It really doesn’t matter if you’re 7 or 57, deciding what field you want to work in can be an exciting endeavor. Whether you’re interested in going to school, or going back to school, or if you’re better at on the job training and hand-on projects, learning a new skill while making money is a win-win.
I discussed the process of becoming a Master Electrician in a previous blog post (check it out, here: https://suntexllc.com/energy-components-electrical-wiring/), and there are a few really strong reasons you might decide to take on this endeavor: 1) the pay is excellent, and 2) you can start “green” as we say in the construction industry, apprenticing for someone with little schooling or experience required, and 3) once you become a Master Electrician, you can dictate your own hours, and decide which jobs you want to take – giving you lots of freedom in the later years of your career.
If you’re afraid of electrocuting yourself however (a valid fear indeed), there are tons of other jobs within the solar industry to choose from! Below I’ve outlined just a few…
Solar companies are A-L-W-A-Y-S hiring more sales staff to learn about the process of installing solar, and how it can save our customers money. The beauty of this position is that it does not require any schooling. Notice I did not say you won’t need to learn anything while on the job (too bad, right?), however it’s definitely something you can learn by doing, and as with any job, the more experience you have, the better you will be. It doesn’t matter if you’ve sold cell-phone batteries or luxury vehicles in the past, if you’ve got any sales acumen whatsoever, or if you just enjoy talking to people, it’s likely you’d be good at selling solar.
Because at SUNTEX we want to make sure our energy consultants and sales staff are experts in training homeowners the ways of solar energy, we spend a little extra time during the training process ensuring that you know exactly what you’re talking about before ever heading to a customer’s home for an energy audit. Unfortunately there are several bad players in the solar market that don’t do this, and the customer is always the one that will suffer for it. We’ve seen it in the past, and do our best to warn others of these types of companies, however because of this insight we know exactly what our team needs to know to be successful in their careers, and we strive towards it con ganas each day.
The operations side of the solar business, which is where my background in solar began, includes the entire process after a sale it made through installation. I’ll do my best not to get too into the weeds here, but the overall process of a solar system installation is as follows: 1) Design & Engineering, 2) Permitting, Interconnection Application, and Rebate Application, 3) Ordering Materials, 4) Scheduling & Executing the Installation with the same design as it was approved by the permitting office, 5) Inspections, and 6) Permission to Operate (PTO), when your system is actually turned-on and fully functioning.
The most important piece of this puzzle is the installations team! In order to install solar, you don’t need any education or experience necessarily, as you will get these with on the job training, however you do need to be prepared to be at work by 7:00 AM (or earlier in some cases), and work in scorching heat in the summer months (since roof-tops are typically about 15 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the daily temp, see what I mean here: https://sentryroof.com/news/how-hot-does-your-commercial-roof-really-get-in-the-summer/), and colder weather in the winter months.
Of course there are other pieces to this puzzle behind the scenes such as billing and accounting, manufacturing, and customer communication throughout, which is also generally included within the scope of the operations team. So it’s safe to say there are plenty of options to choose from should you decide to work within the Operations division at a solar company.
Another exciting experience you can glean working in the solar industry includes Information Technology, or more commonly known as IT. Depending on the size of the solar company you’re working for, IT department activities can include anything from building and managing the company website, to manufacturing and testing solar panels and accompanying equipment in a lab (admittedly, this may be nearer to the field of engineering but you get the idea)
It’s important that the entire Operations life cycle of each customer project is tracked smoothly, so you don’t skip any steps and so that you can keep the customer in the loop about what’s happening next, so as a solar IT expert you might also be responsible for building out the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools that help you track this life cycle, or any of the other online tools that can help a solar company grow sustainably (including tracking Sales calls and researching new potential markets for solar, or managing customer energy production data to ensure quality service throughout the life of a solar system, to name just a couple more).
Whatever your interest in tech – web development, database management, or integrated systems – there is likely a job waiting for you in the solar industry. Not to mention, I can personally attest to the fact that as this industry continues to rapidly grow and develop easier ways of doing things, there are plenty of new tech jobs opening up each day, and a ton of room for innovation.
With all of that said, there are people who must keep the ship afloat and running in the right direction, and that includes the administrative staff. People in these positions are like jack-knives, floating from sector to sector and providing help and insight where needed. Because they’re likely responsible for overseeing executive-level schedules and tasks, they have a good line of communication and visibility with company leadership. Communication skills and time management are therefore essential to their every day work, however this also allows for flexibility and diversity in their workload, and the work can often be done remotely as well. If you’re an organized individual and want to learn more about the solar industry – without working on a rooftop during installations, or deep inside of the code designing a software system – you might want to see what Administration positions are available in your area today.
As you can see, there really are a myriad of things to choose from. Interested in learning more? Give us a call today and see if you’re the ‘right stuff’ for SUNTEX!
SUNTEX Careers Page: https://suntexllc.com/careers/