More and more educational institutions across the country are starting to offer degree programs specifically geared towards solar technician training. Most of these programs offer training and coursework needed to obtain a North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certification, which is the national standard solar energy certification that is the most prominent and widely accepted. Learn more about NABCEP certifications on our Solar Technician Training page.
- 1 A Word About Online Courses
- 2 Solar Technician Schools
- 3 Traditional Universities
- 4 Do Your Homework
- 5 Additional Resources
- 6 Share this:
A Word About Online Courses
Many programs offer a mix of online and in-person courses while other programs are entirely online. Typically a solar technician program will start with a lot of textbook learning in the early classes, where you learn the basic concepts and definitions associated with solar energy. However, as you advance into more complex coursework, hands on experience is incredibly important. If your goal is to obtain an NABCEP certification beyond the Entry Level Solar Thermal, our recommendation is to make sure you get hands on experience. The NABCEP Photovoltaic Installation Professional certification is the main certification needed to install and maintain solar panels, and the test requires a demonstration of skills in a lab setting. It would be wise to go into this exam with more than textbook knowledge that an online course offers.
Solar Technician Schools
Below is a list of some of the most prominent solar technician programs in the United States. This list is not exhaustive, and if there are any programs missing that you think should be listed here, please comment below!
Green Technology Institutes
Some institutions are geared specifically towards Green Energy and the applied skills necessary to enter the solar energy workforce immediately after graduation. These institutions are listed below.
Infinite Solar is an organization that offers a blend of online and hands-on training throughout the United States and Canada. These programs are all tailored to prepare a student for the NABCEP certification exams, and the exam can even be taken at the end of the course for an extra fee.
The Ecotech Institute offers an Applied Sciences Associates Degree in Solar Energy Technology. This 88 week program is an in-depth training in all things solar energy. In addition, some traditional college curriculum is offered. This includes some general math, english composition, and the like.
If you are looking for a more traditional college experience, consider the institutions listed below. Each of these universities offer degree programs for solar energy technology or something similar.
Waubonsee Community College, located in Aurora, Illinois, offers certificate programs specifically designed to prepare you for NABCEP Certifications. Different course tracks include Photovoltaic, Photovoltaic Basics and Solar Thermal. Visit the WCC website for more information.
Shoreline Community College (SCC) is a career focused institution located in Shoreline, Washington. Their Clean Energy Technology program will prepare you for a career in several different types of renewable energy disciplines, including solar. SCC offers two program options -a 45 credit Certificate of Proficiency, and a 90 credit Associate’s Degree in Applied Arts & Sciences.
The Dickson, Tennessee campus of Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) offers a Solar Photovoltaic Technician program at two different degree levels. The Solar Photovoltaic Apprentice Certificate can be earned with 432 hours of study – about 4 months. The Solar Photovoltaic Technician and Installer Degree can be earned with 1296 hours of study, or about 12 months. For more information, visit the TCAT – Dickson website.
Texas State Technical College (TSTC) is located in Waco, Texas. They offer a Solar Energy Technology Associate Degree which totals 72 credits, or about 5 semesters of coursework. This is one of the few 2-year degree programs in the field of Solar Energy in the country, and it prepares you for all aspects of solar energy installation, repair and maintenance.
Do Your Homework
These are just some of the many institutions around the country that offer educational training in the field of solar energy. These schools are among the top rated programs in America, but it is important to do the research for yourself and find the program that is appropriate for you.