Research and Self-Assessment

Begin by researching the solar industry and evaluating your interest in this field. Are you passionate about clean energy and sustainability? Do you enjoy working outdoors and with your hands? If the answer is yes, then solar installation might be a great fit for you.


2. High School Education

Ensure that you have at least a high school diploma or GED.


3. Enroll in Training Programs

Look for accredited solar installation training programs in your area or online. These programs will provide you with the knowledge and skills required to excel in this field.


4. Gain Practical Experience

Consider apprenticeships or entry-level positions in solar installation to gain hands-on experience. Learning from experienced professionals can be invaluable.


5. Obtain Certification

Once you’ve completed your training and gained some experience, consider pursuing NABCEP certification or any relevant state-specific certifications.


6. Build a Network

Networking is crucial in any industry. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with other solar professionals.


7. Search for Job Opportunities

Start your job search by looking for solar installer positions with local solar companies, electrical contractors, or construction firms. You can also explore opportunities with companies specializing in renewable energy solutions.


8. Stay Informed

The solar industry is continuously evolving. Stay up-to-date with the latest developments, technological advancements, and industry trends to remain competitive in the field.



Becoming a solar installer in the United States offers a promising career in a rapidly growing industry. With the increasing emphasis on clean energy and sustainable practices, the demand for solar installers is on the rise. By following the steps outlined in this guide, including obtaining the necessary education, training, and certifications, you can embark on a fulfilling and financially rewarding career as a solar installer.

If you’re ready to take the first step toward becoming a solar installer, explore training programs, gain practical experience, and begin your journey into this exciting field. The future of renewable energy is in your hands.

For more information on how to become a solar installer and to find accredited training programs, check out the JNA Dealer Program. They offer valuable resources and support for individuals interested in the solar installation industry.

Remember, a bright career in solar installation awaits those who are willing to harness the power of the sun and contribute to a greener, more sustainable future.

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