Solar Energy Systems Engineers

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$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.

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

Recognition

Relationships

Support

Independence

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

Initiative

Leadership

Cooperation

Concern for Others

Social Orientation

Self-Control

Stress Tolerance

Adaptability/Flexibility

Dependability

Attention to Detail

Integrity

Independence

Innovation

Analytical Thinking

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.