Prospective Students: Build Your Solar Career

Solar Career Pathways

The solar industry is one of the fastest growing industries in our economy.  According to The Solar Foundation, there are currently ~242,000 solar workers in the U.S.  The U.S. Department of Labor, in its 2018 Occupational Outlook Handbook, recognized solar as a high growth market with jobs expected to grow 63% over the coming decade.  This is significantly higher than the 5% average job growth expected over all industries in the U.S.   


​High performers in the solar installer field have ample opportunities to build sustainable careers and can also advance quickly.  It is not unusual for top performers to move from entry-level positions to more advanced roles within 6 months to a year on the job.    


By completing the SHINE Solar Ready 101 Program, graduates have a competitive edge in the marketplace and can demonstrate to employers that they have the knowledge and skills needed to add value to a job site starting on day 1.  SHINE will work with its industry partners to set up recruitment interviews and job fairs so students have a streamlined pathway to employment upon graduation.


A sample career progression could look like this:

Solar Installer

  • Median Pay: $13.00-$15.00 per hour

  • Required Experience: 1-3 years in construction or completion of the SHINE Solar Ready 101 Program

  • Description: Install and maintain solar systems on fields, rooftops, or other structures in compliance with system design schematics

 Solar Crew Chief

  • Median Pay: $16.00-$20.00 per hour

  • Required Experience: 1-3 years of on the job experience

  • Description: Supervise, coordinate, and motivate teams of installers at a job site to stay focused and on schedule as well as ensure project safety 

​​ Solar Project Manager

  • Median Pay: $25.00-$30.00 per hour

  • Required Experience: 5+ years of on the job experience along with system design training and solar certifications

  • Description: Coordinates all aspects of an installation including workers, materials, budgets to ensure successful completion of a project according to schedule as well as maintain a high quality of safety standards

SHINE has compiled numerous resources for prospective students to better understand solar career opportunities.  Please visit the Resources page to learn more. 

Connect With Us

We would love to hear from you.  Please send an email to and a member of our team will get back to you within one business day.




Sign up for the SHINE Newsletter below! Get up-to-date news about the program as well as solar industry developments in Virginia and across the nation!











Sign Up For Our Newsletter