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Solar Energy Systems Engineer

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What Do Solar Energy Systems Engineer Do?

Solar Energy Systems Engineer Definition Perform site-specific engineering analysis or evaluation of energy efficiency and solar projects involving residential, commercial, or industrial customers. Design solar domestic hot water and space heating systems for new and existing structures, applying knowledge of structural energy requirements, local climates, solar technology, and thermodynamics.

What Do Solar Energy Systems Engineers Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Create electrical single-line diagrams, panel schedules, or connection diagrams for solar electric systems, using computer-aided design (CAD) software.
  • Test or evaluate photovoltaic (PV) cells or modules.
  • Create checklists for review or inspection of completed solar installation projects.
  • Develop design specifications and functional requirements for residential, commercial, or industrial solar energy systems or components.
  • Review specifications and recommend engineering or manufacturing changes to achieve solar design objectives.
  • Design or develop vacuum tube collector systems for solar applications.

Qualities of a Solar Energy Systems Engineer

Solar Energy Systems Engineers state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

  • Solar Designer
  • Solar Project Engineer
  • Renewable Energy Division Manager
  • Solar Photovoltaic Product Development Engineer
  • Solar Development Engineer

Is There Going to be Demand for Solar Energy Systems Engineers?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 132,500 jobs in the United States for Solar Energy Systems Engineer. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 6.4% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 8,500 new jobs for Solar Energy Systems Engineer by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 9,500 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Solar Energy Systems Engineers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Solar Energy Systems Engineer are Nevada, Utah, and North Dakota. Watch out if you plan on working in Alaska, Minnesota, or Vermont. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Solar Energy Systems Engineers Make A Lot Of Money?

The typical yearly salary for Solar Energy Systems Engineers is somewhere between $50,750 and $155,650.

Salary Ranges for Solar Energy Systems Engineers

Solar Energy Systems Engineers who work in District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia, make the highest salaries.

How much do Solar Energy Systems Engineers make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $115,710
Alaska $114,040
Arizona $94,450
Arkansas $71,510
California $107,700
Colorado $111,610
Connecticut $100,230
District of Columbia $132,530
Florida $82,970
Georgia $93,580
Hawaii $96,940
Idaho $110,270
Illinois $87,220
Indiana $73,340
Iowa $78,230
Kansas $82,060
Kentucky $79,690
Louisiana $90,580
Maine $85,800
Maryland $118,420
Massachusetts $109,220
Michigan $90,420
Minnesota $101,620
Mississippi $79,630
Missouri $86,850
Montana $79,590
Nebraska $82,760
Nevada $94,950
New Hampshire $99,070
New Jersey $114,990
New Mexico $114,790
New York $95,270
North Carolina $83,900
North Dakota $83,270
Ohio $93,370
Oklahoma $83,080
Oregon $90,720
Pennsylvania $96,550
Rhode Island $95,790
South Carolina $100,750
South Dakota $84,320
Tennessee $82,030
Texas $113,370
Utah $89,810
Vermont $81,960
Virginia $118,390
Washington $104,890
West Virginia $91,420
Wisconsin $86,600
Wyoming $97,040

Tools & Technologies Used by Solar Energy Systems Engineers

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Solar Energy Systems Engineers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • JavaScript
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Python
  • Microsoft Access
  • Data visualization software
  • Microsoft Project
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Structured query language SQL
  • Database software
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • Linux
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • R
  • National Instruments LabVIEW
  • Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software

How do I Become a Solar Energy Systems Engineer?

Education needed to be a Solar Energy Systems Engineer:

Solar Energy Systems Engineer Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Solar Energy Systems Engineer?

Solar Energy Systems Engineer Work Experience

Where Solar Energy Systems Engineers Work

Solar Energy Systems Engineer Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Solar Energy Systems Engineer Industries

References:

Image Credit: luis gomes via CC0 License

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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