Solar & PV Installer-Roofer
What is a Solar & PV Installer-Roofer?
These are the people who install electricity-producing photovoltaic (PV) solar panels into the roofs of residential and commercial homes and buildings. Qualified, experienced Solar & PV Installer-Roofers are hard to find, even in today's growing "green" technology economy.
The career outlook for a Solar & PV Installer-Roofer is very good. They make on average $15 to $20 dollars an hour.
This is because, in addition to having the skills and construction experience of a roof, Solar & PV Installer-Roofers must also have a working knowledge of solar electronics.
Adding solar panels to existing roofs is comparatively easy. The solar panels are mounted on the roof, and the wires are fed through the roof to the battery banks. Such solar panels, however, are bulky, more vulnerable to the elements, and something of an eyesore. Consequently, many people prefer to integrate the solar panels into the roof of a building as it is being built (or when the whole roof needs to be replaced anyway). This is a much more difficult job.
In at attempt to be less obtrusive and create more aesthetically pleasing solar roof, solar cell manufactures today produce "solar shingles". There are essentially roofing shingles, the same shape and color as regular asphalt roofing shingles, but have the photovoltaic solar cell built into them. Unlike solar panel, in which all the solar cells are already wired together, as the solar shingles are put into place they must all be wired correctly together into a solar cell array. These solar shingles must be set in place and wired together before the rest of the roof is assembled (with regular shingles), so that the wires can be run along the ridge cap, safely protected from the elements and out of sight.
What Are the Qualifications for a Solar & PV Installer-Roofer?
Solar & PV Installer-Roofer are generally made, not found. Understanding that both skill sets (roofing and electronics) are rarely found in the same individual, most companies either hire a roofer and train them to wire the solar panels, or hire a solar electrician and train them to install roofs.
Understanding this, you can approach training for this job from two different directions. If you are already a roofer, then a two-year vocational program in electrical engineering will give you the basic electrical knowledge needed to qualify for a Solar & PV Installer-Roofer. An electrician's apprenticeship trade program (with a certificate of completion) would also be adequate.
From the other direction, if you are either a certified electrician, or have an Associate's or Bachelor's in electrical engineering, then you need to train to be a roofer as well. Community colleges and vocational trade schools will most likely offer programs in this construction trade, or at the very least, a few classes in the area. Alternately, a roofer's apprenticeship trade program will also give you the necessary skills and experience.
What Type of Person Is Good for This Position?
Someone who is very safety conscious and not afraid of heights is essential to being a good Solar & PV Installer-Roofer. Enjoying, or at least tolerating, doing manual labor outdoors in all types of weather is another requirement. Excellent math skills, precision, and attention to detail are necessary for the electronics part of the job.
Solar & PV Installer-Roofer Resources*Solar Power Your Home For Dummies (For Dummies (Home & Garden))
*Photovoltaics: Design and Installation Manual
*Got Sun? Go Solar: Get Free Renewable Energy to Power Your Grid-Tied Home
*The Renewable Energy Handbook: A Guide to Rural Energy Independence, Off-Grid and Sustainable Living
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