Solar Energy Systems Engineers

environmental engineer_1_1.webp
$104,600 Median Wage (2022)
10,400 Projected job openings (2022-2032)
3.30% Projected growth (2022-2032)

Perform site-specific engineering analysis or evaluation of energy efficiency and solar projects involving residential, commercial, or industrial customers. Design solar domestic hot water and space heating systems for new and existing structures, applying knowledge of structural energy requirements, local climates, solar technology, and thermodynamics.

Experience Requirements Overview

  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
  • A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
  • Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
  • Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Education, Training and Experience

Required Level of Education: Bachelor's Degree

Related Work Experience: Over 2 years, up to and including 4 years

On-Site or In-Plant Training: Over 3 months, up to and including 6 months

On-the-Job Training: Over 3 months, up to and including 6 months

Detailed Work Activities

  • Test green technologies or processes.
  • Evaluate plans or specifications to determine technological or environmental implications.
  • Recommend technical design or process changes to improve efficiency, quality, or performance.
  • Analyze green technology design requirements.
  • Analyze costs and benefits of proposed designs or projects.
  • Determine operational methods.
  • Design alternative energy systems.
  • Provide technical guidance to other personnel.
  • Create models of engineering designs or methods.
  • Determine design criteria or specifications.
  • Prepare detailed work plans.
  • Create graphical representations of energy production systems.
  • Inspect finished products to locate flaws.
  • Collect data about project sites.

Work Values

Achievement

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Recognition

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Relationships

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Support

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Independence

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Tasks

  • Conduct engineering site audits to collect structural, electrical, and related site information for use in the design of residential or commercial solar power systems.
  • Create plans for solar energy system development, monitoring, and evaluation activities.
  • Design or coordinate design of photovoltaic (PV) or solar thermal systems, including system components, for residential and commercial buildings.
  • Provide technical direction or support to installation teams during installation, start-up, testing, system commissioning, or performance monitoring.
  • Create electrical single-line diagrams, panel schedules, or connection diagrams for solar electric systems, using computer-aided design (CAD) software.
  • Perform computer simulation of solar photovoltaic (PV) generation system performance or energy production to optimize efficiency.
  • Review specifications and recommend engineering or manufacturing changes to achieve solar design objectives.
  • Develop design specifications and functional requirements for residential, commercial, or industrial solar energy systems or components.
  • Develop standard operation procedures and quality or safety standards for solar installation work.
  • Create checklists for review or inspection of completed solar installation projects.
  • Perform thermal, stress, or cost reduction analyses for solar systems.
  • Test or evaluate photovoltaic (PV) cells or modules.
  • Design or develop vacuum tube collector systems for solar applications.

Work Styles

Achievement/Effort

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Persistence

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Initiative

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Leadership

Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Cooperation

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Concern for Others

Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Social Orientation

Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Self-Control

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Stress Tolerance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

Adaptability/Flexibility

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Dependability

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Attention to Detail

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Integrity

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Independence

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Innovation

Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Analytical Thinking

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Data Source: This page includes information from the O*NET 28.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. This page includes Employment Projections program, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.