What kind of jobs are available in the solar industry?

All Kinds

In fact, The Solar Foundation® 2015 annual Census report states that across the country, Solar employers report increasing difficulty in finding qualified workers as compared to previous Census reports, though it is not yet at a critical level.  Nearly one in four solar employers report that they have no difficulty finding the employee they need, but about one in five report that it is very difficult to find qualified employees. 

Over the next 12 months, solar companies expect to add a total of 30,000 new solar workers, representing 14.7% employment growth over 2015.  This increase is 13 times the projected 1.1% increase in employment in the overall U.S. economy over the same period.  The solar economy is local.  Eight in 10 solar installation firms report their customers are located within the state, while project developers responded that nearly 65% of their customers are “in-state”.  More than half of all installer firms have 10 or fewer employees.  Employers in the installation sector hired an overage of 8.85 workers per firm.  Utah is no exception, with over 70 solar companies located throughout the state.

More can be found in the full report, which can be downloaded free at www.tsfcensus.org

How many courses are offered in the PV program?

There are three courses that comprise our Photovoltaic Systems Certificate offerings.  The first course is Electrical Principles for Alternative Energy.  This provides a solid introduction to electricity and the relevant National Electrical Codes applicable to solar installations.  It is designed for individuals without a solid background in electricity and electrical theory. It is followed by the Basic PV Systems and then Advanced PV Systems courses.

What educational background (Engineering/Math/Science) is needed before taking the courses? Is a college degree required?

There is no college degree or formal certification, such as electricial or journeyman, required to attend any of the courses.  A solid background or understanding of electricity and current electrical principles and codes is needed.  Because these are important components, the first course in the series is Electrical Principles for Alternative Energy and is the pre-requisite for the other two courses.  Currently licensed Electricians may waive this course with submission of their license.


How frequently are courses offered?

Each course is offered at least twice per year. Additional courses may be added to meet student and/or industry needs.


Are the courses in-person or online?

The courses are hybrids and combines traditional classroom instruction with online learning.  Students will find the syllabus, course module and assignments, PowerPoint presentations, videos and quizzes through CANVAS, Salt Lake Community College's online learning management system.  In addition to online learning, each class will meet in-person every other Tuesday from 6:00pm - 9:00pm at our Meadowbrook Campus located at 3900 South 250 West. The Advanced PV Systems course also includes two Saturday hands-on sessions that are more intensive and usually run 4-6 hours.  Students will work in the Solar Training Yard to complete an 'install' of various types of systems


How much is tuition?

Tuition for all three courses is approximately $2,400.00, including textbooks.  This is based on Salt Lake Community College 2016-2017 tuition rates. 


Do any of these courses count towards relicensing / CEU credits?

Yes, they ALL do!  Each of the classes have been reviewed and approved through Utah Department of Occupational and Professional Licensing as follows:


Electrical Principles for Alternative Energy 

  • Contractors - 9 hours Code 
  • Electricians - 9 hours Code and 18 hours Professional

Basic PV Systems

  • Contractors - 6 hours Code 
  • Electricians - 6 hours Code and 11 hours Professional

Advanced PV Systems

  • Contractors - 6 hours Code
  • Electricians - 16 hours Code and 12 hours Professional