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List of Jobs in Solar Energy

The solar energy industry is one that is in-demand and profitable. With the continued path toward renewable energy solutions, there are many jobs expected to be available in coming years. These jobs can range from technicians to engineers and scientists.

If you are passionate about renewable energy solutions and are interested in working in the industry, there may be a job in the field that is perfect for you.

Wind Turbine Technicians

Wind turbine technicians work with the installation, repair, and maintenance of wind turbines. Technicians monitor wind turbines from the ground, but also need to safely climb to the top wind turbine towers for any inspections and repairs needed.

Wind turbine technicians also:

  • Perform routine maintenance
  • Test or troubleshoot electrical, hydraulic, and mechanical systems/components
  • Replace malfunctioned parts
  • Collect turbine data for research/analysis purposes
  • Service underground transmission systems

Wind turbine technicians must be knowledgeable and skilled in the mechanical components of wind turbines. They must also take great care in climbing wind towers using safety harnesses. Technicians will use a variety of power tools to complete their work.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, wind turbine technicians in 2021 earned an average of $58,580, with the top 10 percent making $77,810. The BLS also states that demand for wind turbine technicians is expected to increase 44 percent by 2031, which is significantly faster than the national average.

Solar Photovoltaic Installer

Solar photovoltaic installers are responsible for the installation, assembly, and maintenance of solar panels on roofs/other surfaces in compliance with schematics and regulations. These professionals ensure the equipment and wiring connects the solar system to the energy grid.

Solar photovoltaic installers also:

  • Cut, assemble, and install solar panels
  • Ensure all equipment is installed according to code
  • Connect PV systems to electrical systems
  • Weatherproof equipment
  • Test and troubleshoot
  • Understand and follow blueprints

The installation and maintenance of solar panels is paramount in renewable energy. In addition to having a working knowledge of electrical systems, installers will also need to be coordinated and adhere to safe workplace practices.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, solar photovoltaic installers earned an average of $50,710 in 2021, with the top 10 percent making $72,080. The BLS also predicts that demand for installers will increase 27 percent by 2031, which is much faster than the national average.

Residential Solar Service Technician

With a job similar to commercial solar PV installers, residential solar photovoltaic installers specialize in installing solar panels on residential homes. They mainly work on rooftops, but also navigate through attics, crawlspaces, and other areas within a home to connect solar panels to the electric grid.

Residential solar service technicians also:

  • Plan PV installations based on customer/worksite needs
  • Cut, assemble, and install solar panels
  • Apply weatherproof sealant
  • Test and troubleshoot equipment
  • Read and adhere to blueprints
  • Activate equipment and ensure its functionality

As a residential solar service technician, you will need to be able to safely and successfully operate handheld tools and equipment. It is also important for residential technicians to have strong communication skills. An excellent technician will be able to explain complex solar technology in a way that their customers can understand.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that residential solar service technicians earned an average of $50,710 in 2021, with the top 10 percent making closer to $72,080. The BLS also stated that there is an expected 27 percent increase for the need of residential technicians by 2031, which is much higher than the national average.

Solar Power Engineer

Solar engineers research, plan, design, manage, and initiate solar energy projects. Using their extensive knowledge for solar and electrical technology, they manage both large-scale and smaller projects. They may also be on call to address outages, emergencies, or the maintenance of various systems.

Solar power engineers also:

  • Consult with clients and examine sites
  • Design a project’s plan
  • Manage and oversee projects
  • Work with machines and materials used in solar panel manufacturing
  • Have a working knowledge of conductors/semiconductors used in solar panel technology

Solar panel technicians may also test and inspect their projects. The testing process typically involves digital technology and electrical wiring capabilities.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that solar power engineers in 2021 earned an average salary of $107,890, with the top 10 percent earning $162,930. The BLS also predicted that demand for solar power engineers is expected to increase 3 percent by 2031.

Materials Scientist

A materials scientist involved in solar energy studies the chemical properties of various alloys, glass, metals, semiconductors, etc., and the ways they relate to and enhance solar energy. A materials scientist with a focus on solar energy will specifically develop new manufacturing techniques for these materials to increase the efficiency of green energy, while also maintaining a low production cost.

Solar materials scientists also:

  • Test and assess materials
  • Develop prototypes
  • Research and understand different materials and their potential to improve solar energy
  • Evaluate economic viability of projects/products
  • Advise management on sustainability and environmental impact of product

A career as a solar materials scientist involves the discovery and creation of new materials that can help sustain a greener future. A good solar materials scientist will also be expected to conduct research and implement testing methods to see how the use of specific materials can improve the future of renewable energy.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, materials scientists in 2021 earned an average of $104,790, with the top 10 percent making $162,950. The BLS also predicts that by 2031, the demand for materials scientists will increase 6 percent.

Explore the In-Demand Field of Solar Energy Today!

This article lists just a handful of the many jobs that are available in the solar energy industry. For more information about jobs in solar energy, you can visit the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s website.

The solar energy industry continues to expand and can lead to a rewarding career. If you’re considering an electrical path geared toward renewable energy, you have many careers to choose from.


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