Solar Career Pathways

The solar industry offers a tremendous diversity of opportunities and career pathways for military service members and vetearns -- hardhats optional.

Join the Solar Ready Vets Network

Across rooftop and large-scale solar projects, there is an increasingly high demand for talent in skilled trades roles such as solar installers, electricians, and technicians. These roles typically require basic carpentry or electrical skills as an entry point, and with solar experience, an individual can advance into leadership roles. Many employers train on the job and invest in employees who are dependable and demonstrate an eagerness to advance.

For veterans and service members with experience managing operations, projects, and people, there are many jobs that can be performed in an office or remotely and do not require fieldwork. Sales, customer service, and business development professionals are also in high demand.

The solar industry offers high quality, family-supporting jobs. Solar installers make similar amounts to their peers in the roofing industry, while solar electricians, construction managers, project managers, operations managers and sales representatives make more than similar roles in other industries.

IREC Clean Energy Career Maps

IREC’s Career Maps are unique, interactive tools that educators, career advisors, job seekers, employers, policymakers, and workforce professionals can use to explore the many diverse careers offered across the growing clean energy industry. These maps—including the Solar Career Map, HVAC/R Map, and Green Buildings Career Map—describe dozens of careers as well as their various routes for advancement.

Explore Career Maps

Training Programs Directory

Solar training programs range from 40 hours to 4+ years, and finding the right training program depends on your interests and goals. For example, to become a solar installer, a brief course covering fundamentals of solar technology, safety, and some hands-on experience is recommended. 

Below is a directory of educational institutions that are both registered by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and also accept GI Bill benefits for their solar courses. The Solar Ready Vets team is actively engaging solar training providers across the country to grow this list. 

NABCEP also maintains a directory of registered training providers and courses leading to certification.

Several high-quality online training programs are available, such as Solar Energy International, Everblue, and Heatspring.

Cyber Guardians 

Interested in cybersecurity? The Cyberguardians program led by Sunspec Alliance offers training for veterans and service members to build on existing experience, develop new skills, and secure relevant credentials for careers in the distributed energy sector. This program is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. 

Visit SunSpec Alliance

Solar Job Boards & Career Resources 

Solar Ready Vets partners SEIA and NABCEP both maintain solar industry job boards. Several SEIA state affiliates also host state-wide job boards. For support with your job search in your local area, connect with your local Career OneStop. These agencies help job seekers identify training and employment opportunities to match their interests and goals, and many have staff dedicated to supporting veterans.