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Solar Installation Pathway
Sponsored by IGS Energy
March to August 2023
Online & In-Person
10-15 hours/week
Applications are NOW OPEN
Overview

The NABCEP Photovoltaic (PV) Associate Certification is designed for individuals wanting to enter the solar industry and is a great base of knowledge to prepare for the early stages of a career in renewable energy. This entry-level certificate program is available at no cost to enrolled learners; no previous experience is required to apply and enroll. Learners will start with the fundamentals and leave the program feeling prepared to start a career in solar installation and ready to use their new skillset on the job. 

 

Solar photovoltaic (PV) installers work within the renewable energy sector of the clean energy economy. Solar installers are projected to be one of the fastest-growing jobs over the next decade. They assemble, install, and maintain solar PV systems. Installers may perform minor electrical work to ensure the system’s proper function, determine current requirements in a solar electrical circuit, and connect wiring between solar systems and module arrays.

 

This pathway program is free to participants thanks to the generous support and sponsorship of IGS Energy. The online coursework and exam package are provided by Solar Energy International, a NABCEP-accredited and nationally recognized online skills provider for careers in the solar industry.

  • The PV Associate certification program is online and led by an instructor.
  • There are two courses, and each course is six weeks long. Most students will need about 10-15 hours per week to stay on track.
  • NABCEP exam fee is included for learners enrolled in this ReadySkill program.

 

In addition to this online credential, ReadySkill will support you with career navigation, hands-on skill building opportunities, soft skills training, and social service resources as needed. These additional program activities will be a few hours per week.

March to August 2023
Online & In-Person
10-15 hours/week

Passing the PV Associate Exam is a way for candidates to demonstrate that they understand the fundamental principles of the application, design, installation, and operation of grid-tied and stand-alone PV Systems.

 

Once the required coursework is complete, participants will take the NABCEP PV Associate Exam. ReadySkill will cover exam costs for each participant to take the exam one (1) time.

Our programs are industry-aligned and designed to teach you the necessary skills to qualify for job opportunities in this field without the fluff. We also believe there’s more to a successful career than learning a new technical skill - we’ll work together on soft skills, career development, and job readiness. We’re collaborating with IGS Energy to offer engagement opportunities with real solar installation practitioners during this program, with potential job opportunities once you complete the certification.

We want to ensure each learner has the support and tools they need to find a better-paying career and reach their goals, no matter where they are in their journey. ReadySkill has partnered with local organizations in Central Ohio to provide resources, personalized social service support, career coaching, job readiness training, and more.

You’ll start the program in mid-March 2023 and complete it by August 2023. The certification is online and self-paced, meaning you complete it on your time and schedule within each course’s six-week timeframe.

 

You should expect to spend 10-15 hours a week on the course material to stay on pace with the completion deadline, and to participate in ReadySkill’s cohort activities like career skills and training opportunities.

To be eligible for this program, you must meet the following criteria:

  • 18 years or older
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Authorized to work in the United States
  • Currently live in Central Ohio
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Laptop or desktop computer for online learning
  • Consistent access to the internet

 

Please note that many solar installation employers require a background check and/or drug screening prior to hire.

This program is offered at no cost to participants, thanks to the generous support of IGS Energy! ReadySkill and IGS Energy partnered to develop career pathways in renewable energy that are accessible for anyone to join, regardless of experience. The tuition, course materials, exam fee, and personalized support - all provided by this ReadySkill program - are valued at more than $3,000. 

 

Since this is a sponsored program, there’s a limited number of participants we can admit into this cohort.

Frequently Asked Questions

Solar Photovoltaic Associates, also known as PV installers, typically do the following:

  • Plan PV system configurations based on customer needs and site conditions
  • Measure, cut, and assemble support structures for solar panels
  • Install solar modules, panels, and support structures according to building codes and standards
  • Connect solar panels to the electrical system
  • Apply weather sealant to equipment being installed
  • Activate and test PV systems
  • Perform routine PV system maintenance

 

As a solar installer, you’ll need to be comfortable working on roofs and at heights in all types of weather. You’ll also need to work with power tools to move and install equipment, and will need to adhere closely to safety protocols.

The program will kick off mid-March and run until August 2023. Admissions and enrollment will be first-come, first-served pending eligibility and program fit. 

 

Below is the timeline you can expect as a learner in this program. 

  • ReadyNess (2 weeks)
    • Learner Orientation
    • Connection to your Navigator and eligible supportive resources
    • Complete the following introductory courses:
      • RE100 Introduction to Renewable Energy (6 hours)
      • RE101 Fundamental Math for Solar Applications (4 hours)
  • ReadySkill (12 weeks, 10-15 hours/week)
    • PV101 Solar Electric Design and Installation - 6 weeks
    • PV203 PV System Fundamentals - 6 weeks
  • ReadyShip (3-4 weeks) 
    • Hands-on application opportunities
    • Career prep & mentorship
    • NABCEP PV Associate Exam

On average, full-time Solar (PV) Installers make around $48,000 per year (or $23/hour) and often include benefits and bonus potential. PV Installers earn 11% higher starting wages than other entry-level construction industry occupations. After a few years of field experience and specialization, pay increases to $60,000 or more per year depending on the area of expertise you’re working in.

  • In the next decade, Solar Installation is projected to be one of the fastest-growing occupations in the US. 
  • Getting certified as a PV Associate is an excellent opportunity to enter a skilled trade with great starting pay in a fast-growing industry and many different opportunities for career advancement.
  • The solar industry has a targeted commitment to make the renewable energy workforce more diverse, so employers are actively hiring more women and people of color at all levels of expertise.

 

Career opportunities available to PV associates include installation, system design, technical sales, inspection, project management, and maintenance.

Sign up via the form above. A ReadySkill navigator will follow-up with you during the application submission window.

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