Solar technology continues to enjoy massive growth and favorable projections thanks to its emergence as an efficient and affordable alternative for sustainable, clean energy. Professionals in this field also experience enormous demand, with aspiring candidates emerging in droves every year.
To pursue a career in this field, you must decide your specialty. While there are numerous options, they often have unique characteristics that may make some more appealing to specific individuals than others.
Below we look at some of the highest-paying careers in solar technology and the other factors that make them unique.
Top 10 Highest Paying Careers in Solar Technology
Solar Service Technician - $56,315
With a median average salary of $56,315 per year, solar service technicians are among the highest-paid operators in the solar industry. Their job is to ensure that solar PV hardware systems are kept in functional states and working to their optimal capacity.
They also mount hardware and test equipment to calibrate, clean, fix, and upgrade these systems.
Solar Fleet Manager - $63,381
A solar equipment company’s fleet manager oversees installation operations and coordinates critical activities involved in the process, such as transportation, client interaction, and other logistical aspects.
Being in charge of the operation, it is up to a solar fleet manager to assess the performance of individual team members and judge the whole quality of the installation.
A solar fleet manager can also regularly monitor the installed units to determine when additional upgrades or maintenance is needed.
Solar PV Installer - $70,286
Solar PV installers are responsible for setting up the equipment that connects solar energy systems to electrical grids. It is often up to them to draw designs for the best layout, specifically on specific site characteristics, and obtain the proper permits required for installation.
In cases with already installed equipment on the site, a solar PV installer must assess these equipment to ensure they are safe and functional.
Software Developer - $93,539
Contrary to popular opinion, solar energy systems are not limited to hardware and physical equipment alone. Software developers who secure employment in the industry are charged with designing software applications that monitor energy production and consumption.
They may also work in the sales department, where their software designs will be geared more toward sales, finance, and investment tracking.
Solar Sales Representative - $63,257
Solar sales representatives facilitate the sales of solar PV systems. They reach out to businesses and individuals to introduce them to this system and educate them on which configuration will be better suited for their needs.
Of course, to do so, they must have an intensive knowledge of solar energy, photovoltaic systems, and the entire industry.
Solar Power Plant Operator - $83,173
Solar power plant operators are in charge of overseeing the mechanical operations of solar power plants. They will, through the course of the day, monitor and repair critical systems such as boilers, pumps, gauges, turbines, and controls.
Solar power plant operators get dirty when dealing with these mechanized systems. As such, aspiring operators should be prepared to get their hands dirty.
Professionals in this field also usually work in teams, meaning teamwork, communication, and interpersonal skills are necessary.
Solar Project Developer - $84,130
A solar project developer works closely with other areas and team members to ensure smooth operation and communication. These include engineers, lawyers, and even accountants.
Their primary duties also include securing permits and tax agreements. To perform these duties exceptionally, a solar project developer must have extensive knowledge of existing and emerging solar technologies and local laws and policies.
Solar Consultant - $90,000
If you ever have a question regarding the solar industry or large-scale solar projects and want your answer from an expert with experience, you should talk to a solar consultant.
Solar consultants are very well-paid. They work closely with contractors and engineers to ensure realistic project expectations and operations run smoothly.
An aspiring solar consultant must acquire a bachelor’s degree in engineering and an optional business degree.
Solar Materials Scientist - $95,642
A solar materials scientist researches compounds such as alloys, glass, ceramics, rubber, and polymers to find out how these materials relate to solar energy generation.
They are responsible for coming up with new innovative approaches to solar energy while at the same time finding out how to make the existing system a lot more effective, efficient, and affordable.
They may also devise methods by which certain materials react to various environments related to solar energy generation.
Site Assessor - $65,719
As the name implies, a site assessor visits potential system locations to determine how much energy can be harvested. They also draw up schematics and reports to analyze critical details such as weather patterns and shade properties.
All of these go into determining which size, layout, and equipment type will be most optimal. They may also carry out cost estimations to ensure proper allocation of resources.