Solar energy installation managers work for installation companies with residential and commercial customers. They may work as independent contractors, hired to develop and manage solar energy installation projects. There are about 249,983 Americans employed in the solar energy industry, according to the 2019 National Solar Jobs Census. The Southwest has the greatest potential for solar energy, although many other areas of the United States have been developing solar energy projects. The Solar Energy Foundation reports that the top states for solar jobs are California, Florida, New York, Massachusetts, and Texas.
Many installation managers get their start through apprenticeship programs. Ask your school's career services office for help with finding apprenticeship opportunities. Some managers have prior experience working with roofing companies, learning skills that are needed for installing solar energy panels on the roofs of buildings. Search for jobs on Web sites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, and SimplyHired, as well as by contacting local companies directly. Professional associations also provide job listings and career development support. The Solar Energy Industries Association offers a company membership directory at https://www.seia.org/directory. This is a good place to start to learn more about potential employers.
Solar energy installation managers advance by gaining a reputation for their expertise in their field. This helps them to increase the number of solar projects they work on and expand their customer base. Those that work for installation companies may advance to become senior managers, handling a greater number of solar projects and managing more staff members. They may leave full-time positions to start their own solar energy installation businesses. They may also go back to school for an advanced degree and they may also get certification in specialized areas of solar energy and project management.
Keep up with news and trends in the industry and learn about potential jobs by reading publications such as Solar Today (https://ases.org/solartoday) and Renewable Energy World (https://www.renewableenergyworld.com).
Find job listings for solar energy installation managers at https://www.seia.org/jobs.
Use social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to stay up to date on industry developments and learn about job openings.
Attend the American Solar Energy Society’s annual conference, Solar Power International, and other industry events to network and interview for jobs. Find information at https://www.solarpowerinternational.com.
Join professional associations such as the American Solar Energy Society and the Solar Energy Industries Association to access training and networking resources, industry publications, and employment opportunities.