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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. 

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