Solar energy installation managers direct work crews in installing residential or commercial solar photovoltaic or thermal systems.
As growing demand and continuing industry consolidation begin to brighten prospects for solar manufacturers, between 30 and 37 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity will be connected to power grids worldwide. A solar energy installation manager oversees the work done by solar photovoltaic installers or solar thermal installers, who install residential or commercial solar photovoltaic panels (PV) or solar thermal systems on homes or other buildings.
Solar energy installation manager main focus is to plan and coordinate installations of solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal systems to ensure conformance to codes. These green job holders supervise solar installers, technicians, and subcontractors for solar installation projects to ensure compliance with safety standards. Before solar installation projects begin, solar energy installation managers visit customer sites to determine solar system needs, requirements, or specifications. They assess potential solar installation sites to determine feasibility and design requirements. They also assess system performance or functionality at the system, subsystem, and component levels. This with solar energy installation manager jobs coordinate or schedule building inspections for solar installation projects. They estimate materials, equipment, and personnel needed for residential or commercial solar installation projects. They also evaluate subcontractors or subcontractor bids for quality, cost, and reliability.
During the installation process, solar energy installation managers provide technical assistance to installers, technicians, or other solar professionals in areas such as solar electric systems, solar thermal systems, electrical systems, and mechanical systems. They perform start-up of systems for testing or customer implementation.They also monitor work of contractors and subcontractors to ensure projects conform to plans, specifications, schedules, or budgets.
As part of their duties, those with solar energy installation manager jobs develop and maintain system architecture, including all piping, instrumentation, or process flow diagrams. They identify means to reduce costs, minimize risks, or increase efficiency of solar installation projects. Solar energy installation manager prepare solar installation project proposals, quotes, budgets, or schedules. They also purchase or rent equipment for solar energy system installation.
Solar energy installation managers work both in offices and on job site for specific solar projects. When on job sites, they may experience hot, cold, and unfavorable environmental conditions. They are required to use proper safety equipment and protocols. Most solar energy installation managers work a standard 40-hour week, but can expect occasional evening, weekend, and holiday. Solar energy installation managers may also need to travel extensively to job sites based on demands.
To obtain a green job as a solar energy installation manager, one must first work as a solar photovoltaic installer or solar thermal installer. They must meet the education, training and licensing requirements for solar photovoltaic installers or solar thermal installers. To work in this field it helps to have past experience with electrical or solar roofing work. To become a manager, one must work as a solar installer for three years or more, and it is recommended to have prior management experience. It is also helps to have specialized training in the equipment and techniques used to assess a site for a potential solar project. Some formal educational programs are available that teach basic site assessment including how to gauge the feasibility of solar generation, estimate costs, and determine which products to use.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates a bright outlook for Solar Energy Installation Managers and expects employment of this field to grow between 20 to 28 percent from 2010 until 2020; much faster than the average for all green jobs. The BLS projected 259,700 solar energy installation manager job openings between 2010 and 2020, and noted 559,000 jobs are currently filled. Titles include Solar Installation Crew Supervisor, Solar Installation Manager, and Solar Installation Supervisor. The BLS further reports that the median annual wage for salaried solar energy installation managers was $59,700 in 2012 with median hourly wage of $28.70. Across the US job market, the lowest 10% of solar energy installation managers earned about $36,850 a year, and the top 10% earned about $94,180 a year. Solar energy installation managers can receive the best compensation in Alaska, where they earn compensation, on average, of near $86,560. Solar energy installation managers can expect the highest salaries in the fields of Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction, where they can receive compensation, on average, of $71,620.