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Solar panel installer

Solar photovoltaic installer, solar installer, PV installer

Solar panel installers set up solar panels on roofs and structures on land, to convert solar power into renewable energy. Installers are also responsible for maintaining solar panels and ensuring the wiring systems safe and efficient.

Average salary*

£17000

-

£36000

Typical hours per week

30 - 40

How to become a solar panel installer?

There are several routes to becoming a solar panel installer. You can gain the qualifications you need by doing a college course or an apprenticeship. If you already have relevant qualifications you could apply directly to an employer for a job. 

You should explore these routes of becoming a solar panel installer to find out which is the right one for you. Although some options have certain qualification requirements, many employers are interested in people who are enthusiastic, willing to learn and can follow instructions. 

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.  

College/training provider 

You could gain the skills to help you become a solar panel installer at college by completing a course such as a City & Guilds Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Electrical Installation. 

You’ll need: 

  • 2 or more GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) (level 2 course) 
  • 4 - 5 GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) (level 3 course). 

Once you’ve qualified in electrical installation, you could go on to train in solar panel installation via a specialist course. 

> Equivalent entry requirements explained 

> Find a course near you 

> Funding advice  

Apprenticeship 

You could work towards becoming a solar panel installer by completing an intermediate apprenticeship in electrical installation. This will take around two years to complete and would allow you to progress on to an advanced qualification, or  specialise in solar panel installation. 

You’ll need at least 4 GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths, to become an apprentice electrician. 

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you’ll be fully employed by a company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider. 

> Find an apprenticeship near you 

> Guide to apprenticeships 

Work 

If you have some GCSEs (or equivalent), including English and maths plus good practical skills, you may find work as an electrician’s mate, assistant,or trainee electrician. Your employer may support you to train to become fully qualified and then you can go on to gain further qualifications and specialise in solar panel installation. 

Work experience 

Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry. You could gain this at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works as a solar panel installer. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV. 

> Find out more about work experience 

Skills  

Additional skills which may benefit anyone considering a job as a solar panel installer include:  

  • Knowledge of electrical systems 
  • Good maths skills 
  • Design skills and understanding 
  • Good attention to detail 
  • Analytical thinking skills 
  • Ability to work well with others 
  • Ability to remain calm in stressful situations. 

What does a solar panel installer do?

As a solar panel installer, you will be responsible for installing and servicing solar panels on buildings and land to ensure they efficiently convert solar power into renewable energy. Most of your work as a solar panel installer will be outdoors and at height.

The job role of a solar panel installer involves the following duties:  

  • Assessing locations to ensure they are suitable for solar panels 
  • Measuring up areas for installation 
  • Making adjustments to building surfaces so panels fit and are adequately supported 
  • Installing and maintaining solar panels on homes, business premises or open land 
  • Connecting solar panels to an electrical system 
  • Grounding electrical equipment and checking wiring  
  • Adhering to strict health and safety guidelines 
  • Performing maintenance checks and fixing solar panels 
  • Using a variety of technical equipment and tools 

How much could you earn as a solar panel installer?

The expected salary for a solar panel installer varies as you become more experienced. 

  • Newly trained solar panel installers can earn £17,000 
  • Experienced solar panel installers can earn £36,000*. 

Hours and salary depend on location, employer and any overtime you do. 

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources and have been updated as of 2019


Jobs

Check out the latest solar panel installer vacancies:  

As these are external websites, the number of vacancies related to your preferred role will vary. New jobs will be posted as they come up. 

Career path and progression

As a solar panel installer, you could progress to become a team leader, or project manager. 

Alternatively, you could set yourself up as self-employed. 


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