What Does a Solar Technician Do?
Solar technicians are responsible for assembling, installing, and maintaining solar panel systems on rooftops or other structures. Solar technicians are often mechanically minded and like to work outdoors. Their work is physical, requiring them to be on their feet most of the day, climb ladders, and carry the panels. A solar technician cannot be afraid of heights and should be comfortable working individually as well as in groups. The installation of solar panels often requires the ability to work as part of a team, while service and maintenance are often solo work.
Solar technicians have a variety of job responsibilities, which depend on their experience. Before installation, solar technicians must identify the location and configuration of the panels, which includes determining the orientation of the panels and confirming the structural integrity of the building. Additionally, installations must conform to federal, state, and local building codes. With these responsibilities, technicians must be able to read blueprints, schematics, and specifications and may need to confer with building inspectors occasionally.
Less experienced solar technicians may begin their careers by taking measurements, cutting panels, and putting them in place. Installation requires the use of hand tools such as drills and screwdrivers. The panels must then be connected to the electrical grid, a process usually done by more experienced workers. The installation of solar panels also includes setting up batteries, pumps, fans, controls, and support structures so that the solar panels function properly. Once installed, the solar panels must be tested, which includes ensuring that everything is correctly wired and grounded. Some states require licensed electricians to perform the final testing. Once the system is fully installed, any openings in the roof must be sealed and everything weatherproofed. Outside of the initial installation, technicians also regularly service and maintain existing systems and troubleshoot equipment deficiencies or malfunctions.