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Solar Project Manager: Salary, Job Description & Responsibilities

Solar project managers are responsible for a wide range of duties that involve a number of skills. The tasks they perform, their income and their training requirements are explored in greater detail here.

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Career Definition of a Solar Project Manager

When solar panels and materials are going to be installed, a solar project manager will develop an installation plan. They must consider a number of factors, such as the needs of the client or project, the location and any applicable regulations that may affect the project. As part of their duties they ensure that the project can be undertaken by applying for any permits that are required. They also work to product a budget for the project.

The next phase of their duties involves scheduling. They ensure that the supplies needed are ordered in advance so that they will be available when needed. They also schedule the construction workers and staff who are involved with the project. Once work begins they continue to oversee the project and ensure that all aspects of the project stay on budget and follow the design specifications. Solar project managers are also responsible for ensuring safety on site and strive to ensure that they complete projects that work as intended and meet the needs of the client without going over the budget or past the targeted completion deadline.

Educational Requirements Bachelor's degree
Job Skills Organizational skills, leadership skills, decision-making skills, mathematical skills, safety skills, computer skills, design skills, attention to detail
Mean Salary (2017)* $83,134
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* 13% (first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers)

Sources: *Glassdoor; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

In order to become a solar project manager it's usually necessary to have a bachelor's degree. Solar project managers can opt to study business or other comparable subjects to prepare for this career. They should also have some training in solar installation. A Project Management Professional (PMP) certificate may be required by some employers or may be an asset when seeking work.

Required Skills

Part of the work that solar project managers do is administrative and involves producing budgets, ordering supplies and scheduling staff. In order to perform these tasks, solar project managers should have good organizational skills, solid mathematical skills and computer skills. They also need to ensure that the project plans comply with applicable regulations and can be executed safely so they need to have good design skills and pay attention to details that may affect the design plans. Another part of the work that solar project managers perform involves overseeing onsite operations and the staff who are completing specific installation tasks. In order to be effective in this role they need to have good leadership skills.

Career Outlook and Salary

Solar project managers are grouped with first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This occupational group is expected to experience a 13% job growth rate from 2016 to 2026. This is notably higher than the job growth rate the BLS anticipates for all occupations during the same ten-year period, which is forecast to be 7%. According to Glassdoor, solar project managers earned a mean annual income of $83,134 in 2017.

Related Careers

There are a number of career options that involve using managerial skills to develop renewable energy sources. Aspiring solar project managers may wish to learn more about the work that wind farm site managers, wind energy project managers and construction managers do, which can be done by accessing the information available via the links provided here.

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