Solar energy | Stark State College - North Canton, Ohio

Solar energy

In addition to an understanding of the installation, operation, maintenance and repair of various electrical systems in electrical and electronic equipment, this program focuses on the knowledge and basic skills to install and maintain Solar Photovoltaic and Solar Thermal systems.

The curriculum includes electrical and electronic analysis and fundamentals, digital electronics, electrical and electronic trouble-shooting, digital communications, transformers, National Electric Code, electrical machines, industrial controls, programmable controllers, hydraulics, pneumatics and heating, ventilation and air conditioning. This knowledge is essential for graduates who are required to maintain and repair modern electrical/electronic equipment and solar arrays.

According to the US Dept. of Labor Occupation Outlook Handbook Employment of solar photovoltaic (PV) installers is projected to grow 24 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. The rapid expansion and adoption of solar panel installations will result in excellent job opportunities for qualified individuals, particularly for those with electrician experience. The median annual wage for solar photovoltaic installers was $37,900 in May 2012. (

What do solar photovoltaic installers do?

Solar photovoltaic (PV) installers, often called PV installers, assemble, install, or maintain solar panel systems on roofs or other structures.

PV installers typically do the following:

  • Plan PV system configuration based on customer needs, expectations, and site conditions
  • Connect PV panels to the power grid
  • Install solar modules, panels, or support structures in accordance with building codes and standards
  • Apply weather sealing to equipment being installed
  • Perform routine PV system maintenance
  • Activate and test PV systems to verify performance
  • Associate of applied science degree in electrical maintenance technology


Student Outcomes

Additional reference information

The Solar and Wind Energy Supply Chain in Ohio

January 2011 © All rights reserved. Full reproduction permitted. This report can be downloaded from

North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners NABCEP

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the National Electrical Contractors Association – The National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee NJATC Certification

To receive the PV System Installer Certification, an individual must pass one exam. The exam is intended to measure the necessary competencies for a qualified electrical professional with OSHA 30-hour safety training for construction and several years of hands-on experience in the field. Hands-on experience or equivalent knowledge including installing, building, repairing, troubleshooting, diagnosing, verifying and performing tasks involved in electrical work either residential or commercial.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook

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