Career Definition of a Solar Energy Installation Manager
Solar energy installation managers are responsible for overseeing solar installation services. They may communicate with customers about their needs and then produce an estimate of expected project costs and a project plan for installation. This may involve using computer design software to create blueprints or other technical documents that outline where equipment will be installed. They are responsible for scheduling staff and ensuring that work is completed on time and on budget. As part of their duties they monitor their installers and technicians to ensure that systems are installed properly and efficiently.
Solar energy installation managers may oversee both photovoltaic installers and thermal installers. They may also serve residential customers who are having systems installed in their homes or they may work with businesses that are installing solar energy systems. It is their responsibility to ensure the work is completed on budget and that the system is safe and that the installation complies with all applicable regulations.
|Educational Requirements||Postsecondary certificate or associate's degree|
|Job Skills||Leadership skills, mathematical skills, computer skills, communication skills, organizational skills|
|Mean Salary (2017)*||$63,298|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)**||13% (first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers)|
Sources: *Glassdoor.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Almost all solar energy installation managers have some formal postsecondary training. O*NET OnLine reports that 36% have a certificate while another 16% have an associate's degree. Twenty percent have completed some college studies but not earned a degree or certificate. Those considering this type of work may benefit from completing a certificate in solar energy and gaining practical work experience in construction or other related fields. In order to prepare for advancement opportunities those interested in management roles may also want to take courses or workshops in leadership training.
In order to perform their tasks effectively, solar energy installation managers need to have excellent communication skills to direct their staff to perform specific duties. They also need to have good customer service skills since they may speak with customers to schedule installations and maintenance. Computer skills are essential because they often use design software and spreadsheets to perform their duties. They need mathematical skills in order to develop estimates of project costs. Organizational skills are important so that they can ensure that all tasks are completed efficiently.
Career Outlook and Salary
According to Glassdoor.com, solar energy installation managers earned an average annual income of $63,298 as of 2017. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classifies solar energy installation managers with 'first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers' and projects this group of professionals will experience a 13% increase in job opportunities from 2016 to 2026. This is almost double the average job growth rate of 7% the BLS forecasts for all occupations during that same ten-year timeframe.
The skills that solar energy installation managers utilize are skills used in a range of other career fields including wind farm operations and construction. Those who are interested in exploring careers that involve duties comparable to those performed by solar energy installation managers can find more information about these careers via the links provided.