Natural resources have a huge potential to generate energy for humankind. Solar power as you may know is the biggest source of renewable energy. Solar power is generated when the light is converted into energy. To capture solar energy, photovoltaic apparatus needs to be installed on a large scale and hence the need for skilled manpower.
In Australia, in 2020 – 2021, solar power production was 10% of total electricity. The solar industry in Australia is one of the fastest-growing industries. Over 30% of houses have rooftop solar.
Why choose solar?
The exponential growth in the usage of solar energy has resulted in high demand for skilled solar installers. You can do your bit to contribute to the environment and help produce green energy and improve your livelihood too.
Requirements to becoming a Solar Installer:
Of course, learning and practising the necessary skills and know-how to become a solar installer in Australia takes a significant investment in time and money
You can start as early as possible. After year 10, you can enrol into Certificate III in Electrotechnology course. This course is a prerequisite for becoming a Solar Electrician.
Before you start your work as an electrician in Australia, you should complete a 4-year apprenticeship and become a licensed electrician.
Requirements for Electrical apprenticeship:
– You must be at least 16 years old.
– You have completed your secondary school education.
– You must have proof of your age and education.
– A current resume of any work experience is to be included with your application.
1. Solar Training from an RTO
To begin your career as a solar installer, you must finish your training with an RTO. You must complete the essential modules needed for the accreditation.
A registered training organisation (RTOs) like the Australian Institute of Electrotechnology (AUSINET) will be able to provide training for the units needed for accreditation.
After completing your solar course from an RTO, you can apply for CEC accreditation
You have to submit the below documents to CEC
– Training Certificate issued by the RTO.
– Your public liability insurance (at least $5 million)
– Electrical licence.
– Certificate for working safely at heights completed within six years – check needed units if you apply for grid connect install or stand-alone power system.
2. Next, apply for CEC Accreditation
CEC is a non-profit organisation. Its main goal is to help Australia develop sustainable energy sources by assisting and encouraging solar power storage and installation companies across the country’s geography. Through its accreditation program, the Clean Energy Council aims to raise the bar for excellence in solar and help improve the overall scenario.
The Clean Energy Council recognises individuals who have completed the necessary training to design and install solar, batteries, and other renewable energy systems.
CEC-accredited solar design and installation specialists strive to meet the best practice norms, leading to safer, reliable solar systems and meeting customers’ needs.
3. Complete online assessments
The online assessments are needed to be completed within 30 days to demonstrate your understanding. On successful completion, you’ll be allotted an accreditation number and you can begin working as a CEC-accredited solar design or installation specialist.
For design-only accreditation, you are not required to complete a practical assessment.
4. Types of accreditation
If you intend to do installations for another electrical contractor then you will only need to complete the “Solar installation course”.
If you intend to design and install the solar system then you need to do the combination course i.e. “Solar Design and Install”.
If you are an Electrical Engineer then you can do the “Solar design only” course as you would not be able to perform any installation work unless you are a licensed electrician.
The same goes for the “Battery Design and Installation” course.
5. Practical Assessments
To be eligible for Design and Install or Install Only accreditation, you must complete a practical assessment. Once you apply to the CEC, they will provide you with provisional accreditation. One must complete the above accreditation within a month otherwise the provisional accreditation will expire. The assessment requires you to Install a Grid-connected PV system on a roof and collect evidence of the installation in the form of specified photos and commissioning sheets
6. Assessment Submission
Once you have completed your online assessments and practical assessments with CEC your accreditation will change from provisional to full accreditation. This could take a few weeks after you submit all documents
Your full accreditation is valid for a year and must be renewed annually through continuing professional development. If you want to renew, you must complete 100 points of approved training, which is divided into Core and Elective.
Fees related to accreditation
The total cost of training and CEC accreditation will vary depending on the training organisation (RTO) you choose. Whether or not you intend to start a solar installation business or not.
The following fees are applicable if you intend to be a Solar Designer / Installer:
A provisional accreditation application will cost you $165 + GST
Full accreditation will set you back by $550 + GST
If you hold a full accreditation you should renew your accreditation annually if you wish to keep your accreditation current and valid. Annual accreditation renewal charges are $240 + GST
You will also need a Working at Heights certificate which will cost an extra $200 + GST. This is not a part of CEC and you will have to find an RTO that will deliver this training
please note that these are tentative charges and you should check the CEC website for current fees.
Why should you apply for CEC accreditation?
Anyone interested in designing or installing solar panels or batteries must be accredited by CEC. Following are the perks of CEC accreditation
– You can communicate with the CEC’s solar-specialised advice helpline.
– There are toolbox demonstrations, how-to aids, and specialised technical materials available online through your account
– Through your account, you can stay informed about significant changes in solar industry standards.
– Keep up with approved products and approvals
– Have your name added to the CEC’s installer search tool so customers can be assured that they have hired a genuinely accredited installer
– You can inform the government and authorities of your suggestions by being part of the Renewable energy community through CEC
If you are considering a career in solar power it’s a thumbs-up from us because the industry is growing fast. In Australia, job possibilities are higher because of abundant sunshine in most of Australia.
Possible job roles:
Depending on your capability and the market opportunities available, you will be eligible for the following job roles on top of being a Solar PV installer:
Solar energy engineer, Solar project developer, Sales account manager, Solar farm operator, Solar fleet manager, Solar service technician, Solar PV installer, Solar site assessor, Quality assurance specialist, Solar battery technician, Solar battery electrician, Solar battery installer, Solar battery designer, Door to door solar lead generator, Technical support for Solar sales and marketing, Solar content specialist.
A career as a solar installer is ideal for anybody who enjoys hands-on work, learning about sustainable energy, and helping the environment. The money is good and the hours are family-friendly.
Along with a good salary, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping to make the world a greener place by lowering your carbon footprint.
Hope this helps with understanding how to become a solar installer. Now you can make a fairly informed judgment about your career. There is so much more to Solar, but for now, that’s all we have on this topic. Hope you enjoyed reading this!
Last reviewed date: 11/03/2022