As you’re looking to rise to your next challenge, there’s a place for you in the rapidly growing solar industry. The Solar Ready Vets Network helps service members and veterans understand and navigate solar career pathways.
The solar industry offers a tremendous range of opportunities for individuals with diverse skill sets and interests. From skilled trades and technical roles to business and administrative functions, there is a growing need for diverse talent to help power the transition to a clean energy future.
Join the Solar Ready Vets Network to receive program updates. Explore career navigation and solar industry training resources below.
Solar Career Navigation Resources
IREC offers interactive clean energy career maps that can be used to explore the many diverse careers and routes for advancement across the growing clean energy sector. The Solar Career Map describes dozens of roles across the industry, paired with routes for career advancement.
Solar industry training programs range from 40-hour certificates, to four+-year degrees and apprenticeships, work-based learning, and more. Finding the right training program depends on your interests and goals.
National Solar Training Provider Directory
Many solar training programs are eligible for GI Bill benefits. Search our National Solar Training Provider Directory to explore solar programs online and in your community, Registered Apprenticeships, and more.
SkillBridge Programs for Transitioning Service Members
The DOD SkillBridge program allows a transitioning service member to pursue career training within 180 days prior to separation, while continuing to receive military compensation and benefits. There are SkillBridge opportunities available to help you embark on a wide range of solar career pathways.
Solar Ready Vets Fellowships: The Solar Ready Vets Fellowship is led by Hiring Our Heroes. Through Corporate and Skills-Based Fellowships, service members are connected with solar employers for 12 weeks of work-based experience in a wide range of roles, intended to lead to full time employment. Learn more about the Fellowship program here.
For Skilled Trades & Technical Roles: Airstreams Renewables and the Home Builders Institute Military Program are two SkillBridge providers that offer valuable hands-on construction and electrical training, preparing service members for careers as solar installers, technicians, and more. These programs operate independently of Solar Ready Vets.
- Home Builders Institute Military Program: HBI offers pre-apprenticeship training programs in construction located at 10 of the largest military installations. Transitioning service members participate in this free 12-week training program in the construction trades before they complete their military service. During the program, service members spend 75% of their time in hands-on training, earn professional certifications, and receive job placement support.
- Airstreams Renewables Airstreams provides 6-week hands-on technical training to military veterans and transitioning service members on fundamental safety requirements and technical skills relevant to renewable energy, notably: OSHA 10, electrical safety & troubleshooting, schematic and blueprint reading, mechanical knowledge & experience with hand tools, climbing & safety training. Trainees are also provided with career and job placement services.
The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a widely recognized certification body for renewable energy professionals. A NABCEP credential helps employers to identify top talent—it indicates commitment to the profession, and demonstrates understanding of solar fundamentals. Spanning installation, design, technical sales, and other solar career pathways, NABCEP certifications can boost your earning potential, and help you to be well qualified for jobs that match your career goals.
Veterans Pathways to Certification
Recognizing the valuable skills and experience gained through military service, SRV worked with NABCEP to develop streamlined Veterans Pathways.
The most common NABCEP credential, the PV Associate (PVA), prepares individuals for a variety of career options in the solar and solar-plus-storage industries, and is often a first step toward more advanced and specialized board certifications.
GI Bill for Certifications
In 2020, the Solar Ready Vets team secured approvals from the Department of Veterans Affairs for costs associated with all NABCEP PV Credentials to be reimbursable through the GI Bill.
Non-veteran candidates qualify to sit for the PVA exam through the standard Education or Experience Pathways. Veterans may submit their Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) code and justify at least six months of military experience relevant to the PVA Job Task Analysis.
Veterans Pathways are available for:
- PV Associate
- PV Installation Professional
- PV Installer Specialist
- PV Commissioning & Maintenance Specialist
- PV Technical Sales
As of 2022, over 100 veterans had earned a NABCEP certification through the veterans pathways. Ready to get started on yours? Learn more and apply for NABCEP certification.
Service to Solar
On rooftops, in the field, in offices, and in labs across the country, military service members and veterans apply diverse technical and leadership skills to power the solar industry every day. These roles span manufacturing, engineering, project development, installation, operations, business development, communications, and much more.
Solar Ready Vets Fellowship
The Solar Ready Vets Fellowship connects mid-to-senior level transitioning service members with on-the-job training in leadership and management roles in the civilian solar workforce.
Transitioning service members are encouraged to apply for the fellowship through the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program.
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.