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Like heat pumps, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are an important part of lowering the carbon emissions generated in different buildings. Consumers and businesses can also use solar panels to lower their dependency on grid power – which is particularly useful when energy prices are higher than usual.
According to Bloomberg, the waiting time for new solar installations has doubled in 2022 alone. Findings like this show why it’s now such a good trade to move into. There are solar panel courses all over the country and unlike heat pump installers there’s less study involved before you can begin earning.
Any renewable energy installation will form part of the UK’s transition to net zero, so you don’t need to worry about whether this technology will still be around in 10 or 15 years. You’ll enjoy good job security and a steady income in this trade.
Solar installers are skilled tradespeople and this is reflected in the amount you can expect to earn, even when newly qualified. Most online recruiters list the average installer salary around £35,000, though you can expect to earn more than this if you set up your own business.
Solar PV installers are in high demand and that looks set to continue over the next decade.
The BBC has also reported on the growth of the UK market, with 3,000 new installations now being completed each week in 2022 – that’s up from 1,000 a week two years earlier. In other words, it’s likely you won’t be looking for work in this trade!
Solar arrays tend to be fitted on the roofs of buildings, so you’ll need to be comfortable working at height. You’ll also need to be physically fit for going up and down ladders carrying tools and other heavy equipment.
The training to become a solar installer is more straightforward when compared to other renewable technologies, typically taking around five years to complete. The entry requirements for a solar panel installation course typically require more than two passes at GCSE level, including English and Maths. Example courses for this trade include:
Remember you’ll need a Construction Skills Certification card if you plan working on building sites.
As a specialist trade and someone new to the industry, it’s advisable to get some experience with an existing business after you’ve completed your solar PV training. But it’s a sector with so much potential for starting a new business once you’ve got enough experience under your belt. Whatever route you decide to take, Trade-Up is able to provide guidance and advice.