A good solar technician is more in demand than ever before. In 2022, solar is projected to account for nearly half of the electric generation in the US! And each one of those installations needs professional support to deliver a smooth, sustainable renewable energy project for the millions of consumers becoming more environmentally conscious in their energy use.
But with training and certifications for solar techs becoming more readily available across America, how do you know what to look for from a course or a technician themselves?
When the success of a costly solar project depends on having a skilled technician who can deliver on every level, it’s important to get it right. Whether you’re considering a career in the field, seeking to hire a solar professional, or researching your next build, you’ll want to know the top three must-have skills of the perfect solar technician.
Three Fundamental Must-have Skills for Solar Technicians
The solar technician profession is incredibly hands-on. Whilst a certain amount of expertise comes from theory, some of the best learnings are made on the job.
Yet failed solar projects can really harm industry reputation (and budgets), so in an ideal world, you’ll minimize the odds of a client having to fork out the bill for someone’s lessons learned the hard way. Obviously, a certain amount of human error – and trial and error – is to be expected, but with the right tools, anyone can be ready to overcome the challenges encountered in the field.
1. Attention to Detail
To individuals and businesses alike, solar panels represent a long-term investment. Expected to last up to thirty years, the installations are required to be state-of-the-art, or else they might not provide the client with their return on investment.
Along with high-quality materials, the key to the success of a solar installation lies in the amount of care and attention to detail provided by the technician. In practical terms, this means knowing exactly where and how to install and maintain panels in a way that will maximize their lifecycle and not need correcting afterwards – this could come down to millimeters of difference in the way in which equipment is installed, and must consider season, shade, angle and weather.
Using tools like SiteCapture, you can ensure all the important details are captured and recorded for reporting and analysis.
Keeping all the relevant information about a job site handy is a big step towards ensuring everything is accounted for and no details slip through the cracks. As site images are both easily captured onto a device and traceable, tools like SiteCapture help great, detail-oriented technicians to stay on top of a project’s progress and access its data as soon as a consideration arises.
This is especially valuable when we consider how an installation project may turn into a maintenance or repair project down the line, requiring a technician to remember the intricacies of each job several years – and projects – later.
2. Great Communication Skills
Running a successful solar installation business demands a technician who is also an expert in communicating. Traveling for work, leading teams, and juggling more than one project at a time… solar professionals are responsible for ensuring the exchange of critical information runs smoothly between not just suppliers, but also teams, site owners, and customers.
But it’s easy to keep stakeholders in clear and constant communication through project sharing, automation, and real-time, in-app notifications, when you use specialized technology, such as SiteCapture.
To maintain the outstanding levels of communication needed (across all parties involved) in a solar installation project, it really helps to keep real-time messaging in one, distinct place. With SiteCapture’s suite of tools, which include in-app notifications and easy-to-share project data, teams, clients, and other stakeholders are informed about roles and responsibilities, schedules, budgets, and project progress, without requiring endless scrolling through chit-chat, wading through memories and miscommunications, or breaching personal information and boundaries.
3. Time Management
In solar, the phrase “time is money” is a literal one! Like many professionals, solar techs work in a deadline-driven environment. With the high combined cost of labor and materials, allocating resources wisely is a core skill every installer should master; including handling and completing projects in a timely fashion.
But as workers and contractors often juggle different aspects of installations at once, each task brings with it another challenge to minimize the inefficiencies of switching between multiple, parallel jobs.
Saving time and keeping a crew on track with project management is much easier when you have a foolproof system where you can check off each key feature as you go. Many successful solar professionals utilize project management tools like SiteCapture, which are designed to make managing projects easy with user-friendly integrations and solar-specific features that ensure high productivity levels whilst keeping everyone informed on the project’s progress.
Keeping track of what tasks need to be performed and prioritized can help crews make the best out of their allocated time (and budget!)
How SiteCapture Brings You Closer to Your Potential
Staying on top of dozens of simultaneous jobs is paramount for the success of a solar business, and can be a big ask for one, human solar tech! Luckily the rewards – helping conscious consumers produce sustainable energy in exchange for an attractive salary – are well worth the effort. Though managing solar projects can be challenging, technology can support and boost a technician’s core skills.
SiteCapture is an industry-specific mobile application that grants users the ability to easily upload and access job site images and data from any mobile device. The software automatically catalogs and stores by job, address (GPS), date/time, and user, and is easily accessed through a customized, secure web portal.
The ideal solar technician knows that even the most experienced installer can be faced with new obstacles and prone to make mistakes. But with attention to detail, strong communication, and excellent time management skills, the ability to overcome them is what matters most.
If you want to learn exactly how a simple app can help strengthen essential solar-project skills then why not schedule a free demonstration of SiteCapture today?
Expecting one person to be a well-rounded professional with memorized practical, theoretical, and technical expertise, who can perfectly handle a full suite of tasks, carry out projects on a strict timeline and budget, and manage a team, may seem like a huge ask but armed with the right support software, the ideal solar technician could be just one click away.