Solar Photovoltaic Installers
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Overview
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Assemble, install, or maintain solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on roofs or other structures in compliance with site assessment and schematics. May include measuring, cutting, assembling, and bolting structural framing and solar modules. May perform minor electrical work such as current checks.
Titles for this career often contain these words
SolarInstallerTechnicianPVPhotovoltaicFabricationTestingInstallationElectricPanelLeadDesignTechEnergySystemApprenticeElectroMechanicalJourneymanElectricianEngineerResidentialDesignerPractitionerFieldServiceHelperCrewPowerSite
Education
Only 9% of solar photovoltaic installers have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by solar photovoltaic installers
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
Fewer solar photovoltaic installers have bachelor's degrees than 75% of other careeers.
Employment
Workforce size
Solar photovoltaic installers, with 9,700 workers, form a smaller workforce than 88% of careers.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for solar photovoltaic installers are expected to grow by 63%, and should have about 2,200 job openings a year.
Salaries
Context: Median Salary
How do salaries for solar photovoltaic installers compare to other jobs' salaries?
Distribution: What salary can you expect?
See what most solar photovoltaic installers earn.
$45K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
Gender
Women account for 3% of solar photovoltaic installers -- that's a smaller percentage than 91% of other jobs.
Gender of solar photovoltaic installers
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. Women solar photovoltaic installers actually earned more than men -- a very rare occurance among careers!
Race/Origin
About 17% of solar photovoltaic installers are minority, and 18% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of solar photovoltaic installers
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (18%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Solar Photovoltaic Installers per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. Blue indicates low density, with lighter shades moving to yellow indicating higher numbers working in this profession.
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Worker concerns
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of solar photovoltaic installers who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Exposed to High Places (81%)
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings (71%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions (69%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment (63%)
  • Time Pressure (63%)
  • Consequence of Error (58%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (41%)
SOURCES:
Salary and diversity
What do solar photovoltaic installers earn?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides company-reported job titles and corresonding salaries. This data excludes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for solar photovoltaic installers (BLS Salary Data)
$45K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$45K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
The American Community Survey (ACS) asks individuals to report their occupation and salary, and as such includes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for solar photovoltaic installers (ACS Salary Data)
$36K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$36K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, giving us a picture of what employers most typically hire solar photovoltaic installers.
Employers of Solar Photovoltaic Installers (ACS)
Private for-profit (73.0%)
Private not-for-profit (1.2%)
Local government (6.2%)
State government (1.8%)
Federal government (5.0%)
Self-employed incorporated (3.9%)
Self-employed not incorporated (8.8%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of solar photovoltaic installers by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$36K$34K$32K$47K$51K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000Self-employed not incorporatedSelf-employed incorporatedLocal governmentPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of solar photovoltaic installers by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$45K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000All

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Salary growth for solar photovoltaic installers

Is this a job that rewards experience, or is this job most likely a part of a career ladder? The higher a job's experience quotient, the more experience is rewarded with pay increases. Jobs in the green range have the best rewards with experience.

Take a minute to look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?

Salary distribution
$26K$40K$37K$41K$36K$31K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
Number employed
05001K2K2K3K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Solar photovoltaic installers and gender

With 3% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 91% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
3%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Solar photovoltaic installers
Men (97%)
Women (3%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

We only have enough data to accuarately show the salary distribution for men.

$36K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KMen

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Race and origin of solar photovoltaic installers

Here we check out the diversity of origin in this career. There is a smaller percentage of minority solar photovoltaic installers than for 65% of other careers. Although this career does not include a large percentage of minorities, it does hire more foreign-born people that most other careers.

Race/origin of solar photovoltaic installers
White (73% )
Other (11% )
Black (9% )
Multiracial (4% )
Asian (2% )
Hispanic (1% )
American Indian (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
17%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
18%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for solar photovoltaic installers by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$30K$36K$46K$0$20K$40K$60KOtherWhiteAsian
Distribution: Salaries for solar photovoltaic installers by nativity
$31K$37K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KAll foreign-bornAll native citizens

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Solar photovoltaic installers and Part-time/Full-time employment

We've found that somes jobs hava a huge number of part-time workers, and that typically most who are working part-time are doing so because they cannot find full-time work or the job they have cannot provide full-time hours. With 13% part-time workers, this occupation has a higher percentage of part-time workers than 51% of careers.

Context: Part-time workers in the workforce
13%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Why workers are part-time
Full-Time is less than 35 hours a week
Retired/Social Security limit on earnings
Could not find full-time work
Seasonal work
Slack work/business conditions
School/training
Health/medical limitations
Child care problems
Other family/personal obligations
Other reasons
Distribution: Salaries by part-time/full-time status

We only have enough data to accuarately show the salary distribution for full-time workers.

$36K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KFull-time workers
Pathways to this career
Education attained by solar photovoltaic installers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), solar photovoltaic installers typically hold a high school diploma or equivalent.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as solar photovoltaic installers as reported in responses to the American Community Survey.

Details: Education and training recommended for solar photovoltaic installers

Most employers require PV installers to have a high school diploma. Some PV installers take courses at local community colleges or trade schools to learn about solar panel installation. Courses range from basic safety and PV knowledge to system design. Although course lengths vary by state and locality, most usually last a few days to several months.

Some candidates may enter the field by taking online training courses. This option is particularly useful for candidates with prior construction experience, such as former electricians.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for solar photovoltaic installers

Most employers require PV installers to have a driver’s license.

Certification is not a requirement but can demonstrate a PV installer’s competency in solar panel installation. The Electronics Technicians Association, International (ETA); the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners; and Roof Integrated Solar Energy (RISE) Inc., all offer certification for PV installers.

Education attained by solar photovoltaic installers
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for solar photovoltaic installers? Below we see the distribution of solar photovoltaic installers salaries based on the education attained.

$32K$32K$37K$37K$41K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KNone (14%)High School (34%)Some College (34%)Associate's/Cert. (8%)Bachelor's Degree (8%)

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

The Department of Education recommends the following college degree programs as preparation for this career. You can click a program row to learn more about the program and explore a list of schools that offer the program.

Number of degrees awarded in 2017
Education
Education level of awarded degrees
Associate's degree or certificate
Bachelor's
Graduate
Gender
Gender of graduates
Men
Women
Race/Origin
Race/origin of graduates
White
Minority
International
Variation by state
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most solar photovoltaic installers? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as solar photovoltaic installers. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Solar Photovoltaic Installers per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
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0.00.20.40.6
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where solar photovoltaic installers earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for solar photovoltaic installers compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for solar photovoltaic installers.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
Location-adjusted median salary
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Location-adjusted median salary for Solar Photovoltaic Installers (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which solar photovoltaic installers earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
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$0$20K$40K$60K
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the tabs and education selector to find other careers that might be a good fit for you.

How should the career similarity be computed?

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?