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Emerging Occupations

Solar Installer

In general, solar installers install, service and maintain solar thermal (heat) and solar photovoltaic (light) power generation equipment.

This is an emerging occupation. It may have evolved from an existing occupation or emerged in response to consumer needs or technological advances.

Also Known As

Alternative Energy Technologist, Solar Contractor, Solar Panel Installer, Solar Technician, Solar Technologist

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used.

This occupation has not yet received an official NOC code. However, it is considered similar to the following historical NOC codes. CAUTION—As this occupation is only similar to these NOC codes, related details and labour market information may not be accurate:

  • 2006 NOC: Residential and Commercial Installers and Servicers (7441) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Residential and Commercial Installers and Servicers (H531) 
  • 2011 NOC: Residential and commercial installers and servicers (7441) 
  • 2016 NOC: Residential and commercial installers and servicers (7441) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Residential and Commercial Installers and Servicers*
2006 NOC : 7441

Interest Codes


*The Solar Installer is similar to this NOC group

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

OBJECTIVE

Interest in operating equipment and tools to install and service interior and exterior prefabricated products

METHODICAL

Interest in comparing information to measure and mark guidelines for installations

innovative

Interest in repairing and servicing interior and exterior prefabricated products

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Duties
Updated May 20, 2021

Solar installers work with clients and customers to determine what solar energy-generation technology options (solar thermal or solar photovoltaic power generation equipment) will best suit their needs. They then sell, deliver, install, service and maintain the equipment at customer’s homes, businesses or construction sites.

For larger projects, especially those involving new construction, solar installers work with or supervise project teams and coordinate with tradespersons and contractors to ensure the safe, effective and efficient installation of equipment.

A solar installer's duties typically include:

  • Performing site assessments, which include load appraisals, shade analysis, hazard assessments and energy generation estimates
  • Securing necessary permits and working with inspectors
  • Coordinating with electricians, plumbers, engineers, roofers and so on to complete installation of solar generation equipment and connect equipment to the rest of the building's systems
  • Conducting or supervising the installation, operation and maintenance of solar power generation equipment
  • Setting up and operating specialized and standard test equipment to diagnose, test and analyse the performance of solar power generation equipment
  • Inspecting, testing, calibrating, repairing, replacing, adjusting and evaluating electrical components
  • Creating work schedules, technical reports, estimates, and invoices

Although this is not a regulated occupation, duties related to installing, interconnecting and terminating electrical components or equipment (such as solar panels) can fall under several trade regulations. To do this work a solar installer must be certified, or be registered as an apprentice and supervised by a certified tradesperson, in the related trade. For more details, see Certification Requirements.

Working Conditions
Updated May 20, 2021
  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg

Solar installers travel between warehouses or storehouses, construction sites, homes and businesses, where they install, maintain and service solar generation equipment. They work with their hands and with various tools and equipment. As they spend time on rooftops and in other high-up places, solar installers must use appropriate safety equipment.

Most of a solar installer's time is spent working out of doors, with some time spent in attics, basements or garages.

Because of the physical aspects of the work, solar installers may have to lift, push or pull objects weighing more than 30 kg.

Traits & Skills
Updated May 20, 2021

Solar installers need:

  • A comfort with heights
  • Good hand-eye coordination and dexterity
  • Attention to detail
  • Strong communication skills
  • An understanding of basic mathematical and electrical principles
  • The ability to follow verbal and written instructions closely
  • The ability to work as part of a team

Because they will often interact with clients and customers, solar installers should enjoy working with people.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

* The Solar Installer is similar to this NOC group
Residential and commercial installers and servicers*
NOC code: 7441

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 100 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Mar 03, 2022 and May 25, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Measure and mark guidelines to be used for installations
Determine layout and installation procedures
Utilize hand and power tools
Install, repair and service interior or exterior prefabricated products
Personal Suitability: Reliability
Personal Suitability: Team player
Read and interpret blueprints, maps, drawings and specifications
Load and unload trucks with supplies and equipment
Personal Suitability: Dependability
Personal Suitability: Organized
Educational Requirements
Updated May 20, 2021
  • Minimum Education Varies

Most emerging occupations develop from more than one occupation. People working in this occupation may come from a variety of education and training backgrounds. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should contact associations and employers in this field to investigate education options and employment possibilities.

Solar installers typically require completion of a 2-year technical diploma or similar program, or an equivalent amount of trades training and experience.

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)’s Centre for Continuing Education and Professional Studies (CONED) in Calgary offers upgrading courses for certified journeyman electricians, including Solar PV: Installation for Electricians.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated May 20, 2021
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Solar installers working directly with electrical equipment are subject to provincial legislation.

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

Electrician

Electricians install, alter, repair and maintain electrical systems designed to provide heat, light, power, control, signal or fire alarms for all types of buildings, structures and premises. For more information, see the Trades and Occupations section of Alberta’s Tradesecrets website.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act [pdf] and Electrician Trade Regulation [pdf], you must have a certificate that is recognized by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training or be a registered apprentice to install, alter, repair or maintain electrical systems in Alberta.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Electrician.

Power System Electrician

Power system electricians install, maintain and repair electrical power generation, transmission and distribution systems and equipment. For more information, see the Trades and Occupations section of Alberta’s Tradesecrets website.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act [pdf] and Power System Electrician Trade Regulation [pdf], you do not have to be certified if you are self-employed or work for an employer who is satisfied that you have the skills and knowledge expected of a journeyperson certified by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. To learn the trade, you must become a registered apprentice.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Power System Electrician.

Powerline Technician

Powerline technicians construct, maintain and repair overhead and underground electrical power transmission and distribution systems. For more information, see the Trades and Occupations section of Alberta’s Tradesecrets website.

Legislation

Under Alberta’s Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act [pdf] and Powerline Technician Trade Regulation [pdf], you do not have to be certified if you are self-employed or work for an employer who is satisfied that you have the skills and knowledge expected of a journeyperson certified by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. To learn the trade, you must become a registered apprentice.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Powerline Technician.

Additional Information

The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) offers PV Installation Professional and Solar Heating Installer certifications. Some formal education and work experience in the industry is required before the technical exam can be written.

Employment & Advancement
Updated May 20, 2021

Emerging occupations typically are the result of:

  • An increased human need
  • Technological advances
  • Greater specialization within an occupation

Often there are too few people working in an emerging occupation to gather survey information. Therefore, it can be difficult to define advancement opportunities or employment outlook. Some Albertans already are working in this emerging occupation, but future demand for it is unknown.

Solar installers are employed by solar technology retail and installation firms. Employment is sometimes seasonal, and there may be no guarantee of permanent work. Most Alberta-based solar installation businesses employ fewer than 50 employees.

Experienced solar installers may advance to supervisory, estimator or electrical inspector positions, or start their own contracting businesses.

Membership in a trade union is voluntary but some contractors employ only union people.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 7441: Residential and commercial installers and servicers* occupational group, 80.3% of people work in:

*This data is for a NOC group that is similar to the Solar Installer occupation.

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment

Explore emerging workplace trends in Alberta that could affect this occupation.

In Alberta, the 7441: Residential and commercial installers and servicers* occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.6% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 117 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

*This data is for a NOC group that is similar to the Solar Installer occupation.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Wage & Salary
Updated May 20, 2021

Often there are too few people working in an emerging occupation to gather survey information. Therefore, no current provincial salary data is available for this occupation.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Residential and commercial installers and servicers*

2016 NOC : 7441
*The solar installer is similar to this NOC group
Average Wage
$25.49
Per Hour
Average Salary
$51,335.00
Per Year
Average Hours
38.9
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
11.8
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 7441 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $31.38 $19.91 $19.00
Overall $18.94 $38.46 $25.49 $25.00
Top $24.00 $38.00 $30.05 $30.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information
Construction
Wholesale Trade
ALL INDUSTRIES
Manufacturing
Retail Trade

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

68%
68%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

49%
49%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

6%
6%

Vacancy Rate

2%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated May 20, 2021

Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) website: www.cansia.ca

Solar Energy Society of Alberta (SESA) website: solaralberta.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2021. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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