There is a reason behind all the buzz about green-collar jobs: they are competitive and high paying. Most green companies offer benefit packages as well. But we can’t all be scientists, engineers, or business owners. So what about the solar installer? The person up there on the roof tightening the nuts and bolts. The demand for installers is just as high as any other level of the solar industry.
Therefore starting pay for solar installers is relatively high. Whereas starting pay on a non-union construction site may be as low as $8.00 per hour, the same rate for a solar installer can be anywhere between $15 and $20 per hour (give or take a few bucks on either end).
Pay is representative of experience and region. For instance, in California and New Jersey the demand for installers is especially high and therefore pay rates are generally higher in order to solicit employees. Bear in mind that demand will likely increase across the board and you’ll see other regions catching up, due in large part to increasing state and federal incentives.
Solar is a relatively young industry and therefore experience is valued highly; the more you know the more you get. Even at the installer level solar is a technical industry, so a certain amount of training is necessary. Whether gained on the job or through an educational institution, having some knowledge of the intricacies of solar installation will increase your starting pay. There are some local and state programs that offer training to prospective solar installers.
In a troubled and scary economy, renewable energy represents a big ticket back to a stability, which can only come by way of green-collar jobs, including solar installers.
Photo Credit: Vista Solar Contractors